International Divorce In The Caribbean

You have almost certainly heard of people today jetting off to the Caribbean to get married. But did you know, you can also legally divorce in a foreign nation, no matter exactly where you come about to be positioned suitable now?

A vinculo matrimonii is a Latin term actually which means “from the chains of matrimony.” It has come to imply a comprehensive and final divorce, as opposed to a legal separation.With up to half of all marriages in the western globe ending in divorce, almost all of us locate ourselves at some time dealing with either our personal divorce or that of a close family members member or buddy. Divorce is often a tragedy for all concerned, but it can be also be an chance for good adjust and a fresh begin. A speedy, amicable, cost-effective, and legally valid decree of divorce from a foreign nation could properly be ‘just what the physician ordered.’

The concept of offshore divorces is reasonably new to most people today in the western globe. When it comes to divorce, it is usually been a matter of “Do-As You-Are-Told” by a regional lawyer, whose principal objective is to drag out the approach for as lengthy as probable in order to extract from you the highest probable costs!

In several US jurisdictions you have to wait 30-90 days or even up to two years. This is even if each parties strategy the divorce mutually agreeing to it, devoid of any fuss or fanfare – and that is also following all the economic wheeling and dealing!

Elsewhere, issues are even worse. In Ireland you have to wait 4 years at an absolute minimum. In the Philippines, you can basically by no means ever get divorced!

The Origins of “Quickie” Divorces

Mexico can be credited with inventing the “quickie” foreign divorce company. The jet-set of the fifties and sixties often flew to Acapulco to receive quick divorces. Later Tabasco, the smallest state in Mexico, produced a short foray into the offshore divorce company.

Nevertheless, all that is ancient history. Amendments to the Mexican Nationality and Naturalization Law which took impact in March 1971 call for that an alien be a legal resident of Mexico prior to he or she could apply for a Mexican divorce. Becoming a legal resident is a rather difficult, time-consuming approach, taking various months. Since of these restrictions, handful of foreigners will locate it sensible to try a Mexican divorce.

Extremely, even even though Mexican quickie divorces had been stopped in the 1970s, we have identified people today as of 2006 nonetheless supplying them for sale on the online. This is a scam of which possible divorcees should really be forewarned.

Quickly Divorces on the Island of Hispaniola

These days, the quickest divorces in the Western Hemisphere are to be identified a brief flight from Miami, Florida – on the island of Hispaniola, just subsequent to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

In 1971, just a handful of months following religious interests triggered the Mexican congress properly to knock on the head the Mexican “quickie divorce” company which had grown well-known for the duration of the 1960s, an enterprising Mexican lawyer persuaded lawmakers in the Dominican Republic to pass law #142 enabling por vapor immediate divorces for non-residents. Not to be outdone, in 1974 the Republic of Haiti (the Dominican Republic’s smaller sized neighbour on the island of Hispaniola) passed related laws, that are in truth even much more ‘user friendly.’

This variety of divorce has come to be popularly identified as the ‘VIP Divorce’, simply because more than the years quite a few celebrities and thousands of other well-known people today have taken benefit of these liberal divorce laws. To name a handful of, in no specific order: Elizabeth Taylor, Mia Farrow, George Scott, Mike Tyson, Robin Givens, Richard Burton, Sylvester Stallone, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley, Diana Ross, Jane Fonda, Mariah Carey, Marc Anthony, and Tommy Mottola (the former president of Sony records).

Yes, confident these people today have revenue. But Caribbean divorces do not have to price as substantially as you may well anticipate! They are becoming much more and much more well-known with ordinary citizens – and above all with worldwide citizen households, who could properly have roots in much more than 1 jurisdiction currently.

Dominican Republic v Haiti

These days, regardless of its ups and downs, the Dominican Republic is a prosperous economy and a pleasant nation to stop by, boasting a very created tourist sector. Thus, it is preferable to divorce in the Dominican Republic exactly where probable. Haiti, in contrast, is the poorest nation in the western hemisphere and substantially significantly less steady – even though of course that does not make its laws any significantly less valid.

The huge distinction in between the two is that in the Dominican Republic, mutual consent is needed. The defendant spouse does not have to travel there, but will be needed to seem in particular person to sign papers agreeing to the divorce in a Dominican consulate elsewhere in the globe.

In Haiti, even so, unilateral divorce is permitted. This is beneficial exactly where spousal consent can not be obtained for what ever explanation, but a divorce is needed for remarriage, company purposes or basically for a fresh begin. The approach calls for public notices in Haiti informing the spouse of the impending action, following which a default judgement granting the divorce is issued if no reply is received inside twenty-1 days.


Recognition by Other Jurisdictions

As you may well currently have guessed, the huge query on most people’s minds is whether or not this variety of offshore divorce will be legally recognised in their household nations, or wherever else they have to have it to be recognised.

Regrettably, this is also 1 of the most challenging inquiries to answer. But in a handful of words, the answer is frequently good! Here’s why…

Initial of all, “offshore” divorce is completely legal. No doubt about that. There is no law we know of anyplace in the globe that prohibits people today from going to yet another nation and receiving divorced.

Irrespective of whether it is accepted exactly where you reside depends in practice on whether or not any individual disputes it. It really is a truth that worldwide, much more than 99.9% of divorces are by no means disputed. The only particular person who is probably to dispute the divorce would be your spouse. Most people today receive their spouse’s written consent – and then the spouse is precluded from disputing it later by the legal principle of estoppel. Estoppel is defined in my law dictionary as a bar to alleging or denying a truth simply because of one’s personal prior contrary actions or words.

In the USA, courts in several states (for instance New York) particularly accept international divorces. Courts in most other people accept them on a case-by-case basis below the principle of comity. The Social Safety Administration and the Veterans Administration are other departments that particularly accept and recognize international divorces. The State Division authorizes and calls for US consulates abroad to legalize foreign divorce decrees by granting “complete faith and credit” to the signatures of foreign courts. Such legalizations are issued routinely by American embassies in the case of the Caribbean divorces.

It should really be stated, even so, that some US states (amongst them most drastically California) particularly do not recognise foreign divorces. (That even consists of Nevada divorces). Of course, this law was passed in the public interest, and has nothing at all to do with greedy Californian lawyers wanting all the action for themselves!

In England and Wales, the recognition of an overseas divorce is governed by Portion II of the Household Law Act 1986. Section 51(c) of that act permits the English court to refuse to recognise an overseas divorce as valid if such recognition would be ‘manifestly contrary to public policy.’ Courts are also granted discretion to refuse recognition if the divorce was obtained devoid of notice to the other celebration, which could be applicable to Haitian divorces.

A speedy verify shows that this English law has by no means been tested in the courts. So, even though it would look the English courts have some discretion to refuse recognition of foreign divorces, we can also see that in twenty years not 1 of the thousands of British citizens who have obtained Caribbean divorces has had any legal trouble in England simply because of it. I rest my case!


The courts of Hispaniola give, in several situations, an great chance to break absolutely free from the chains of matrimony, bypassing tortuously slow divorce procedures in other nations which can each financially and emotionally taxing. A handful of days can certainly imply a fresh begin in life. Nevertheless, this short article was intended only as a short introduction to a complicated topic. It really is extremely essential that you take acceptable qualified suggestions and study about this topic prior to taking any action that could posibly lead to unintented legal consequences.