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Religion and culture play roles in marriage and divorce too

A couple must obtain a marriage license from the state of California in order to be considered married under the eyes of the law. Whether a marriage is considered legal under state law affects matters such as retirement or Social Security benefits. The same is true for divorce, and whether it has been finalized by the state can matter in regards to property that is considered marital property. 

While the laws of California are important in a marriage and divorce, this isn't the only set of laws that may be in play. For many Americans, religious laws or cultural traditions may affect how an individual or family approaches a marriage or divorce. Arranged marriages are one of these cultural traditions that a lot of first-generation South Asian-Americans have to decide if they are going to follow.

It isn't a surprise that some of these first-generation adults disagree with their parents after living in "a different environment than the kids back home," said a mother who had immigrated from Pakistan. "The expectations from both sides are different, too."

As a first-generation child of two immigrants from India, one 29-year-old woman honored her family's traditions. She wed a man in India, and immediately after, they spent much of their marital relationship communicating through Skype, her in the states and him in India. Two years later, the couple filed for divorce.

"I learned that we were two different people with two different goals in life," she said of their relationship. Although it was arranged by their parents, the young girl still "felt betrayed and deceived" by her ex-spouse. She felt that she was basically an avenue for a green card.

Of course, not everyone has had the same experience. Some have decided to take the "marry for love" route, and even others are in lasting marriages that had been arranged by their parents.

For couples that want to divorce, what is important is that they find a Sacramento divorce attorney that understands the unique circumstances of their marriage -- whatever they might be.

Source:, "Arranged marriages not for everyone," Diana David, April 2, 2014

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Victoria S. Linder Law Office
5303 Folsom Boulevard
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Phone: 916-905-4805
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