I am in the military stationed overseas in need of a divorce

Asked over 1 year ago - Azusa, CA

I am a resident of California and my wife is a resident of Puerto Rico. We are both active duty military and stationed in Germany, but married in Virginia were we met. We would like to file for marriage dissolution but need help. I was told I can file in my state of residence and hire a lawyer to appear in court for me since I am unable to do so anytime soon. However the few that I have talked to said I need to find a lawyer with dual jurisdiction in both California and Virginia. Is this true or can I simply file in California since I am military?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Harris Justin Brumer


    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you are a domiciliary of the state of California, you may file for divorce in California. There may be some issues with your particular situation, however.

    1) Is this divorce amicable? Does your wife also wish to get divorced and generally proceed in an uncontested manner?

    If not, you must consider whether California has personal jurisdiction over your spouse? i.e. has she ever lived in California or established minimum contacts with the state? If not, she may contest California's jurisdiction over the divorce and/or the ability to divide community property, etc.

    2) Service of Process on your wife (if divorce is contested). Because you are stationed overseas and Germany is a signatory to the Hague convention, the host nation has strict laws regarding proper service of process. It may not be as simple as having a co-worker (over the age of 18) simply handing her the divorce petition and blank response forms.

    If she agrees to accept service, I would recommend that she signs a document before a notary stating the she accepts service of process and does not require any "formal" or official service.

    I highly recommend you consult with your base's legal assistance office for more information.

  2. Rixon Charles Rafter III

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You will want an attorney who practices in the state in which you intend to file. Dual bar admissions are NOT required.

    READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia.... more
  3. Judy A. Goldstein

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . You can file in California since that is your state of residence. State of marriage does not matter.

  4. Philip Douglas Cave


    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . Just an attorney in the state of residence.

    www.court-martial.com; www.court-martial.us.com; mljucmj@gmail.com 703-298-9562, 800-401-1583. Answering your... more

Related Topics


Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is one in which spouses agree on relevant issues such as division of property, child custody/support, and alimony.

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