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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 114799
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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I am an American citizen residing in Italy who contracted marriage

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I am an American citizen residing in Italy who contracted marriage with a foreign national, (not American, or Italian, he's from Benin, Africa).

The marriage is not working out at all, so I would like to divorce. By Italian law I have to separate, then divorce in three years, if nothing is being contested.
There is also another problem with filing locally, when I asked in court, I was told that if he skips town and leaves Italy, as he may likely do in December to go back to his home country, I will loose any chance of a simple divorce. What's worse, once a court date is set, if he doesn't show in court I could end up staying married to this man for a minimum of ten years.

Is there any way I can divorce in the US quickly, and then have that divorce be recognized here in Italy as well?

Please help.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

The US States have residency requirements, in that you at the least have to be physically residing in the state at the time you file for divorce and each state has various times, with Nevada being the least at 6 weeks residing in the state before being qualified to file for divorce. Thus, the quickest you could file in the US would be establishing 6 weeks of residency in Nevada.

If he takes off from Italy and the Italian courts cannot grant the divorce, you would not have to stay married for 10 years, you can still come to the US and establish residency in a state and have him served in his country either by a process server in his country and if they cannot serve him they will allow a service by publication to get the divorce accomplished in the US.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok, thank you.


I am considering relocating to the US to take care of this, while the kids are on vacation from school.. By the way, the girls are not his.


Scenario two, if I were to get legal separation in Italy, so as not to be held responsible for any debt he may run up, etc. And after that he disappears somewhere, the court clerk here in Italy said it would take around ten years, and a lot of legal fees to get a final divorce.

So, my question is this, if I begin proceedings here and at a later date relocate to a US state, Nevada for example, can I still count on a US court to finalize a divorce? How would that work having started a separation in Italy?


Thanks for all your help, I hope to turn this bad situation around with your assistance.






Thank you for your response.

If you file only a legal separation in Italy to stop the community assets and debts, then that separation would be honored by the US court and you can still file for divorce in the US when you establish residency. People can get a legal separation and then stay separated forever without getting divorced, so that is a final proceeding, getting legal separation. It is then up to the parties to decide to file for divorce or not and that is a separate action as well.

Thus, if you get the legal separation completed in Italy, then move to the US, you establish residence back in the US and file for divorce in the US courts.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you!


Alright, time to get started putting things back in order then... I appreciate it. You've been very helpful, I can breathe easier now.



Take care,





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