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Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law Firm, Inc.

What Foreign Nationals Should Know When Getting A California Divorce

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law Firm, Inc.A divorce is not as simple as two individuals going their separate ways after their marriage fails. There is a legal proceeding and there are many factors that will decide the outcome of the divorce. One of them is legal citizenship. In the US, each state has their own separate laws but most require individuals to belong from that particular state before a divorce can take place. Before we understand the California rules and regulations regarding divorce of foreign citizens, we must first understand the residency requirements.

Residency requirements

If a foreign citizen stays in California for more than 6 months, he or she can get a divorce in California. However, it may also depend on where the spouse is staying at the time of divorce. In California, a court can proceed with a divorce and divide assets irrespective of where the couple had been staying before the divorce.

For foreign nationals, getting a divorce is equally painful as it is for any other person. Often, when the individual is of foreign nationality, the chances of having a non-mutual divorce is high.

Non-mutual divorce

If one spouse, who is not an American citizen, files for a divorce, then the divorce laws will still be applicable for the couple. However, the individual must meet the minimum residence requirement. If that is fulfilled, then the divorce takes place as usual. Non-mutual divorce for foreign nationals are treated in the same way as other divorces. The court will look at grounds for divorce. It will ask the couples to go through mediation if substantial evidence is found.

Divorce attorney

Foreign nationals must contact good divorce lawyers if they face a divorce threat. A divorce lawyer who has experience with handling foreign divorce cases can give beneficial advice. Also, since the chances of foreign assets and properties being present as part of the divorce is high, divorce lawyers can help make informed decisions.


Foreign nationals who want to get a divorce in California must bear in in mind that until they meet the minimum residency requirement, they can’t get a divorce. Also, they must hire a good and experienced divorce lawyer who is used to dealing with cases involving foreign nationals.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

divorce_attorneyGerald A. Maggio is an experienced Orange County divorce attorney and family law attorney located in Irvine, California, serving the Orange County and Riverside areas. Mr. Maggio assists clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, divorce mediation, child custody, prenuptial agreements, stepparent adoptions, and other family law issues. Mr. Maggio has practiced law in California since 1999, and founded The Maggio Law Firm in 2005, focusing exclusively on divorce and family law matters.



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