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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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my husband is german with residente permante status in mexico,

Customer Question

my husband is german with residente permante status in mexico, i am american and we have lived in mexico for the past 10 years. he has never lived in the us, we were married in vegas and we own no property in either mexico or the states. he has a german bank account. today he asked for a divorce which i do not wish to grant. i have an address in the state of washington, but do not physically live there. i am thinking to go to washington state asap to file legal separation papers before he files in mexico or germany. i am requesting a small monthly alimony of 300 dollars. he has written out an agreement and signed it as to the terms of the separation. is this valid in mexico, the states, or germany ? and is it legally binding and enforceable ? what do i need to do to protect myself ?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

Where do you expect him to file, in Mexico or in Germany? You also stated that you have US based property--do you reside there at all, or do you just have property there? I ask to make sure that the answer I will provide you is most accurate, thank you!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i expect that he would file in mexico as he has just received his permanent resident visa. the property is in the state of washington, my mothers house, which i have used these past 10 years as my usa based billing address. my understanding based on what i have read is that if i file first in the us, that filing and order would take precedence over any foreign filing. the reason i mentioned that he is german is because he still maintains a german bank account, both of our names are XXXXX XXXXX and i want to be able to file any order i receive from the usa in germany so that i get the money (lien?) and the things he has stated he would provide to me in the hand written separation agreement he wrote out and signed yesterday. i do not believe it (handwritten separation agr.) would be enforceable in mexico, but i could be wrong.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your follow-up, Louise.

You are correct, if you file in the US first, then you could claim that the country has primary jurisdiction and that all decisions or decrees are based on US law. My concern is that he may be able to contest residency. Under Washington state law for you to use the courts you must show that you were a 'resident' for at least 180 days before you file. In other words you physically have to reside in that state before the courts would be accessible. Having property is a great first step but you still have to prove that you physically were in the state.

As for anything handwritten, provided you do not sign it, neither US, Germany, or Mexico would honor it--both parties have to consent and agree to terms. In the US if both sign it, then the courts could give the agreement some deference and treat it as a template for the divorce settlement but if any of the conditions are against state law or are 'unconscionable' (blatantly unfair), the courts do not have to enforce it.

Good luck.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 4 years ago.

I see that you rated my answer as 'poor'. What specifically did I fail to clarify or respond to, or are you unhappy over the information, something that I have no control over? Please advise.