Mexican Law/divorce


I am a Mexican citizen in the US illegally.  Twenty two years ago I married a Mexican citizen in Illinois.  A year later we decided to part ways.  She said she would file for divorce and I left to Mexico confident that she would follow through.  I returned to Mexico and married by the church.  We came to live in Arizona where we had our 4 children.  My daughter, now 21 years old, is now married.  We decided to file for legal status through her but our legal aid has asked for my divorce decree.  I have requested a nationwide search for divorce records but have come up empty.    

If I find my ex wife, do I need to file for annulment?  Can I be charged for bigamy?  Can you offer me some advice?

Dear Daniel,

A church wedding in Mexico does not constitute a legal marriage. The only legal marriage in Mexico is a civil marriage in which an "acta de matrimonio" is filed in the local Registro Civil.

Assuming you did not have a civil marriage in Mexico, you are in fact still married to first woman. Therefore, no need to worry about bigamy. If you find her, you need to file for divorce, either in the US or Mexico. If you do it in Mexico, your presence is not necessary. You can send a poder notarial to your legal representative in Mexico.

Hope this helps...

Lic. John Lee Ward
Cordoba, Veracruz

Mexican Law

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John Lee Ward


I can respond to any question related to Mexican Law and common business practices in Mexico. I can also compare and contrast between the American and Mexican legal systems.


Licenciatura en Derecho from the Universidad del Golfo en Cordoba, Veracruz. (Cedula Profesional No. 5713238) Maestria en Derecho from the Universidad de Cristobal Colon en Veracruz, Veracruz. (Cedula Professional No. 6358321) Currently a Candidate for a Doctorado en Derecho from the Universidad de Cristobal Colon. 5 years of litigation experience in Mexico.

Bachelors in Electronic Engineering, California Polytechnic State Univ. Juris Doctor, Concord University in Los Angeles Licenciatura en Derecho, Universidad del Golfo, Mexico Maestria en Derecho, Universidad de Cristobal Colon, Mexico Doctorado en Derecho (In Progress), Universidad de Cristobal Colon, Mexico

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