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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12620
Experience:  Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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My wife is from Thailand, she is Thai. We were married in May

Customer Question

My wife is from Thailand, she is Thai. We were married in May 2000. In March 2009 we moved to Japan for my work. But she spent most of the time in Thailand. She did not get her Citizenship for the USA, as she wasn't at that time wanting to live there. I have retired start Jan 1st, 2011. I am living in Thailand and will be back in the USA. I will be back in the USA this May, I would like to divorce her in the USA, can I do this or not as she will not be coming back to the USA. If I can divorce, what can I expect to happen in the USA.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 6 years ago.
Hello there:

I understand that she does not plan to be back in the USA and that she is not a citizen, but can she re-enter the USA under her current immigration status?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

We did do a form that would allow her to be out of the USA for 1 year, that has long expired, so I don't think so.

 

I will divorce her here in Thailand, but under Thai law, that will take a long time before it will happen. We both cannot agree on anything at this time.

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 6 years ago.
This is a really intelligent question; I haven't dealt with this particular problem for some time, so it is a nice mental refresher for me. Getting a marriage dissolved in the United States, Kansas in particular, is not a problem as long as one spouse resides in the state for 60 days prior to filing; Kansas is a "no-fault" divorce state, so the court typically does not have reservations about due process concerns that might arise due to the involuntary unavailability of a party.

The larger challenges arise dealing with property division and support; if one spouse is unable to gain entry into the United States, the courts will generally divide the marital property and debts of the parties; however, my experience has been that the courts are inclined to make the judgment "without prejudice"--meaning that the other spouse can come back at a later time and challenge the court's ruling.

Of course, if the spouse is given the opportunity to seek lawful entry into the country and simply refuses to do so, or if the spouse cooperates and the terms of divorce can be agreed upon, there are no issues.

So, in short, "yes" a divorce can be granted where the other party is out of the country even if their inability to enter the U.S. is involuntary, and "yes" matters of property/debt division and support/alimony can be adjudicated as well, but under those circumstances the property and support decisions can typically be challenged in the home state at a later date.

Let me know if further clarification is needed. Thanks.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Other then cars, my house was purchase before we married, so will she have a claim to that.

 

If I aquire a divorce in Thailand and she signs a document that basicly said that all that she has in Thailand is her's, what I have in my name, in the USA and Thailand is mine. Will that keep her from coming back later to the USA and challenged the divorce in Kansas.

 

Also, if I over the next few years I sell everything I have in the USA, that is after I get the divorce in Kansas. Will there be any problems with that.

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 6 years ago.

1. "If I aquire a divorce in Thailand and she signs a document that basicly said that all that she has in Thailand is her's, what I have in my name, in the USA and Thailand is mine. Will that keep her from coming back later to the USA and challenged the divorce in Kansas."

 

A. A Thai property division order pursuant to a divorce is generally enforceable in the U.S.; the U.S. courts are disinclined to disturb that order unless its terms are manifestly unjust.

 

2. "Also, if I over the next few years I sell everything I have in the USA, that is after I get the divorce in Kansas. Will there be any problems with that."

 

A. What someone does with their separate property after a divorce is nobody's business but their own!

Brandon M. and 3 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
You said that I have to be in the USA for 60 day before I can file for the divorce. Question is this, after I file, how long do I have to be in the USA before I can leave again. Do I have to be there or can my attorney finish this or maybe my brother. Reason is that I have to go back oversea again.