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Filing for Divorce When You Live Overseas

If you wish to file for divorce while living outside the United States, you must be prepared for some complicated legal issues that could apply to your case. There is a chance you will need to follow the laws of the jurisdiction in which you live to get your divorce, and if this is the case, you must contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to get a list of attorneys who can work with you.

The U.S. Department of State’s website has a list of all embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions, and how you can contact them.

People commonly ask if the U.S. government will recognize a divorce decree issued in a foreign country. While the answer is not always yes, your divorce decree will be recognized so long as the foreign country ensures it has met certain procedural requirements designed by the state. This includes, for example, providing proper notice to all parties involved in the divorce.

If you wish to find out if a foreign divorce decree will be considered legally binding in Minnesota, contact the state Attorney General’s office or an experienced divorce attorney.

Additional information on foreign divorce decrees

An American court is likely to recognize foreign divorce decrees as a means of terminating a marriage. However, foreign divorce decrees may pose some complications related to other aspects of your divorce. If your children are American citizens who live in the United States, the foreign court will most likely not make any orders regarding child custody, as it does not have the jurisdiction to do so. American courts do not have to honor such arrangements.

In addition, divorce decrees issued in foreign countries might not be sufficient to divide property located in the United States.

To learn more about the processes and challenges associated with filing for divorce while living overseas, speak with an experienced Minnesota divorce attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties.Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.


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