Must I Find an Old Divorce Decree to File My Immigration Petition?

06 Sep 2017

So, next question is from Max, and it goes. “I need to research a divorce that took place back in 1974. I don’t have any records of the divorce. Do I need to include this in my petition? If so, how do I find this paperwork?”

Okay, I’ll take that one. Short answer is, there’s no getting around providing copies … Photocopies of your divorce decree. That means that you’re going to have to find those documents or records somehow. I know I went through a similar process when I brought my wife to the United States. And, I let my fingers do the walking and used a favorite tool of mine called Google Maps. And, I went in. I actually, found the courthouse where I thought the final divorce paperwork would be. Found out that, that courthouse no longer existed. But, by finding phone numbers, I was rerouted and directed to the correct courthouse. Then I found out that the court records had moved.

Anyway, with a couple of phone calls, I was able to track down the records. So, use Google Maps. Make phone calls. If you have too, even call your ex or family members or something. Just find out where those records are, cause you’re gonna have to have those records. If the records are not available, you can obtain a letter from the courthouse or the clerk reporter, the record’s division, wherever they have the records. Stating that the records were lost, destroyed. That’s quite common with records 30 – 40 years ago that some of the courthouses may have been destroyed. They have floods, fires, things like that.

But, the short answer is you’ve gotta get the records. And, a lot of folks, a lot of customers will ask us. “Well, can I go ahead and submit my paperwork now without the divorce decree?” And it’ll not make it through our review process. We have a very extensive review process and, we’re not going to submit your paperwork. Our name is on those forms and we want to submit the best case possible.

So, the answer’s no. Don’t ask us to submit it without it. You’re just going to get an RFE, a Request For Evidence or denial letter.

Awesome. I’ll add, one of the lines I used a lot especially, when dealing with customer is, “Hey, you want to be as open and transparent as possible when you’re dealing with the government and your spouse or fiancee, you’re petitioning for.” Because, the last thing you want is, to try to sweep something under the rug and think you’ll get away with it and the next thing you know, they’re asking for the divorce decree anyway or, you get a denial and have to start all over.

So, it’s usually kinda, put your best foot forward from the beginning even if it slows you down cause later on, it could slow you down even more.

You bring up an excellent point. Several of our customers, previous customers, have tried to do exactly that. Tried to submit a petition without even mentioning the prior marriages and divorces. And, I’ll just be honest and frank with you. The government knows more about us than we know about ourselves and if you think you can get this to slide through and go unnoticed, they know about it. Look, you’re previous spouses were on your records somewhere. Whether it be tax forms or mortgages. There’s a paper trail out there so, just don’t even try it cause the last thing you want to do is to get your loved on, your fiance or spouse, banned from the US. Cause it’s a very serious crime, lying on government forms. And even, if you just withhold evidence or information, it’s just wrong. So don’t do it.

Disclaimer: The contents of this post were accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing. Immigration is constantly changing, and old information often becomes outdated, including procedures, timelines, prices, and more. Take note of the publish date. For archival purposes, these posts will remain published, even if new information renders them obsolete. Do not make important life decisions based on this content. No part of this post should be considered legal advice, as RapidVisa is not a law firm. This content is provided free of charge for informational purposes only. If anything herein conflicts with an official government website, the official government website shall prevail.

One Thought on “Must I Find an Old Divorce Decree to File My Immigration Petition?

  1. Hello Sir, I have a small query. Last week I got my spouse visa denial from US consulate in India because of unavailability of divorce decree of my previous marriage. I am a Hindu and from Patel caste. We being a Hindu as per the Hindu Marriage Act clause Section 29(2) in The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. (2) Nothing contained in this Act shall be deemed to affect any right recognised by custom or conferred by any special enactment to obtain the dissolution of a Hindu marriage, whether solemnized before or after the commencement of this Act. Hence we generally do divorce by mutual “deed of divorce” which is valid document in India. Based on this deed, I was able to register my second marriage in the register of marriage and also obtained my passport with my second I mean my current spouse who is a US citizen and many key documents like Aadhar Card, Election card etc. If this deed of divorce was invalid, I wouldn’t be able to obtain all these documents from government of India. The same set of documents were cleared by USCIS in USA, but I am not able to understand why US consulate in having the problem. Furthermore they are asking Divorce decree in the same date mentioned in the Deed of divorce which is almost two years back. How am I supposed to get a backdated divorce decree even if I apply now for it. At the time of divorce, obviously I was not aware that I will marry a US citizen and there it will be required however it was not required by USCIS when they approved the case, they were satisfied with the DEED OF DIVORCE but here in India US consulate raised a problem and he wants it in back date which is not possible. However at that time, I had filed a case of domestic violence and finally we mutually agreed to take divorce on mutual consent. I have a case disposal statement from the civil judge in which he mentioned that they have agreed to take divorce on mutual consent before closing the case with his signature and stamp. Judgement is in Gujarati language so if I submit the translated motorized copy with original letter appended, will it surve the purpose. Your kind advice would be a great help to me sir. I will be very grateful to you. Please reply me on my email given above.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Ravi Patel.

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