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Sherif v. Sherif

Sherif v. Sherif, 6 Misc. 2d 905; 352 N.Y.S.2d 781 (Fam. Ct. 1974) Court: Family Court of New York, New York County

The Court, in favor of the Husband, recognized a divorce obtained in Egypt that was in accordance with Egyptian law. Both Husband and Wife were Egyptian citizens.

The Court, in favor of the Husband, recognized a divorce obtained in Egypt that was in accordance with Egyptian law.  Both Husband and Wife were Egyptian citizens.

Husband and Wife, Egyptian nationals, were married in Egypt in 1971. They arrived in the U.S. in 1971, and in 1983, the couple went back to Egypt where the Husband obtained a divorce in accordance with Egyptian laws. The Wife brought a case in New York requesting spousal support. The Husband, in response, brought a motion to dismiss because the couple was already divorced. The Wife concedes that the divorce obtained in Egypt is valid. The issue is whether the court will recognize the Egyptian judgment.

The court, agreed with the Husband, and recognized the Egyptian divorce as a matter of comity. While the court stated that Egyptian laws on marriage were not approved by the court, the court’s approval was not required to validate a divorce obtained in accordance with the laws of a foreign nation. Both parties were Egyptian nationals, and there was no evidence of “impartial administration of justice” as in the case between citizens and non-citizens. The Wife’s petition for spousal support was dismissed.

Note: This ruling was distinguished in Ohio case, Ahmad v. Ahmad, 2001 Ohio App. LEXIS 5303 at 11 (2001), where the court recognized the foreign divorce, but granted the wife spousal support. In that case, the Husband had established legal residency in Ohio, and was a U.S. citizen at the time of the foreign divorce. Also, an issue in the matter was property division which is not addressed in this case.

Note: Cited in New Jersey case, Chaudry v. Chaudry, 388 A.2d 1000 at 1005 (1978), in support of validating foreign judgments that were amply litigated and decided in the foreign country.

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