In late 2009, however, Mohammad divorced Fariha under Pakistani law, in Pakistan, where they were visiting at the time (both of them have returned to the U.S. since then, and Mohammad has remarried). In 2011, Fariha petitioned for divorce in Texas, and argued that the Pakistani divorce decree should not be recognized. Tuesday, a Texas Court of Appeals panel rejected Fariha’s argument, and concluded that the Pakistani divorce should indeed be recognized under Texas law.
The court also concluded that the Pakistani divorce should be recognized as valid under Texas law (much as Texas law routinely recognizes foreign divorces and other foreign judicial decrees, under the doctrine of “comity”). “The question before the trial court was not whether the parties satisfied the statutory requirements to file a divorce petition in Texas, but whether to recognize the Pakistani divorce as a valid divorce that terminated the Ashfaqs’ marriage before Fariha filed her petition in Texas.”