How to File for Divorce If You Got Married Overseas

When a romance that led to marriage abroad doesn't travel well back to the States, you may need to consult your state's statute providing for divorce after a marriage in another country.

Establish residency in a particular state. Nearly every state in the United States requires a person to reside in that state for a specific period of time before filing for divorce---a time period ranging from 30 days to six months.

Review the divorce laws in the state in which you are living to confirm the length of time required to establish residency for divorce purposes.

Prepare a petition (or complaint) for divorce when the time period to establish residency expires. In the divorce petition, write the country in which you were married along with the date of the nuptials.

File the completed divorce petition at the local county, district or superior court. (Individual states use different names for their local courts. New York actually calls its local courts "supreme courts.")

Try to obtain a voluntary entry of appearance (consent to the divorce proceedings) from your spouse if he is living overseas. Otherwise, you will need to make arrangements in the foreign country to have your spouse served with the divorce petition and summons.



About the Author

Mike Broemmel began writing in 1982. He is an author/lecturer with two novels on the market internationally, "The Shadow Cast" and "The Miller Moth." Broemmel served on the staff of the White House Office of Media Relations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from Benedictine College and a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University. He also attended Brunel University, London.