People today move around a lot more than they used to. If you’re in the U.S. military, then this is especially true. If you were divorced in New York and move to another state for work or personal reasons, will the divorce be recognized there, allowing you to remarry if you meet someone else?
Yes, provided that certain conditions are met.
Full Faith and Credit
The Full Faith and Credit Clause in the U.S. Constitution requires every state to recognize and enforce the legal decisions of another state, provided those decisions do not violate the former’s laws or public policies. For example, if bigamous marriages were legal in New York but banned in New Jersey, the latter state would not recognize your union.
As long as you and your spouse followed two basic rules in obtaining the New York divorce, the decree will be accepted in your new state of residence. Those rules are:
- Whichever spouse filed for the divorce met the domicile or residence requirements for New York State.
- The other spouse was provided with notice of the divorce action.
A state court may also recognize an out-of-state divorce as a matter of comity, which is when one court recognizes the order or judgment of another out of courtesy, even though the law does not compel them to do so.
The comity factor is normally used when it comes to divorces granted in another country, but it can also be observed at the state level. This was typically seen when a state that only supported heterosexual unions recognized and enforced a same-sex divorce decree from New York.
Second state challenges
Divorce is an emotional endeavor, and it’s always possible that your spouse may challenge the divorce decree later if they believe that the court lacked the authority to grant it. Perhaps you moved to New York and initiated the divorce there—in that case, your spouse might try to claim that you were not living in the state long enough to meet the residency requirements or you failed to deliver notice of the divorce action to them. If they prove their case, then the divorce loses all validity, leaving you still legally married to your spouse and forcing you to file once again.
To prevent these challenges, your divorce must be legally and procedurally correct from the beginning. A New York divorce attorney can guide you on state requirements for marriage dissolution and ensure that you’ve taken reasonable steps to give your spouse notice of your intentions. This way, your divorce will be final as well as recognized in other states, so you can begin anew wherever you move. Jayson Lutzky has 35 years of legal experience. He has helped many highly satisfied clients file for divorce over the years. Call his office at 718-329-9500 to set up a free in-person consultation. Visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com to learn more.