Methuen, MA asked in Divorce for California

Q: Advice Needed: US citizen divorcing a UK citizen

I am a US Citizen who moved to Northern Ireland in November 2011 to marry a man I'd been in a long distance relationship with for three years. We married November 22, 2011 at a Council building in Larne, County Antrim. We lived together as a couple until July 19th, 2021 when we separated. I am back in the US and need to file for divorce.

One of the issues I'm having is in the UK you have to be separated for two years before you can file for divorce, but we both want our divorce started and finished as soon as possible. He's already moved on with another woman and I'm starting to date again after the separation. When I contacted the Council about filing for a divorce as a US citizen I was told the separation had to be for two years before a divorce could be filed. However, I was told to contacted a lawyer when I got back to the states because I am a US citizen and their may be something that could be done or some sort of loophole.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Tobie Brina Waxman
Tobie Brina Waxman
  • Culver City, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It looks like you posted this question from Massachusetts, but posted for attorneys in California. Assuming that you are in California, as long as you meet the residency requirements, you can file here. The residency requirement for filing for divorce in California are that you have lived in CA for 6 consecutive months preceding the date of filing. You must also have lived in the county in which you file at least 3 consecutive months preceding the date of filing in that county. Once you file, the next hurdle is service of process to a responding party who lives outside this country. You will need to comply with international service of process laws. Ireland is a party to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra Judicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters

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