Asked in Divorce and International Law

Q: How to get an international divorce recognized in the USA?

I got married to a Russian citizen in Rhode Island. Later we got divorced in Russia, where I still live and work. I want to get married again (this time in Russia), but I'd need to provide Certificate of No Record of Marriage from the US. Is it correct that to get this document I'd have to get my divorce recognized first? How do I do that? Can I do it without visiting the USA (taking in consideration the current epidemic situation)? Thank you!

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1 Lawyer Answer
David Luther Woodward
David Luther Woodward
  • International Law Lawyer
  • Pensacola, FL

A: This is the first time I have heard of such a certificated requirement in over 50 years of practice. It is tantamount to proving a negative, which is damned near impossible. It requires examining the universe and concluding such does not exists

Start with the issue that marriage is controlled by the several states in the U. S. and not the federal government. So to provide such a certificate would require the examination of the records of the various bureaus of vital statistics in all 50 states, Guam, the Marshall Island, Puerto Rico, and so on.

The most rational approach I would use is this:

1. Obtain an exemplified/certified copy of the judgment/certificate of divorce from the Russian equivalent of the divorce court in Rhode Island.

2. Obtain a certified translation of that certificate/judgment in to English.

3. Engage a lawyer in Rhode Island who is familiar with their local version of the uniform foreign judgments recognition act and domesticate the divorce in Rhode Island and register that judgment with RI's Bureau of Vital Statistics.

4. Upon the domesticated judgment being registered with the RI BVS obtain from it a certificate showing the status of matters.

This is really a matter of the law of the State of Rhode Island and requires a lawyer on the ground there to make it work. .

That's the best analysis I can come up with, but I am sure other lawyers have different experiences

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