Despite the obvious analogy between in rem and quasi in rem jurisdiction based on the presence of property and ex parte-divorce jurisdiction based on the presence of a res marriage status , the Court specifically noted in a footnote [n. As far as the Shaffer holding is concerned, the forum — litigation — plaintiff nexus recognized as sufficient by the Court in Williams v.
North Carolina [, U. State-Court Jurisdiction, 63 Iowa L. In Williams v. North Carolina, U.
Williams I, U. The Supreme Court held that the foreign state's high interest in the marital status of its domiciliaries required that full faith and credit be given such a decree. The Court did require, however, that substituted service on the absent spouse meet due process standards, that is, reasonably calculated to give the absent spouse actual notice and an opportunity to be heard.
In Williams I the Court had difficulty classifying dissolution proceedings. Though it did not view such proceedings as in rem actions neither did it view them as mere in personam actions. According to the Court, domicile of one spouse within the forum state gave that state the power to dissolve the marriage regardless of where the marriage occurred. This court too has deemed domicile as essential to dissolution of marriage jurisdiction. See Cooper v. Cooper, N.
The cases generally adopt the following explanation of the components for a dissolution of marriage proceeding:. It is commonly held that an essential element of the judicial power to grant a divorce, or jurisdiction, is domicil. A court must have jurisdiction of the res, or the marriage status, in order that it may grant a divorce. The res or status follows the domicils of the spouses; and therefore, in order that the res may be found within the state so that the courts of the state may have jurisdiction of it, one of the spouses must have a domicil within the state.
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North Carolina reached the Supreme Court a second time. The Court held that while the finding of domicile by the state that granted the decree is entitled to prima facie weight, it is not conclusive in a sister state but might be relitigated there. The divisible divorce doctrine emerged in Estin v. Estin, U. In Estin the Court held that Nevada in an ex parte divorce proceeding could change the marital status of those domiciled within its boundaries.
The power to do so stems from Nevada's "considerable interest in preventing bigamous marriages and in protecting the offspring of marriages from being [illegitimate].
But Nevada could not wipe out the absent spouse's claim for alimony under a New York judgment in a prior separation proceeding because Nevada had no personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse. So New York did not have to give full faith and credit to that part of the Nevada decree which purported to eliminate the support obligation of its domiciliary. The divisible divorce doctrine simply recognizes the court's limited power where the court has no personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse.
In these circumstances the court has jurisdiction to grant a divorce to one domiciled in the state but no jurisdiction to adjudicate the incidents of the marriage, for example, alimony and property division. In short, the divisible divorce doctrine recognizes both the in rem and in personam nature of claims usually raised in dissolution of marriage proceedings. The Supreme Court reaffirmed Estin in Vanderbilt v. Vanderbilt, U. Vanderbilt differed from Estin only in the fact that the absent spouse's right to alimony had not been determined before the ex parte divorce in Nevada.
Without expressly saying so, we relied on the divisible divorce doctrine in Brown v. Brown, N. In Brown the plaintiff obtained a divorce in Illinois after securing constructive service on the defendant. The Illinois decree purported to reserve the issues of alimony and child support.
Later, after she obtained personal service on the defendant, the plaintiff sought a decree fixing alimony. Reversing prior court decisions, this court held that the right to alimony survives a sister-state dissolution decree based on jurisdiction obtained through constructive service.
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From the following language it appears the court based its ruling on the divisible divorce doctrine and considerations of fairness:. Because alimony is a personal obligation, a court which enters a decree terminating a marriage based on in rem jurisdiction is without power to decide the alimony issue. If the decree purports to do so it is to that extent void. Our rule denying a divorced spouse the right to claim alimony in a subsequent in personam proceeding thus prevents the issue from being adjudicated at all. No sound reason exists for perpetuating this rule.
It is unreasonable and unfair.
We conclude that the all-inclusive language of the Shaffer conclusion does not include dissolution of marriage proceedings. In other words, jurisdiction to grant such a dissolution is not to be tested by the minimum contacts standard of International Shoe. We further conclude that domicile continues to be the basis for a court's jurisdiction to grant a dissolution of marriage decree. So the courts of this state have the power to grant dissolution of marriage decrees provided the petitioner is domiciled in this state.
Such power exists even though the petitioner's spouse is absent from this state, has never been here, and was constructively rather than personally served. Two other courts have faced this issue. One court held that Shaffer did not change the long-standing rule of Williams I. Carroll v. Carroll, 88 N. In other words, a state can still alter the marriage status of a spouse domiciled there, even though the other spouse is absent, provided the nature of the substituted service on the absent spouse comports with due process.
Carr, 46 N.
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Another court used the minimum contacts analysis but with a different twist. See In re Marriage of Rinderknecht, Ind. In Rinderknecht the court held that the dual nature of a dissolution of marriage proceeding does not become unified when a minimum contacts analysis is applied to both the in rem and in personam aspects of marriage.
Because two different types of actions are involved in such a proceeding, the Rinderknecht court reasoned that two levels of minimum contacts may be found sufficient to meet the requirements of fair play and substantial justice. For example, residency of one of the parties is enough to satisfy minimum contacts necessary to dissolve the marriage. But something more is required to satisfy minimum contacts necessary for in personam jurisdiction to adjudicate the incidents of the marriage. While purporting to apply the minimum contacts analysis, the court reached essentially the same conclusion it could have reached without that analysis.
In re Marriage of Hudson, N. Hudson, 35 Wn.
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But see Pasqualone v. Pasqualone, 63 Ohio St. No claim is made that the service of process here did not meet the requirements of due process. So we are left with the question whether Ken established his domicile or residency in this state. That leads us to the next issue.
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