My wife and I had an arranged marriage. There is a lot of pride and hurt feelings involved in the fact that it didn’t work out. We learned that she cannot have children — something I desperately want. I then asked her to adopt. She refuses. The marriage is over. It took months for me to get her to agree that we should just divorce. She is worried about the stigma of returning home to her family in India divorced. She is now a permanent resident here with a good job as a pharmacist — she does not have to leave.
Last week she agreed to sign the papers. I am giving her sufficient assets, even though we were not married long, so she can purchase a condo mortgage free. I think our deal is more than fair.
I just found out she gave notice at her job and bought a one-way ticket to India for Jan. 2. If she leaves, I will have a very hard time getting a divorce and it will take years for her to cooperate from India.
What can I do to make this happen faster?
You have a few options. If you live in Middlesex County, the two of you can sign all of the necessary paperwork including filling out your respective financial statement forms and joint petition for divorce. Take it to the Probate and Family Court one morning next week at 8 a.m. They will process your papers and send you to see a judge for a divorce.
If you don’t live in Middlesex County, depending on the county, things will likely take longer as you will have to wait for the court to grant you a date and it probably won’t be before she leaves. So, you have a few other options. You can file the paperwork with a request for an expedited hearing date because she is returning to India. If the court still won’t schedule an early hearing, your wife can file a motion to waive her appearance at the divorce hearing along with her affidavit. The affidavit would need to attest to the following facts: She read the agreement carefully and understands it, she reads and understands English, she was not coerced or unduly influenced to sign, she believes the agreement is fair and reasonable in the circumstances, and the marriage is irretrievably broken. She should hire a lawyer to represent her at the hearing in her absence.
Finally, if she refuses to sign next week, file a contested divorce and have her served before she leaves the country. If at that point she leaves without signing the agreement, after six months the court will grant you a pre-trial conference. If she does not show up, the judge can divorce you that day.