How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dimitry K., Esq. Your Own Question
Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Dimitry K., Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

hello, i got married when i was 17 with out my parents

This answer was rated:


i got married when i was 17 with out my parents knowledge, i'm from a country that will allow you to get married at the age of 16. to make the story short, i had the opportunity to come to the U.S. when i came here i was still dependent on my parents so i put that i was single. After i came here things didn't work out with the man i married so i asked him a divorce. he got really mad because he tricked me in to marring me so i can bring him to this country. after 8years i'm still married and trying to settle things but he is no were to be found. what can i do at this point? i'm a student i can't afford to go back home to process the divorce and i'm also scared for my life some sources told me that he will kill me if he ever see me.

please help me resolve this with out me traveling to my country.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

Please do not worry, I will do my best to help. In what state are you located? Have you been there at least 6 months or longer?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i'm located in VA. i have been here for almost 8 years.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

all of my papers here say that i'm single yet all of my papers from my home country say that i'm married.

What country were you married in, if I may ask? I ask to figure out if your marriage would be recognized in the US as valid or not, thank you!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ethiopia. as far as i know it is recognized by US.

Thank you for your follow-up.

You are correct that Ethiopian marriages are recognized here. Furthermore, even in some US states individuals younger than 18 can still marry, just with their parental permission. As you are now over that age, the marriage is valid--before it would have been considered 'voidable' or something that you could move to annul until you turned 18.

Not to worry, this is still possible to seek a divorce. You a a spouse have to attempt to serve and attempt to find your spouse by best efforts. If you are unable to find him or unable to serve him, you would need to provide proof to the judge that you made this attempt but was unable to serve. After 6 months the judge can issue what is known as a 'default divorce', that is, a divorce that is based on one party's request since the other party is unable to be found. This was put in place for exactly this type of a situation, where one spouse is hiding out or otherwise refusing to respond to court papers so that the other person cannot be held hostage this whole time.

Because you have resided in Virginia for 6 months or more, you are considered a 'legal resident' of the state and can use local courts. This 'default divorce' option is a legitimate ability on your part to seek a claim since you can use local courts to file for divorce.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

how can i file a divorce where when all of my papers here say that i'm single? that is why my case is more complicated that just filing divorce. since all of my documents in U.S. say that i'm single how do i file a divorce?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.


My apologies on the delay, I did not mean to leave the conversation.

If you are legally married and you have evidence that you were married (for example your marriage certificate), that is sufficient to show that you are married even if all other documentation shows other information. Beyond that your filing is not more complicated, what is more complicated is showing the judge that you attempted to serve your ex and could not find him.

Good luck.

Dimitry K., Esq. and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Family Law Questions