Many countries allow citizens living in another nation to file for divorce in their home country. As a resident of new York, you may find yourself wondering if the State will recognize your foreign divorce decree and what that means for you and your family’s future.


We will explore the rules for recognition of a foreign divorce in New York and how to protect your rights with the help of an experienced New York Divorce Attorney.


Will New York Recognize a Foreign Divorce Decree?

Foreign divorce decrees are a common occurrence in today’s increasingly global society. Many people wonder if their foreign divorce decree will be recognized in New York State. The answer to this question depends on several factores.


Generally, a foreign divorce decree will be recognized if it aligns with United States and New York State law. New York will not recognize a foreign divorce decree that goes against the State’s public policy. For example, if one party was not given the proper notice, New York may not recognize the divorce.


New York courts will not validate a foreign divorce unless the following circumstances are met:

  • Both spouses received adequate notice;
  • At least one spouse must be physically present within the jurisdiction of the Court issuing the divorce. This generally means visiting the country for the divorce;
  • The responding spouse must physically appear in the foreign court or sign a document granting the foreign court permission to make decisions related to the divorce.


Validating a Foreign Divorce in New York State

If you have obtained a foreign divorce decree and want it to be recognized in New York State, there are several requirements in place. You must submit a certified copy of the foreign divorce decree and have it authenticated for use in the United States. All documents relating to your divorce should be translated into English and certified by a translator. These documents can include marriage certificates, divorce decrees, and other legal paperwork.


Navigating through these requirements can be complex without proper legal guidance. Therefore, it is strongly encouraged that you seek representation from a skilled divorce attorney.


Challenging an Ex Parte Divorce Decree

An ex parte divorce decree (commonly referred to as a “mail-order” decree) is a type of divorce that occurs when only one spouse appears before the Court. This can happen if the other spouse cannot be located or refuses to participate in the proceedings.


If you were not properly served with a notice of an ex parte divorce proceeding and did not have the opportunity to participate in your divorce proceedings, you may be able to challenge the validity of the foreign divorce decree.



You Have the Right to Seek an Equitable Distribution of Marital Property

Divorce can be a painful and emotional process. It is especially difficult when it comes to dividing the property and assets that you have accumulated over the years with your spouse. Assets obtained during the marriage are generally considered marital property, regardless of who purchased the asset, earned the money, or whose name is on the account or deed. 


New York State follows the principle of equitable distribution in divorce cases. This means that marital property will be divided fairly between parties based on factors such as income, length of the marriage, and the contributions each party made towards the marital assets. Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean a 50/50 split.


As a resident of New York, you have the right to seek equitable distribution after a foreign divorce decree is validated by New York courts. Your New York divorce attorney can help ensure that all aspects are considered when determining how marital property should be distributed.


We Can Help You Protect Your Rights

While a foreign divorce decree can be recognized in New York, there are certain requirements that need to be met. It is always best to seek the advice of our skilled divorce attorneys at Douglas Family Law Group, PLLC when dealing with complex family and divorce law matters. Call us today to set up an initial consultation or learn more about our services.

More Legal Blogs

Couple’s therapy can be a powerful tool to identify what the best next steps are for you and your partner. Read more here.

What is an order of protection? What do you do if you are served with an Order of Protection? Read more here.

It is important you understand the nuances child custody agreements can cause during a move after a divorce. Read more here.

These exciting new methods of growing your family come with legal implications. Read more here.

What is this commonly heard legal term mean and does it apply to you? Read more here to find out.

What does it take to win a child custody modification case? Read more here to find out.

You often hear people saying you need their consent to record them. But, is this true? Often times, these recordings can provide valuable evidence to your case. Read more here to find out.

Hiding assets during a divorce is never a good move. What happens when one spouse attempts to conceal their assets? Read more here to find out.

Does New York have a Romeo and Juliet Law? What are the penalties associated with minor sexual relations? Read more here to find out. 

50 Main Street Suite 935

White Plains, New York 10606

DISCLAIMER: The materials on this website are made available by Douglas Family Law Group, PLLC. for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. The transmission and receipt of information contained on the website does not form or constitute an attorney-client relationship. Viewers should not act upon information on this site without seeking professional legal counsel. The materials on this website may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. Further, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Some links within the Douglas Family Law Group, PLLC. website may lead to other sites. This site does not incorporate any materials appearing in such linked sites by reference, and Douglas Family Law Group, PLLC. does not necessarily sponsor, endorse or otherwise approve of such linked materials.

© 2024  Douglas Family Law Group, PLLC | All Rights Reserved. | Priva