I’ve procrastinated – severely – in writing this.
And, if you’ve been a reader for a bit, you’ve probably noticed something is up, because I haven’t really been writing anything personal, which was the hallmark and reason for starting this blog: to be totally transparent and honest about expat life.
I couldn’t be authentic, though, about my life (and thus couldn’t really write at all), because I was undergoing a huge and dramatic life change that I wasn’t sure how to wrap my head around for myself, let alone share with others.
In addition, I wanted to be respectful of everyone involved: myself, my (now former) partner, and our families and friends.
Now enough time has passed that I feel semi-comfortable sharing, and I think it’s important that I do.
I separated from my ex-husband in January 2019, and we have signed all divorce paperwork early this year. We were supposed to be officially divorced on March 24, 2020… but COVID-19 put a halt to that as courts closed. Now, we are waiting.
When I was looking for blogs by expats going through divorce – I couldn’t find any. These months were such a lonely time for me, as I didn’t know anyone who had gone through or was going through this experience, so I want to share.
My ex and I split as amicably as possible. We agreed, out of court, how to divide up the assets and proceed with our lives. He moved to the east coast of Mexico, I stayed in Puerto Vallarta.
Everything about my life changed drastically, and while this was not an easy transition, I know confidently that it was the right one – for both of us.
I need to be honest, though. To get a divorce in Jalisco or Nayarit is a bit traumatic, even if the split is mutual and not contested. I’ll go into this further in another post, but I had many meetings with the lawyer, and even had to prove that I was not pregnant by submitting to a pregnancy test and having it validated at a public health center (this is required by the court). The process felt confusing, humiliating, and de-humanizing (and we haven’t even had to go in front of the judge yet, who I hear tries to convince you not to get a divorce!)
We didn’t have an option to get divorced anywhere other than Mexico, otherwise we would have gone that route. We had to get divorced here, because in the US, divorce is a state thing, and neither my husband (who is Israeli) nor I have residency in any state… even though our legal wedding was in Nevada. Being an international, intercultural couple is complicated, up until the end.
Now, I have limited but kind and cordial interaction with my ex-husband, and we’re waiting to see when the COVID-19 crisis will pass, when the courts will re-open, and when we will be able to become “officially” and legally divorced. For both of us, even if it’s “unofficial”, in all intents and purposes – we’re already divorced.
I will write more about this in the future, because living as a single woman in Mexico (and in Puerto Vallarta specifically) is quite a different experience as compared to life as a married woman.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out – either in the comments or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you’re going through a similar situation – I send love and hugs, I know it’s hard as hell, but I hope you see the light on the other side.