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Filing for Divorce When One Spouse is Abroad

If you would like to file for divorce from your spouse, but that person is currently living in a different country, the process might be a little more difficult than if you both lived in the United States.

If it is the filing spouse who lives overseas, you may need to abide by at least some of the local laws of the country in which you live. You should get in touch with your closest U.S. Embassy and find a list of qualified attorneys who can assist you in the process.

The United States government will recognize a divorce decree issued in a foreign state in some circumstances. The country must have satisfied several procedural requirements, such as giving the proper legal notice to your spouse. You might need to go through your state’s office of the Attorney General to determine if your foreign divorce decree will be considered valid.

If you are living in the United States and your spouse is abroad, you may work with a local legal professional to guide you through the process. You will need to file the petition for divorce in your local court, just as you would in a normal divorce case, making sure you meet all of your residency requirements and complete all of the correct paperwork.

If your spouse does not agree to waive the personal service of divorce papers, you might have to follow the laws of the country in which that person currently resides. Your local court’s jurisdiction to give orders to your spouse depends on the extent to which your spouse is in contact with the state.

International divorces can be complex, so if you’re dealing with this unique situation, speak with an experienced Minneapolis family law attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. right away.

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