Many clients have asked me whether the divorce courts take into account the nationality or immigration status of the parties to a divorce lawsuit. What they mean is: will their immigration status prejudice their case? My answer normally takes various forms: first, the judges are human and can’t help but notice that the parties may not be able to speak English. The judge can’t escape noticing when one or more foreign language translators are being used by the parties, however, I have yet to see a judge in the divorce courts call the sheriff to arrest a party, or witnesses in the divorce proceeding when the topic of citizenship raises its head in the courtroom.
Either party may feel that some advantage could be obtained from exposing the adverse party to the scrutiny of the judge for being illegally in the country, however, I believe a subset of the don’t ask, don’t tell mentality insulates the parties when they step into the divorce court. Perhaps in Arizona or Texas, the judges would set the sheriff loose on the illegal immigrants in the divorce courts, however, I have never heard of Oklahoma judges arresting an illegal immigrant in a divorce proceeding.
There may be an impact felt by the either of the parties, based upon being an illegal immigrant and for better or worse being forced into participating in an Oklahoma Divorce Proceeding, however, getting arrested for filing a divorce is not one of the dangerous risks associated with the divorce courts.