* You are eligible to file for a divorce in Guam if either you or your spouse have been in Guam for 90 days (for a contested divorce) or seven (7) days (for an uncontested divorce).
“Uncontested divorce” can be obtained when a couple agree on the divorce and division of property.
“Contested divorce” is when a couple disagree on the divorce, property division or child custody/support.
These required periods of time (7 or 90 days) are much shorter than the time required to obtain a divorce judgment in the United States.
In most cases, a divorce judgement obtained in Guam will be recognized by the courts in all 50 United States, so that you will be able to marry another person, and may be able to exercise your rights on marital property and children without having to satisfy the long residency requirements of any U.S. states.
We practice various fields of family law including divorce,child support, property division and child adoption.
For immediate questions or assistance with family law matters in Guam, please contact our attorney at the following:
Types of Divorce:
As mentioned above, there are two different types of divorce: “contested divorce” and “uncontested divorce.”
Grounds for Divorce:
The grounds for divorce in Guam are as follows:
2. Conviction of a Felony
3. Extreme Cruelty
4. Habitual Intemperance
5. Irreconcilable Differences
6. Willful Desertion
7. Willful Neglect
If you declare habitual intemperance, willful desertion or willful neglect, as your grounds for divorce you must prove that it lasted for more than one year.
If you claim adultery, you must file for divorce within two years after finding out about the adultery.
Property division after a divorce depends on whether you pursue a contested or uncontested divorce. If you choose an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse can put virtually anything you want in the divorce decree, because an uncontested divorce is essentially a contract between the two of you.
If spouses can agree to the terms of a divorce, a judge is not likely to overrule the agreement unless it is designed to hurt a child or either spouse. If you go through with a contested divorce, the judge will make most of the decisions about how property is divided.
Guam is a "community property" jurisdiction, meaning that the judge will equally divide everything that is considered community property, which is everything acquired by each spouse while married. All income earned during the marriage (and everything bought with that income) is community property and can be divided between each spouse. Any property acquired before marriage, and anything they inherited or given as gifts, is generally considered "separate property" and won't be divided by the court. Pensions and retirement pay may or may not be community property, depending on several factors.
Child Custody and Child Support:
▷ Child Support:
In terms of child custody, the court considers what it believes to be the best interest of the child. If the child is mature, then the child’s wish is taken into account.
If the circumstances change regarding the best interest of the child, then the court can change the custody order or modify the terms of the custody.
In general, visitation rights will be given to the non-custodial parent under liberal terms. If the parents are not able to agree on the visitation, the court determines the visitation schedule.
▷ Child Support:
The court can order a parent to pay child support while the child is a minor, based on the parent’s income and other guidelines by the Family Division of the Superior Court of Guam.
Adopting a child eliminates all rights of the biologicalparent to the child, and gives those rights to the adopting parent.
The most common is step-parent adoption, by which a step-parent adopts his or her step-child.
The following must be satisfied to obtain a decree of adoption:
- The parental rights of the biological parent must be terminated.
- The adopting parents must prove to the court that they are suitable parents. In Guam, a probationary period is required in which the child lives with the adoptive parents and is observed by Social Services. However, this probationary period can be waived for good cause.
- The adoption must be in the child’s best interest.
- If the child is over twelve years old, he or she must consent to the adoption.
Guam : 238 Archbishop Flores St., Suite 802, Hagatna, GU 96910
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