Information Covering A Dominican Divorce

By Staff Writer

It is a common misconception that a party who otherwise would not have an action for divorce in the United States has the right to travel to the Dominican Republic and obtain an automatic divorce. This misconception is particularly common in States where grounds for divorce must be established and a party who desires a divorce does not have grounds. While the Dominican Republic has an expedited divorce procedure, not all States recognize Dominican Divorce judgments and, the Dominican Republic itself will require that certain requirements be met before a divorce can be granted.

In 1971, the Dominican Republic relaxed its divorce law to attract foreigners desiring a quick and easy divorce. While only one party must be present in Court, the absent party must appear by written Special Power of Attorney and authorize an attorney to appear for him and consent to the divorce. It is important to note that at least the appearance of one party is required. Some companies are beginning to offer mail order divorces contending that a divorce can be granted absent the appearance of either party. You should be forewarned about these types of services insofar as the divorce obtained will be invalid in the United States.

Dominican divorces are generally looked upon with disfavor in the United States. Where neither party was domiciled in the Dominican Republic prior to the divorce, a U.S. court is not required to recognize the divorce decree. In order to withstand scrutiny, it is essential that there be strong and indisputable proof of the absent party’s consent to the divorce. Absent this consent, most jurisdictions will not enforce the divorce. Even with the consent of both parties, many States will refuse to recognize a foreign divorce if neither party was domiciled in that country prior to the issuance of the divorce judgment.

Whether or not a Dominican divorce will be recognized in your State depends on your States particular laws. To ensure that your rights are protected, and time and money not wasted, you should consult with a local attorney before considering a foreign divorce.