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  1. #1

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    us citizen jamaica wedding

    Jurisdiction / State: Iowa

    We got married in Jamaica and live in Iowa. Never did file at the courthouse in Iowa so not recognized in the US as being married. Now want a divorce. Where do we get divorced or do we even have to get a divorce?


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    I do not believe you have to "register" your wedding Iowa because it was done in Jamaica. Those legally married in any jurisdiction in the world are married here in the US. In my opinion you are legally married and you get a divorce where you live in Iowa. My Mother was married in Naples, Italy and filed for divorce in Florida. She never had to register her marriage at the courthouse in Florida.

    Make sense?

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    My husband got information from a lawyer that since we were married in Jamaica and are US citizens living in the US that we did not need to get a divorce. The only thing neither one of us could do was get married again in Jamaica. The lawyer said each of us could get married at any time anywhere just not Jamaica and we did not need to file for a divorce just go our separate ways right now and we are done with the marriage.
    By your answer it looks like I can file for divorce in the US and get legally divorced. Since there are no children or assets to divide up sounds like the only thing that needs done is to file for the divorce?

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    I would file for a divorce. Below is from a travel site, not the best "legal" advice, but you have to figure their job is selling "weddings" in Jamaica. It clearly says your wedding is legal in the US. Now I'm not familiar with Iowa law in particular but I don't think it is very different than anywhere else. I think you are legally married there and need a divorce.

    Marriage in Jamaica.

    Registering your Wedding

    You see it says you CAN REGISTER not that you should register. My guess is that it is a valid marriage but in order to put "the world on notice" you register the wedding. Saying that you have to register it to make it valid is as silly as saying that you have to register a Las Vegas wedding in Georgia in order to be really married.

    It may be a good idea to register but I do not think it must be done. Further you are married, you need a divorce. What if one of the two of you, just to be mean, registers the marriage later to get the other in trouble? Get a divorce, it's cleaner.
    Last edited by jharris352; 11-05-2009 at 08:25 AM.

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    Thank you for the information.
    I was finding it hard to believe that we did not need to file for a divorce.
    I will research the information that you gave me.

    Thank you

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    OK, the lawyer in me just had to look up the statute:

    OCIA 595.20 states concerning foreign marriages: "A marriage which is solemnized in any other state, territory, country, or any foreign jurisdiction which is valid in that state, territory, country, or other foreign jurisdiction, is valid in this state if the parties meet the requirements for validity pursuant to section 595.2, subsection 1, and if the marriage would not otherwise be declared void."

    And 595.2 subsection 1 says that the marriage must be between a man and a woman to be recognized.

    SO, as long as you are Adam and Even not Adam and Steve, your marriage is legal in the US and you need a divorce.

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