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Divorce - wife in India, husband in USA

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  • Divorce - wife in India, husband in USA

    Indian citizen husband, got married In India and brought wife here on H4. Subsequently, had a child born in USA, US citizen. Wife deserted husband and kidnapped child to India under the guise of a vacation and refused to return. After 3 years of not returning and letting H4 visa expire, filed a domestic violence case in India to extort huge sums of money for maintenance, etc - this case is being dragged in the courts now for 8 years.

    Wife has now filed for divorce demanding even a much larger sum of money under the Hindu Marriage Act, case pending.

    I have tried to settle the case by mutual consent for years but it has not gone anywhere as the wife does not want to divorce or remarry and is only interested in extortion. My legal immigration status has transitioned to green card and I can apply for US citizenship now. No end in sight for the Indian divorce though.

    Any advice or guidance will be much appreciated on how I may be able to get myself out of this mess rather than keep paying lawyers in India and living with this for god knows how long.

    Some questions:
    1. Impact of getting US citizenship on court cases in India. (doubt it matters)
    2. Impact of me traveling to India (only emergency situations if ever given parents are in India) with domestic violence and divorce cases pending and me not paying any maintenance and fighting cases on merit - can Indian courts stop a US citizen from traveling back or doing an arrest on any charges such as non payment of maintenance, etc. Does the US consulate help in anyway with such action on US citizen (none of this is considered a criminal matter and therefore hoping US consulate would come to some kind of a rescue in extreme situations)
    3. Cannot file for divorce in US with pending divorce matter filed by wife in India (possible jurisdictional issue with divorce proceeding pending in another country). Any other legal recourse to end the matter in US.

    I have seen many helpful threads on the forum and am hoping someone will be able to guide me here given the legal recourse in India is non-existent given one party does not want to end the matter and only wants to extort money and drag the case in India.

  • #2
    1. A "domestic violence" case is a very serious matter. You need to declare all citations, issues with law enforcement & court issues you have had anywhere in the world and at any age when filing an N400 form. USCIS will ask for evidence including court filing, disposition of the case etc. before ever granting you citizenship. If you lie about this (and not declare), your citizenship could be revoked later.
    2. Yes, a US citizen can be detained in India, prevented from flying out & even jailed. You passport could be taken into custody and not allowed to leave till a judge decides your fate in court or gives a judgement in your favor.
    This is no different than shop lifting in India, importing / using drugs etc. You are subject to Indian laws while in India.
    That being said, you will have access to US consular services as a US citizen (including a lawyer etc) but you need to pay for these services.
    3. Since you were married in India, it is best to get the divorce certificate from the same country. I would strongly advise you consult a US Lawyer (family / divorce specialty) and get their advice on how to proceed.
    Opinion only. Cannot be construed as legal advice.


    • #3
      Can you tell us how much money are we talking here that she is asking? You need to think about that money as an investment for your future. May be you find a better job as with US citizenship your options will open and then you can pay the amount she is asking for.


      • #4
        For reference, a typical on average divorce in USA will cost you 100-150K USD


        • #5
          The procedure for divorce depends on both the nationality of the spouses and the country in which they reside and the presence of joint children, and other factors. So, all married couples have different circumstances when the marriage dissolves, so each spouse needs an individual approach.
          I would try to settle this situation between the spouses, perhaps the wife would agree to the divorce for a certain amount of alimony. When I got divorced, I went to attorneys but I had a different situation.
          Last edited by vicwoods; 04-01-2022, 09:09 AM.


          • #6
            Originally posted by minkathebest View Post
            For reference, a typical on average divorce in USA will cost you 100-150K USD
            That's how much its gonna cost??