Married In India-Divorce In USA Virginia Maryland Child Custody DC

As a law firm in Virginia and Maryland that often handles divorces cases for clients from India, we get numerous questions about how a divorce in Virginia or Maryland will affect them in India.

Mr. Sris’ has handled numerous US divorce cases for Indians living in USA. Divorce in Virginia or Maryland is different from that in India. 

Getting a divorce becomes more complicated when the parties have been married in another country such as India.

What our law firm usually sees is that while the parties may have gotten married in India, when they get to the USA, things don’t work out, and one of the spouses decides to get a divorce.

Common Reasons For Divorce Between Indian Couples In USA

  • Domestic violence between spouses.
  • Having family problems with the in-laws.
  • Financial problems especially if one spouse sends a lot of money to his or her family back in India.
  • Adultery
  • Transferring money to India to hide money from the other spouse

Getting a divorce in Virginia, Maryland or DC can be a complicated process especially when there are issues such as:

  • Property issues both in USA and in India
  • Child custody issues between the parties, especially when one of the parties wants to relocate to India with the child either during the divorce or after the divorce.
  • Another aspect of child custody disputes that occurs is when one of the parties takes or kidnaps the child and flees to India.

Therefore, to get a divorce in Virginia, Maryland or DC, you need the services of an experienced and skilled attorney like Mr. Sris, who is licensed to practice in Virginia Maryland and DC and is intimately familiar with Indian laws and issues such as land valuations in India, tracing money sent to India and serving individuals living in India.

Understanding the Indian laws such as the Hindu Marriage Act, Dowry Act, and 498A cases is critical for skilled and qualified representation of Indian couples getting divorced in the USA. The following are essential things required to file a divorce for people who were married in India and getting a divorce in the USA in states such as Virginia or Maryland.


Different states have different requirements regarding how long one has to live in a particular state before you can file for a divorce in the USA. You do not need to go back to India to file for a divorce. You are allowed to file in the state where you meet the residency requirements. Provide the relevant details to show that you and/or your partner meet the residency requirements and start filling for your divorce.

Obtain Service Of Process

Our law firm uses different private investigators to try and obtain personal service in India. Our law firm in Virginia and Maryland has established these networks because we want to assist our Indian clients obtain access to a fair justice system to file for a divorce.

One needs to obtain personal services in divorce cases when one is filing for child custody and one of the parties is residing in India with the child. Obtaining personal service in India helps a client strengthen their chances of initiating the divorce process and child custody case in USA.

Legal Separation

A couple can only get a limited divorce first before reaching the final divorce. The grounds for obtaining a final divorce may involve cruelty, desertion, adultery or divorce based on one year separate and apart.

You are able to initially file for a limited divorce which is also known as “divorce a mensa et thoro.” This means that you and your spouse have divorced but not entirely. This kind of divorce has some advantages like remaining on the same health insurance or tax benefits.

Waiting period

Divorces in Virginia, Maryland, and DC can be either contested or uncontested. A contested divorce is the case where the spouses cannot agree on one or more issues — for example, a couple that wishes to divorce but cannot conform to the financial statement terms or custody of their child. On the other hand, an uncontested divorce is one that the spouses agree to divorce, make a fair division of properties and enters into a separation agreement.

In our experience, the uncontested divorce typically takes two to three months after filling while the contested divorces can take between 15 months to 2 years. For those who have gone through contested divorce cases and no appeal was made, the divorce is final after the judge has signed the final decree and twenty-one days passes without an appeal being taken.


Our law firm believes that during the most challenging time in your marriage, one needs a lawyer that fully understands the situation to represent you. Mr. Sris assists Indian clients in Virginia, Maryland, and DC with different types of family law cases. This is due to his vast experience in handling those cases and others. Additionally, the attorney’s familiarity with the Indian culture helps him understand the clients’ needs better.

Things To Consider When Married In India And Divorcing in USA – Virginia Maryland or DC

Were you married in India, and want to divorce in the USA?

First, consider the following:

  • Understand all the underlying legal issues if you’re going to separate with your partner.
  • If you and your spouse are physically residing in the US, you have the same access to the courts as citizens.
  • Divorce may result in you having to change your visa status; immigration laws need to be taken into account.
  • The law of the state you live in applies, not the place where you were married.
  • Divorce can be very emotional.

Before you make any decision regarding your divorce process, always consult a professional law firm for advice. Mr. Sris is based out of the Fairfax Office. He has handled numerous Indian divorce cases in Fairfax, Loudoun, Arlington, Prince William and Alexandria in Virginia. He has also handled Indian divorce cases in Montgomery County, Howard County and Baltimore County in Maryland.


Additionally, Mr. Sris’ knowledge of the culture helps him relate to the client’s concerns about the following types of issues when a marriage takes place in India and a divorce occurs in USA – Virginia, Maryland or DC:

  • Dowry case being filed against them and the family in India,
  • That the other spouse is attempting to make a claim to a gift by the parents solely to one spouse
  • How cultural aspects such as caste and interreligious marriages may cause friction between spouses
  • In some cases, even how one spouse’s desire to eat non-vegetarian foods or consume alcohol may be causing friction in the marriage?
  • Gold jewelry given by the parents to one spouse is now being claimed by the other spouse

Based on his substantial experience of helping Indian clients for over 21 years and being a licensed attorney in Virginia, Maryland, and DC, Mr. Sris believes that it is critical that as your lawyer, to truly understand you in order to represent you well during such a difficult time in your life.

Mr. Sris’ experience enables him to not only assist clients of Indian origin with their divorce cases and collateral issues such as equitable distribution, child custody, child kidnapping, etc., but it also helps him assist clients with related issues such as criminal domestic violence charges, civil protective orders, and immigration-related issues such as cancellation of visas.

Often, criminal domestic violence charges go hand in hand with civil protective/peace orders. As such, it is difficult enough that the client is going through a divorce, on top of that, he/she has to deal with a criminal domestic violence charge and as a result of the civil protective/peace order, the individual cannot go back home and be with the children.

Divorce laws and procedures in the US are different from those in India. Before you take action on your divorce process, first consult an attorney from your home country and another in the USA. You might realize your country’s system might be substantially different from the US in terms of property distribution, child custody determination, etc.

When obtaining a divorce in the USA, one party may receive a divorce decree which may not be recognized by the Indian Courts with a reason that the foreign court has no jurisdiction over the case. The marriage gets recognized in one country and null in another. In India, such a person may be accused of bigamy, but in the US they are not considered guilty.

For all of the above reasons, if you got married in India and are facing a divorce in the US (Virginia, Maryland or DC), seriously consider contacting our law firm for help.

If you need a Virginia Divorce lawyerMaryland Divorce Attorney or Legal Counsel in DC to help you with your divorce case in Virginia, Maryland or DC, call us at 888-437-7747. Our divorce attorneys can help you.

Therefore, if you were married in India, but getting a divorce in USA, contact our law firm so we can help you get through this tough time.

A marriage in India, getting a divorce in USA does not have to be scary when you get the skilled representation of an Indian lawyer in Virginia, Maryland & DC.

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