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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 113504
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Help in establishing residence jurisdiction. I am currently

Customer Question

Help in establishing residence for divorce jurisdiction. I am currently on assignment in Poland since 22JUN15, my previous assignment was in Guatemala from January 2014 through June 2015. June 2015 is the last day that my current wife and I live together.
We have been travelling as an expatriate since August 2005, and have maintained our tax residence in the Woodlands, TX, but we have not been there physically. Both our driver's license are from Tucson, AZ, where my mother lives and where we have done all our
medical checks, our mail address and so forth. My wife has moved to Celaya, Mexico. and has enrolled my son in school as well as she has enrolled in college. My company is out of Bothell, WA and I will be relocated to Maryland or Bothell after this assigment
aproximately January 2016. Can someone help me to identify what my divorce jurisdiction will be
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
If you are traveling for work and are still a US citizen, your domicile (not residence, they are two separate terms and the courts in a divorce will look to domicile) would be in the US State where you claim as your domicile, which would be Texas, since you still pay taxes there. So for right now, as you are a US Citizen living abroad, you would be eligible to file divorce in Texas. However, if you are moved to WA or MD, you would be able to file there once you are in MD or WA and establish yourself there with a driver's license and address as a resident there. However, for now, even though you are working out of the US and not in Texas physically, for divorce purposes you are considered a domiciliary of Texas able to file there as you have a residence established there as paying taxes there.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How about my wife, she is a co-owner of our house, she files taxes jointly with me and has the exact same pattern as I do. The only thing is that she has moved to Celaya Guanajuato as of June 4th 2015. What does she need to establish residency in Celaya Guanajuato and then be able to file for divorce under Celaya Mexico jurisdiction. She also is a US resident and just renewed her residency in May 2015. If she establishes residency in Celaya, does she lose her us resident card. I am a US Citizen by birth in Tucson, AZ
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Only ONE person in the divorce needs to be domiciled in the state, but it would apply to your wife as well, she could file in Texas. She would need to be in Mexico for 1 year before she could file for a divorce in Mexico. If she has a permanent green card, she would not lose that by being in Mexico and establishing a new residence there.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
can you confirm this last statement, as I asked an immigration expert this situation and this is what he responded:Hello and welcome back. Please remember to use FOR GUILLERMO in the subject line and message box so that no one else grabs the question and I can become your personal immigration consultant.Yes, unfortunately, it is possible to lose your status. Anyone that is a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and is outside of the U.S. for 180 days or more within any 12 month period (not necessarily calendar year) creates a rebuttable presumption of abandonment of residency. That presumption can be rebutted by evidence to the contrary such as filing U.S. taxes, maintaining a home in the U.S. and paying that mortgage or rent, maintaining a U.S. drivers license, U.S. bank accounts with significant movement, etc.Someone that has been outside of the U.S. for more than 1 year without first having an approved re-entry permit has abandoned their residency and only in very few exceptions (such as serious illness) can they get it back.Here is an official link:http://www.uscis.gov/green-card/after-green-card-granted/maintaining-permanent-residenceSo either you have to spend more than 180 days in the U.S. out of every 12 months, or you have to file for a Re-Entry Permit that will let you be outside of the U.S. for up to 2 years without abandoning the Residency status. You can apply for another one for 2 more years, but after that, they get harder and harder to get and they usually only issue them for 1 year at a time. Here is a link:http://www.uscis.gov/i-131It can be used for multiple entries during the time it is valid.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
If she returns to the US for just 181 days, which is what is done most all times, they maintain their status. It is only if they are gone more than 12 months continuously they could lose status and have to apply to renew it. I was under the impression she was going back and forth, but if she is not, she could indeed lose her status.