I have found one firm that fits all your needs, but first, let me
start off this answer with a good, all-purpose disclaimer/cautionary
note from Nevada Divorce Net:
"You should be cautious of companies selling Dominican, Haiti, Mexico
or other country divorces without requiring a personal appearance (if
required by that country) or without both parties signing the divorce
papers. According to the Dominican Republic Embassy and Mexico Embassy
some companies are selling divorces that are invalid in the Dominican
Republic, Mexico and the United States. These divorces are valid in
the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the United States only when both
spouses sign the divorce papers and (if required by that country) one
spouse appears for the hearing in the foreign country, or as is the
case in Mexico, one party has resided in Mexico for 6 months. Also,
please take note that some overseas companies that claim business
addresses in Florida or elsewhere in the U.S. are not in fact located
here, but rather are overseas companies."
A major point to keep in mind is, if your divorce is only recognized
in the country in which it was granted, you may not be able to
re-marry without committing bigamy, a serious offense in most
countries, including the United States.
OK, now that that's out of the way:
Global Divorce is the only and only service I can find that fits all
your parameters: it doesn't require your spouse to sign papers, or you
to appear in court because you grant the firm power of attorney to
represent you in court. That is, the lawyer acts as your "stand-in":
"Is This Legal?
Now, in the real world, it works like this: You get a Global Divorce?
through the Dominican Republic, Haiti or Mexico, any State in the
U.S., Canada or any other jurisdiction and it's legal as long as it
was properly done according to the laws of the jurisdiction where it
was done and it's also considered valid. In the case of the Global
Divorce? do through the Dominican Republic, Haiti or Mexico or State
Court Magistrate, attaches a statement that says the divorce is worthy
of "Full Faith and Credit". At that point it's as valid as any other
divorce. And, if no one ever challenges the divorce in court, it
remains forever valid.
"But what happens if someone DOES challenge the validity of a specific
Global Divorce?? THAT'S when you get into the whole can of worms
called civil law. Anything can happen - whether you're talkingabout
Global Divorce? or German divorce or any other type of legal action.
The point is, that Global Divorce? is just as valid - not more so -
not less so - than a divorce issued by any other jurisdiction."
Read Global Divorce's FAQ:
This firm fits all of your parameters: the divorce can be obtained
quickly in either Haiti, Guam, or Mexico. (Whichever country is most
in alignment with your situation re: contested divorce.)
It isn't necessary for either spouse to appear in court, as you will
be granting (I'm assuming "temporary"!) power of attorney to Global
Divorce. "This allows our lawyers to legally act on your behalf as it
regards to divorce and eliminates your need to travel."
"What if my spouse does not agree?
A Global Divorce can still be granted. The Dominican Republic, Mexican
and Haitian Divorce Court issues a Notification to be posted. If there
is no response by your spouse in a timely manner, then your divorce is
granted by default. No one can make you stay married to them!
"Are Global Divorces Legal?
Among the states that have expressly recognized this principle are New
York (Rosenstiel v. Rosenstiel, 16 N.Y.2d 64, 209 N.E.2d 709, 262
N.Y.S.2d 86),Connecticut (Yoder v. Yoder, 31 Conn. Supp. 345,
330 A.2d 825)Wood v. Wood 16 N.Y. 2nd. 64 (65). Even the
Internal Revenue Service recognizes Global divorces. Estate of Felt v.
Comm'r, 54 T.C.M. (CCH) 528 (1987). When entered into in good faith
and not for a sham tax-avoidance purpose, the Internal Revenue Service
recognizes foreign divorces. Estate of Felt v. Comm'r, 54 T.C.M.(CCH)
Global Divorce's phone number is 1-800-297-9102, or 1-414-241-6629.
More information, see page:
At Global Divorce's homepage:
Scroll down and you'll see they're partnered with Internet Legal Referrals, Inc.
Contact Information for Internet Legal Referrals, Inc.
Phone 414-241-6629 (which is also the toll number for Global Divorce, above.)
Internet Legal Referrals
(PMB-180) 3473 S. MLK
(That address would be a private mail box at -- I believe -- the
University of Illinois at Chicago)
You can also contact Global Divorce to ask them a question via e-mail
at their FAQ page:
Please note that when I did a separate Web search for "Internet Legal
Referrals, Inc.," I got a match with "Off Shore Legal Referrals,"
which has the same address as Internet Legal Referrals, Inc., and a
reprint of "Is This Legal?" at:
and that site is linked to Global Divorce.
Also see another "Antilles Offshore" site:
"Before seeking a divorce in the Dominican Republic, U.S. citizens
should be aware of possible legal restrictions by their state of
residence on divorces obtained abroad. It is advisable to contact an
attorney of your state of residence to determine whether or not the
courts of your state will recognize a Dominican Republic divorce as
valid . . . .
A foreigner can obtain a divorce for cause (e.g., incompatibility of
character, adultery, etc.). The divorce for cause requires the
personal appearance of the plaintiff *or his representative* . . . ."
In the menu at left, see "FAQ." When you click on it, it brings up:
which is a duplicate of Global Divorce's FAQ.
So, you get the picture: All roads lead to Global Divorce.
I did search the Better Business Bureau's Chicago office online at
but failed to find any reports/complaints on Internet Legal Referrals,
Inc., Off Shore Legal Referrals, or Global Divorce.
If it would make you feel more comfortable, contact the Illinois
Attorney General's Office:
concerning Internet Legal Referrals and Inc. and Off Shore Legal
Referrals, Inc., of Chicago.
Also, I did call Global Divorce's 1-800-297-9102 to ask a few
questions, but they have a recording that asks you to leave a "very
detailed" message concerning your case. So, when you call them, be
prepared for exactly what and how much you want to tell them. As part
of your message, you must leave a phone number where they can call you
THE NEXT BEST THING:
Fresh Pond Travel Agency's Foreign Divorce Department:
This firm can help you get a quick contested divorce in Haiti, but you
must appear at a brief hearing in a Haiti court room. You don't even
have stay in the country overnight; you can just fly in to make the
court appearance. In a contested divorce in Haiti, the divorce will
become final 21 days after the judge grants your request. (In
contrast, a mutual consent divorce is final within 1 or 2 days. )
However, as you know, this isn't a very good time to visit Haiti --
even for just a day! But things may settle down there soon, and you
may want to consider a Haiti divorce because your spouse doesn't have
to sign any papers for you to be granted the divorce.
I am giving you this travel-required resource for possible future
reference, because you may eventually decide to -- or you may have no
choice but to -- make a very brief trip to obtain a quick contested
divorce, if things don't work out with Global Divorce.
I'm afraid my Web searches resulted in very few options for getting a
quick contested divorce with only one spouse's signatures on the
divorce papers. Again, Global Divorce is the only firm I found that
fits your needs precisely.
North American Divorce:
Since I'm not sure where you're located, and in case you are American
or Canadian, try these services:
Complete Case (well-known online service)
You will have to call them to discuss the intricacies of a contested
divorce and the specific laws of the state or province in which you
Background Reading/Informative Articles:
At LAMP Legal Eagle:
read their "Overseas Divorce" page:
MSN Money's "Get An Online Divorce" by Jennifer Mulrean, at:
Focuses on the two North American resources I gave you: LegalZoom and CompleteCase.
"Internet Divorce Not Worth Paper It's Printed On":
From a New York-WABC news report, filed June 13, 2003, by Lauren Defranco.
Fast Divorce Worldwide:
"Don't be fooled by some paralegal services, unscrupulous attorneys or
phantom Internet companies, that offer you a divorce in Dominican
Republic by proxy, by mail, without traveling and/or *without the
consent of your spouse.*
"Dominican Divorce Law No.142 is clear: both parties must agree to
file for divorce, both parties must sign the divorce documents, and at
least one of them must appear before the Judge the day of the hearing,
in Dominican Republic."
Divorce Information Source:
is a good reference resource.
"divorce AND online AND contested
"fast contested divorce"
"quick contested divorce"
" 'contested divorce' 'one party won't sign papers' "
" 'fast divorce' AND contested AND 'won't sign papers' "
"valid overseas divorce"
" 'Global Divorce' AND scam"
" 'temporary power of attorney' AND foreign AND divorce"
"fast divorce spouse won't sign papers"
"need quick contested divorce"
" 'quick divorce' AND 'contested' "
" 'Offshore Legal Referrals' AND complaints"
"Mexico quick divorce"
I hope my research is of help to you. If you have trouble navigating
any of these links, or if you need me to clarify anything, please post
a "Request For Clarification" prior to rating my answer.
Clarification of Answer by
26 Feb 2004 13:50 PST
Hello again iain72-ga:
I did hear back from Global Divorce, and I also found another firm
that also represents divorce claimants via proxy. (The latter firm
practices in the same countries as Global Divorce, with the addition
of Pakistan, and says it can get you a "unilateral" divorce since your
spouse won't sign papers.)
First, Global Divorce: I asked them several key questions:
I asked them if a client grants grant power of attorney to the firm to
represent them in court: how long would that power of attorney last;
what are the parameters?
Global Divorce explained the Power of Attorney is a "limited to the
'granting of your divorce'." That part of their contract reads: "I
grant to the Attorney herein named, such other powers as may be
necessary in the divorce proceedings above described, including the
right to file any appeal required, file cross actions, challenge
Judges and to withdraw same, and, including the right to substitute
this mandate and revoke such substitutions."
I asked in which specific countries can they represent clients via
power of attorney?
They have lawyers in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti who can
I also asked about Mexico, since you and I both understood there is a
6-month residency requirement.
Their response surprised me: "There is not universal divorce law in
Mexico, just as there is no universal law in the USA. Each
County/State in the US has different divorce requirements, such is the
case in Mexico: each Mexican state has its own requirements. We select
those states where residency is done via power of attorney."
I checked that at InternationalDivorce.com's page on Mexico:
It indeed says: "Divorce laws vary somewhat from one state to another
within the Republic of Mexico."
Regarding your concerns that you must be able to obtain this divorce
even though your spouse won't sign the papers. Global Divorce's
"In cases where the spouse's signature is not available at the time of
the application for divorce, then a notice must be posted to the
missing spouse in the 'Country that actually grants the divorce'.
"In practical terms her husband *will not know about the divorce*
until she actually sends him a copy or has the attending attorney send
him a copy. The divorce will be legally done, recorded, certified and
then translated into English."
"A divorce can be done, but property issues cannot be addressed.
Additionally [if you were fighting over property or custody] the
divorce can be challenged in her local court by her ex-spouse. The
divorce would only dissolve the marriage and make no comment about
property. The draw back is, that her husband can make her appear in
court *as it relates to the property.*
"If she is willing to forego all property, then a Global Divorce would
work nicely for her."
So, if you just plain want out of this marriage, the Global Divorce
firm should meet your needs just fine. (I'm sure you're well aware
that if you are fighting with your spouse over the division of
property or custody of children, there is no way you can avoid going
through the courts in the jurisdiction where you reside.)
Their contact info again is:
(There is an e-mail form at that page. They WILL respond.)
Or call 1-800-297-9102, or 1-414-241-6629.
The other firm I found for you is Shalimar International Ltd's "Quick
& Fast Divorce":
Operates pretty much the same way as Global Divorce: one of their
lawyers represents you by proxy, meaning you don't have to travel and
make a court room appearance.
"Currently we offer choice of four countries (based on court load and
availability), Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico and Pakistan.
"Regardless of where you got married, one can get a divorce in a
foreign country, which is legally recognized by the U.S. courts. A
legal divorce in one jurisdiction is honored in all other
jurisdictions under the legal principle known as 'COMITY.' Under this
principle of law, a divorce legally obtained in one state or another
country receives 'full faith and credit' in all other states and
countries that recognize divorce.
"The legality of these foreign divorces were tried three times in the
United States court: Twice in the Supreme Court of Appeals, Rosenstiel
v. Rosenstiel, 16 NY 2nd 70 and Wood v. Wood, 16 NY 2nd 64, 65 and
once in a single ruling rendered by the State of Illinois. All foreign
divorces were upheld as valid and binding.
"If only one of the parties signs, the divorce granted will be a
Unilateral divorce (single party).
"This is a simple divorce that does not deal with :
(a) division of personal assets
(b) child custody
"Procedure for proxy divorce ( with no court appearance ) : All paper
work is sent by mail, courier or telefax. Divorce is granted the next
business day, after the receipt of paperwork.
"Final decree: Following the granting of the official decree, together
with an official English translation, is sent to us by courier within
7 - 10 days. Decree is then sent by mail to the client. Accordingly,
client receives the final decree of divorce within approximately two
weeks of filling with us.
"Attorneys handling your divorce will be qualified, licensed, and very
experienced and able to represent you in court promptly and
efficiently per your instructions. If your divorce is not granted for
any reason, your money will be refunded."
They have an e-mail form at the bottom of that page: FastDivorce@yahoo.com
A good all-purpose reference site for you is InternationalDivorce.com:
which is maintained by the international law firm of Morley & Trager,
which is based in New York City.
At left, in the menu on the above page, scroll all the way down to
"International Family Law," which provides links to overviews of
divorce laws in numerous, various countries where this firm has
I would also recommend that you contact attorney Jeremy Morley who is
the head of "International Divorce Law Office" at the firm of Morley &
Trager. Read about him at:
His contact information is:
Toll-free Phone: 888-393-1923 (That is also the fax number).
Phone Number for outside the USA: 1-201-224-2219
Morley asks that you send him an e-mail explaining your situation in
detail, then arrange to telephone him. There is a charge for the
Even though you've said you'll be satisfied if the divorce is
recognized ONLY in the country where it is granted, I feel compelled
to again remind you of the potential pitfalls.
So, I would think the cost of a consult with someone like Mr. Morley
would be well worth it. He has the expertise to advise you very
comprehensively; especially concerning the pitfalls of a divorce that
may not be recognized outside the country where it was issued.
Here is a cautionary article worth reading:
Wired News' June 5, 1998 article "The Three-Day Divorce Wonder," by Craig Bickell:
I hope this additional information helps you.