The divorce process is more complex when your spouse is living abroad. It all comes down to whether your state recognizes the foreign divorce decree. There is also the exchange of documents by snail mail to each party. Before filing for a divorce, you should get in touch with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
If You are Filing the Divorce from Abroad
The US recognize foreign divorce decree as long as the procedural requirements of the foreign country are fulfilled. For example, the filing spouse is required to send proper notice to the other spouse by snail mail. This means you have to send all the documents for the divorce to your spouse. You have to obtain his signature as an acknowledgement of the receipt of the document. Before you do this, make sure you check with your state attorney general if they recognize the foreign divorce decree.
A foreign divorce decree does not resolve all the issues regarding your divorce. It only removes your status of being married to the other spouse. For example, if your children have US citizenship, a foreign divorce decree cannot arrange for child custody for them. The US court will issue its custody order. The foreign divorce decree is also not suitable for the division of assets and properties.
If You are Filing the Divorce from the United States
You should consult with experienced divorce attorneys if you are living in the US and want to file for divorce on a spouse that is living abroad. If you are filing the divorce yourself, you will need to file the petition. A copy of the petition and the served summons should be delivered to your spouse. The step can be skipped if your spouse signs an affidavit to waive the process. In this case, you can proceed to the next phase after filing with the local court.
You will have to pay attention to the procedure of the foreign country on how the service is to be completed. The summons can be served by a letter request called Letters Rogatory or through a central government authority. A family law attorney can see through the process with you to ensure that the service goes smoothly. The local state court needs to have the jurisdiction authority to make the divorce order over your spouse. The ability of the court to issue the order depends on whether it is a simple or complicated divorce. Complicated divorce that involves the division of property and children custody.
Divorcing a Military Spouse
Divorcing a spouse that is in the US military can be tricky. You will need to follow the US military code on divorce matters. You can’t divorce your spouse if he is on active duty in the military. On the other hand, you can proceed with the divorce if your spouse is in the military. You can get a family law attorney to assist you in divorcing a military spouse. He will make sure that all aspects of the process from the filing to the serving of the paperwork goes smoothly.