Legal Question in Family Law in Virginia

Are foreign divorce decrees recognized in Virginia?

I married a Japanese (female) national 8 months after last residing in Virginia. We separated approx. 1 year, 9 months after that. We then received a ''no-fault'' type divorce without any lawyers, which is fairly common in Japan, approx. 2 years after separating. I have lived in Japan for the entire time (since approx. 8 months before our marriage, up to and including now, which is approx. 10 years later), we never lived in Virginia while married, nor registered our marriage there in any way.

I would like to know if Virginia and the United States (I say Virginia because it is my last place of residence in the U.S.) will recognize this divorce, or am I still married in their eyes? Also, I would like to know if I need to register my divorce in Virginia or the U.S. in any way. I do not want to remarry, and find out later that my first marriage is still in effect.

Any information, or references you could provide would be much appreciated.

Asked on 3/11/02, 1:05 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael Hendrickson Law Office Michael E. Hendrickson

Re: Are foreign divorce decrees recognized in Virginia?

If the Japanese divorce was in full accord with Japanese law governing such matters, it will be recognized as valid in all the states and territories of the U.S. and the District of Columbia.

However,as a precaution, I would take the time to have the Japanese divorce papers translated into

English by a certified language translator and

then notarized in case any questions should arise.

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Answered on 3/11/02, 5:46 pm

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