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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 19471
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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Is there some way I can pursue a divorce in the US while

Customer Question

Is there some way I can pursue a divorce in the US while living in India? We were married in India first and then again in Minnesota the same year. I was tricked into the marriage and found out after 14 years that he is gay and had been abusing our sons.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello: This is Phillipsesq. Welcome to JustAnswer! I am reviewing your post, and I will post my response very shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Does your spouse live in the U.S.?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, but he is a US citizen with an OCI card (overseas citizen of India)
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the information.

If neither you nor your spouse live in the U.S. at the moment, you cannot file for divorce in the United States. You or your spouse MUST be residing in a State in the U.S. in order to file for divorce in that State. That is the current law.

I am sorry that I do not have better news for you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have been living in India for the past 6 years after we moved back in 2010. Prior to that, we lived in Wisconsin for 10 years between 1989 and 2000, and then in Missouri from 2000 to 2010, during which time after some strange behaviour on his part, and suspicions raised by our paediatrician and church counsellor, I came to realize many things about our marriage. Although he and others have hinted at his being gay, etc. right from the beginning,he denied/denies everything or is evasive when asked direct questions. I went through a mental breakdown at this time and my sons managed to convince my husband to move back to India. My family in India is very conservative and wouldn't allow me to consider divorce all this time and gave me no emotional or financial support. I am a stay-at-home mom. Now that my sons are both over 18 and agree with me that a divorce is best, ***** ***** have consented to the divorce. I am financially dependent on my husband now. I need to get out of this marriage in a way that will allow me to be financially independent. He has a 401K package in the US, shares in the company where he used to work, and a small amount in a US bank account. He may have other assets that I don't know about. In India, we have a flat that we are currently living in as our only asset. We have two sons who have yet to complete their degrees. I have a joint disability that restricts movement and keeps in pain a large amount of the time. I don't have a green card right now - mine expired 3 years ago. My son has applied for an I-130 on my behalf. I want to get a divorce as quickly as possible, but can't fulfil the residence requirements of most states due to not having a green card. The US consulate in Chennai said I could apply for a humanitarian parole to enter the country and file for a divorce, after hearing my story, but that didn't seem like a great option to me at that time. Getting a divorce in India is easiest if filing for a mutual consent divorce, but that makes me vulnerable to his exploitative terms in negotiations for a settlement since he would rather have things continue as they are. I have been wondering if getting a divorce in a state like South Dakota or Washington or Alaska might be worth it for the advantage the US law confers on women in these situations. I am an Indian citizen. Please advise me as best you can. Thanks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I mention those three states specifically because I read online that they don't have residency requirements. Is that not right?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately, you may have interpreted what you read online incorrectly. You cannot file a divorce in those States without being a resident. That is, you must show that you reside there during your divorce petition. For South Dakota, you must reside there and continue to reside there for the duration of your divorce.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay, how long would that process take if I were able to come and stay in South Dakota? If I get my green card, couldn't I set up in South Dakota in a hostel or something, file for divorce, wait for the completion of the process and then come back? What is the minimum length of time that would take?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there no response?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My sons have had to endure this miserable situation for too long. They need to move on and to do that, this situation needs to be resolved. I can't take him to court and file a criminal case against him because those things that happened were in the past, and the courts here require something to have happened in the last year. My sons can't remember enough to be able to substantiate my case. I only have the suspicions voiced by doctors and my own observations of his suspicious behaviour. Who will take my word against that of a seemingly normal, upstanding person like my husband? In any case, the publicity of a criminal case would destroy my sons' chances of having a normal life. Is there nothing you can suggest?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I was offline when you responded to my post.

I will opt out and give another Attorney the opportunity to further assist you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
May I ask why?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Never mind. Thanks.