Today. Mr. Woodley continues to specialize in the practice of family law, representing Guam residents, U.S. citizens and non-resident aliens, as well as members of the U.S. military and merchant seamen stationed in Guam, on ships or in other Pacific Rim countries. The Guam Family Law Office (formerly known as the Agana Legal Clinic) has been owned by attorney William (Bill) Pesch for 18 years. The Guam Office of Family Law provides various family-related legal services to Guam residents and also offers consensual divorces to persons who live outside Guam and who, for various reasons, find divorce in Guam more convenient than their home state or country. ~ Maître Pesch has been practicing law for 30 years ~ M. Woodley has been in private practice in Guam since 1982 and has practiced family law, focusing on divorce, custody, and alimony matters.
Seaton M. Woodley, III is a U.S. Army veteran and attorney who has served U.S. military personnel, the Merchant Marine, and other U.S. citizens and non-residents of Guam since 1982. Mr. Woodley offers a wide range of family law services. He has extensive experience as a divorce attorney in Guam, representing foreign military personnel who do not want to return to the United States and deal with the system there.
Mr. Woodley understands the unique needs and challenges of military personnel, merchant seamen and expatriates who live and work outside the continental United States. The Woodley Law Office is a small firm. Mr. Woodley is proud to be personally involved in his client`s case. Divorce is an important decision for everyone. If you are stationed abroad in the military or as an expat, the decision is more difficult. You may be far from home, there are language barriers, and divorce granted in many other countries may not be legal in the United States. We hope this website will help you answer some of your questions and allay some of your concerns. Click HERE for more details to get the requirements and process of a divorce in Guam, how long it will take, what it will cost, control of U.S. and Guam laws, and a full list of frequently asked questions (FAQs).
The Woodley Law Office charges a lump sum of $1,540 for an “uncontested” divorce for foreign military personnel and other off-island residents. The fee for Guam residents is $900. Fees are total costs, including attorneys` fees and all court costs. Other law firms may advertise a lower admission fee that does not include court fees. Before you commit to representation, recommend getting a commitment for the full cost of divorce. Does that solve the problem? We tend to doubt it. A week`s vacation in the same place is hardly synonymous with residence or residence. Senator Adolpho Palacios, D-Ordot, said the current divorce law provides for “adequate accommodation” for service members. But attorney Don Parkinson, a former spokesman for the Guam legislature, said he had ended the lucrative practice of dealing with quick divorces because divorces were being challenged by U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement over whether or not couples were genuine residents of Guam. “I certainly don`t want Guam to be known as a haven of divorce,” she said. “Today, we only think about what we can put in our pockets today.” Sector(s): Government enforcement of child support “I don`t see any harm in our island. I don`t see it hurting,” said Sen. Ray Tenorio, R-Yigo. This fee applies to an uncontested divorce. If the situation changes and you and your spouse no longer agree on the terms of the divorce or composition, the divorce will be contested and the fixed fee will be cancelled. Legal services are billed at an hourly rate plus all filings and other court fees. “I stopped doing them because I was tired of people writing to me, upset that their divorces were not accepted by immigration. It`s a big problem,” Parkinson said. “It was clear to me that because of the position taken by immigration (giving couples a divorce from Guam), immigration took money from most of my clients under false pretenses, and I don`t. That`s why I stopped.
If the bill is approved and signed during the session, the amendments will take effect on Jan. 1, which Tenorio says will give plenty of time to close pending divorce cases. Companies that “sell” Guam divorces claim that they are enforceable and recognized in U.S. states and other countries — although the divorces are based on the full fiction that the parties themselves claim to be “domiciled” in a place with which they generally have no affiliation. In 1981, Woodley returned to active naval service and resumed service in Guam. He passed the Guam Bar Examination and was admitted to the Guam Bar in 1982. In 1993, he retired as Commander of the Naval Reserve. In 1976, Woodley retired from active duty and began private practice in Massachusetts. He worked as an associate attorney for the town of Somerville, Massachusetts. Contact us if you have any questions or would like to arrange a free initial consultation.
There are great doubts as to whether divorces from Guam, where neither party resides in Guam, are worth the paper on which they are written. Today, the Guam legislature has corrected some of the abuses. Cruz said yesterday that lawmakers must make a choice: allow Guam to continue to be the “divorce mill” of the Pacific or close the loophole that allows divorce for nonresidents. If it goes further, then the demand that divorcing people stay in Guam for a period of time would benefit other sectors of the economy in addition to law firms, he said. It also brings additional income to the island, some argued. The number of divorces in Guam is expected to drop dramatically this year, not because couples are making more efforts to set up their marriages, but because it is now more difficult for non-residents to terminate their marriages through the local court system. The prerequisite is that the spouse spends a week`s vacation in Guam before divorcing. Woodley graduated from Boston University in 1967. He attended Officer Nominee School at Fort Benning, Georgia, from 1967 to 1968 and became a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army in 1968. From 1969 to 1970, he served for one year in the Republic of Vietnam. After completing his military service, Woodley attended Suffok University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated in 1973 and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar the same year.
Senator Judith Won Pat, D-Inarajan, said she believes the current practice is motivated by greed. While Cruz`s bill would have imposed a 90-day residency requirement for divorces, lawmakers yesterday reached a compromise that reduces the residency requirement to just seven days and requires that at least one spouse of the divorced couple be in Guam during that period before divorce papers can be filed. The legislature went into session yesterday where it discussed several bills, including a bill by Sen. Benjamin Cruz, D-Piti, that would make it harder for nonresidents to divorce here. According to the current law, you must live in Guam for at least 90 days before you can divorce here, but this residency requirement will not be enforced if it is an uncontested divorce. Until this month, non-resident couples could divorce without challenge in the Supreme Court of Guam without ever setting foot on the island. This has been the case for two decades. In 1974, Mr. Woodley joined active duty in the United States Navy and served as a lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General. He noted that during the last Parliament, the legislature had supported the use of Guam as a mediation centre for non-residents, so it was inconsistent to try to prevent the island from being used as a place of divorce for non-residents. Under Guam law, married couples living off the island can obtain a divorce from Guam if they meet certain conditions.
First, both non-resident spouses must agree to the divorce. Second, both documents must be signed before a U.S. notary. And third, a spouse must come to Guam and stay there for at least seven consecutive days. The whole process usually takes 3 to 6 weeks. Guam divorces are recognized in all 50 U.S. states and territories. Several local lawyers have spoken out against the changes to the law, saying the island provides a necessary service to members of the military and others who find it difficult to divorce because they move frequently and do not meet residency requirements. Areas of practice: Data Protection and Cybersecurity Law, GOVERNMENT LAW.