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This does not come up often, but when it does, I find it very striking. Over the decades, two or three clients have asked me whether or not their Pennsylvania divorce would be valid if they were to leave the USA on vacation or if they moved out of the USA permanently. I immediately envisioned them, their divorces final, boarding an airliner and flying to, for example, England. They actually thought it might be the case that as soon as they got off the plane in London and their feet hit the ground there that they could find themselves somehow automatically remarried to the person they divorced in Pennsylvania! In some cases, those clients had even married their sweethearts and thought that the result could be being married to the new spouse AND the old one… instant bigamy! Some even harbored such thoughts about moving to another state, maybe even the state where their former spouses resided.

Of course, finding oneself remarried to a former spouse because of crossing an international or state border is an absurd concept. Look at it this way: A couple gets married in Pennsylvania. If they move to Canada or Illinois, are they suddenly both single again? Just as a Pennsylvania marriage license keeps you married when you cross a border, a Pennsylvania divorce decree keeps you divorced when you cross a border.

Just as our states must recognize as valid and binding the results of each other’s legal actions, so must the different countries. The chaos which would ensue otherwise is literally unimaginable. One crazy result would be that one could marry someone different in each of, say, fifty different countries but only be married to the spouse while in that particular spouse’s country and, at the same time, not be married to the other forty-nine. And, by going to a fifty-first country, that person would not be married to any of the fifty. I trust that makes it clear just how ridiculous that concept really is.

Get divorced from your spouse in Pennsylvania and you will remain divorced no matter to which country or state you may travel or move just as when many of you got married in another state or country found yourselves still married when you moved to Pennsylvania.