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Long-Distance Divorce: How to (Legally) Divorce When Your Spouse Is Not A U.S. Citizen


How to Legally Divorce When Your Spouse Is Not A U.S. Citizen Divorce comes with its own special set of protocols, complications, and paperwork, and that can make it stressful at best. However, these difficulties can be intensified if your soon-to-be ex is a non-U.S. citizen living out of the country in their native place of residency. The sheer paperwork alone can be a tricky situation if you aren’t adequately prepared and don’t understand the process of divorce across borders. So, where do you start?

First, do the research to know how to serve papers to your spouse. This is specific to each individual country, and is based primarily on whether or not they are in a treaty with the U.S. The method of delivering a notice of divorce can usually be done by way of mail, through publication, or even delivery by a foreign agent. Again, this will depend entirely on where each party lives. Your divorce lawyer will make sure you follow the correct protocol, and is a great resource for questions you might have on what to expect for your unique, individual case.

After determining how to serve your papers, you’ll need to fill them out and actively begin the divorce process. You’ll need basic information such as complete names, current addresses, date and location of your marriage, your reason for wanting a divorce, etc. The more straightforward, detailed information you can give, the better. Again, your lawyer is your main asset when it comes to formatting your wording, and making sure all paperwork is filled out adequately to get optimal results in the shortest amount of time. The more work you do up front, the less drawn out the process will be with continual back and forth editing, clarifications, etc. after you’ve mailed the paperwork or had it delivered.

Finally, once the paperwork is complete, you’ll need to have it filed with your clerk of the court (make sure to get a file-stamped copy for yourself), and then have the divorce papers served however was determined best by yourself and your lawyer (see first step above). After this process is complete, the divorce process continues much like it would if both parties were U.S. citizens, albeit a bit longer time frame solely because of the distance.

Are you facing a divorce? Whether here in the Tampa area, or across miles (or borders), Sessums Law Group is here and ready to help you achieve the results you need. We are skilled in handling divorce cases of all types, and have a team of top-quality representatives to stand with you throughout your legal proceedings. We are YOUR trusted Tampa lawyer. Call us and find out how we can make this a smooth process for you.

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