Ask a Divorce Lawyer: How should I get a divorce if we were married in Germany, recognized by the U.S. Army and live in separate countries?

Question: I’ve been separated from my wife for a few years now. I voiced my request for a divorce about a year and a half ago. 

She is a German national living in Germany. Our marriage was a German one in Germany and was soon thereafter recognized by the U.S. Army. 

How do I go about getting a divorce from her? I don’t have to go through that one-year German divorce nonsense, do I?

 

Answer:

To ensure your divorce is not subject to attack (for example, due to lack of notice because your wife is in Germany), you should contact an attorney who practices in Germany to start the divorce process in Germany. This is so for several reasons. 

First, whether a state will recognize a foreign marriage is a matter of state law; the United States is not a member to a treaty that automatically recognizes foreign marriages. While the US Army may recognize your Germany marriage, the State of Alaska, where you reside, may not. 

Second, you may have trouble acquiring jurisdiction (“court power”) over your wife if she is in Germany and/or some of your marital property (e.g., bank accounts) are located in Germany. You would need to serve her with court papers and, if needed and ordered, attach assets and secure third party cooperation to maintain the status quo of your marital estate during your divorce. Think what could happen if your wife suddenly starts spending away a bank account in Germany, and you cannot communicate with the German bankers to get them to stop her? 

Third, as a matter of comity (“respect”), all States and the United States will recognize foreign divorces, provided both parties to the divorce received adequate notice (which is more likely if you pursue the case against your wife on her turf) and one of the parties (your wife) was a domiciliary of the foreign country. For more information on comity, see Hilton v Guyot, 159 US 113 (1895).

Keep in mind that I am a Michigan attorney and cannot give you detailed advice about the laws in Germany or Alaska. You should not rely on this answer as establishing an attorney-client relationship, and you should contact an attorney in your area and in Germany immediately for additional information and legal representation. Thank you for submitting a question to Cordell & Cordell, P.C.

 

Jennifer M. Paine is an Associate Attorney in the Detroit, Michigan office of Cordell & Cordell P.C. She is licensed to practice in Michigan, and has been admitted pro hac vice in Illinois, Ohio, and the United States Court of Federal Claims. Ms. Paine received her BA in English and Mathematics from Albion College and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She received her Juris Doctorate from MSU College of Law and graduated Summa Cum Laude.

End of Content Icon

3 comments on “Ask a Divorce Lawyer: How should I get a divorce if we were married in Germany, recognized by the U.S. Army and live in separate countries?

    The spell caster that bring back my ex lover
    I was married to my beloved husband and we loved and cherished ourselves for good 2years and every thing was going on smoothly but april 5, 2013 we both had misunderstanding and he told me that the relationship is over and that he is fed up with me and I begged him because I love him so much but he refused me I was so down cast and I felt the world has come to an end for me but my friend told me about a spell caster that helped her sister out in getting her relationship back, a good job and favor in any of her endeavor but at first I was scared but I have to give this man a trial because I love my husband very much and I am not willing to loose him to any woman, so I ordered returning love spell from this great spell caster that made me a happy woman again to say it all my husband came back to me with much love and a caring heart…i am testifying to this great spell caster Dr. Sambola you are a great man in this world and you mean so much to me you are the best spell caster that i have ever hear off in all website contact this man via this email if you really need to get your problems solve dr.sambolaspellcaster@solution4u.com

    How my ex/divorce husband return back to me
    My name is Sienna, My husband dumped me two weeks ago after I accused him of seeing someone else and insulting him. I want him back in my life but he refuse to have any contact with me. I was so confuse and don’t know what to do, so I reach to the internet for help and I saw a testimony of how a spell caster help people to get their ex back so I contact the spell caster and explain my problem to him and he cast a spell for me and assure me of 48hours that my ex will return to me and to my greatest surprise the third day my ex came knocking on my door and beg for forgiveness. I am so happy that my love is back again and not only that, we are about to get married. Once again thank you Dr.white, You are truly talented and gifted. Email: dr.sambolaspellcaster@solution4u.com is the only answer. He can be of great help and I will not stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man

    I NEED YOUR SERVICES
    Hello,

    My name is Mrs Chen I need your services, No good English Email me (cheneiruizhen@yahoo.de) i talk for more details

    Thank you.
    Mrs Chen

    Hallo,

    Mein Name ist Frau Chen Ich brauche deine Dienste nicht gut Englisch Bitte schicken Sie mir, (cheneiruizhen@yahoo.de) Ich spreche für weitere Informationen

    Danke.
    Frau Chen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.