Ceremony in fiji, reside in NC


#1

Both my husband and I are US citizens and have always resided in the USA in the same state. In December 2009, I had a wedding ceremony at the Westin/Sheraton in Fiji. We got a piece of paper from the preacher, however nothing was ever turned in to any authority in the USA. This includes any state office, I never changed my name, I haven’t notified the social security office. From the USA side, it is like it doesn’t exist.

Essentially I want to terminate the marriage in the most effective/expedient manner.

Hopefully you can provide me the information I need to make a decision on how to proceed and can represent me in this matter further as I separate from this person. Some questions that come to mind are below however I am sure there are other things I havent though off:
Am I really legally married to this person (in terms of Fiji law and the USA law), or was this just a ceremony
If yes to the above question, what procedure do I need to do with Fiji to terminate this ?
Can the marriage be annulled or must we divorce ? (I prefer the easiest and most expedient)
Can it be terminated in Fiji or must it be terminated in the USA ?
What if 1 party isn’t in agreement to divorce, how would this be handled ? Can he contest this separation
Do any USA North Carolina rules of marriage apply to this situation at all (in North Carolina, a separation agreement is needed and physical separation for 1 year before the actual divorce can take place. This also protects me financially while the divorce or annulment is in process)
What rules of separation of assets applies in this case. Is it Fiji or USA law, I need to pretect my assets pre this marriage ceremony?
How long will it take? from the time I say go ahead to termination
Does either or both parties need to go to Fiji or can this be done while we are in the USA
Do I need a USA attorney or Fiji attorney. I would expect my spouse to get a USA attorney if we actually have to get a divorce
Thanks in advance for your attention and response


#2

I highly doubt you will be eligible for an annulment. There is no time period for annulment.

The grounds for an annulment in NC are as follows:

If one or both of the parties is under the age of 18 when they were married;
If the parties are related by blood to a degree closer than 1st cousins;
If either one of the parties was incompetent to marry at the time they were married (for example, mentally incompetent);
If one of the parties is impotent; or
If one of the parties commited fraud (for example, Husband and Wife got married b/c Wife told Husband she was pregnant, and she wasn’t.)

If the marriage ceremony is legal in the place where it occurred, North Carolina generally accepts it. If you have a valid marriage in a foreign country, then North Carolina will look to see if the marriage was valid under the laws where you married and if it is within our laws here. So, as long as your marriage does not violate our basic laws on marriage (for example, as long as you are not a second wife in a polygamous marriage), yes, your marriage should be valid here in North Carolina.

Best of luck.


#3

But since I did not register the certificate in the US / NC, did not change my name or go to the social secuirty office - would US/ NC ever have knowledge of this ceremony? Also -could i get a divorce in Fiji - would that be the quickest way to do it - or do I have to do it in the US? I want to get out of this as quickly as possible - thank you for your help


#4

The marriage would still be recognized in North Carolina.