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Help needed in seeking divorce - wife is in India - marriage happened in India

Jersey City, NJ |

I was married in India in 2006 and we have 3 children born in the USA but now with their mom in India. She left to India and is not intending to return. We had marital discord for last 2-3 years and finally we decided that we'll divorce. But the difficulty is that she is India and if I file from Nj how can she be served.
I have filed for a change of status from H1 to H4 as my H1 term ended last year. Currently I am not working. She has a H1 based on which I applied for change of status. It's currently pending. So I understand that my divorce with her will bring some difficulty for my H4. But I am interested in a local US citizen and we are in a relationship and intend to get married.
Please help

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Attorney answers 4


The short answer is that your wife can be served by something called substituted service. That means that you have to get court permission to serve her by FedEx or TNT. It can be done, it's just a bigger hassle. Get an attorney to help you with this, otherwise you'll waste a lot of time. As for your immigration status I cannot give advice on that since I'm not versed in immigration law, talk to a reputable immigration attorney.

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It appears that divorce is the least of your problems ... you can't file for an H-4 if your spouse is no longer in the US, and is no longer working for the H-1B company.

You need to meet with an immigration lawyer immediately.

He/she can help you find a divorce attorney that can advise you on 'service by publication' ... a slow and expensive process.

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I assume you've immigration counsel - I only know enough to say that it sounds like it could be a bigger issue there.

You file in New Jersey. Assuming mom lived here, there's personal jurisdiction over her. Then, if she won't sign for the complaint (an "acknowledgement of service"), you have her served by a process server in India. Not sure what the mystery is about that one. If she doesn't answer after being served, you proceed via default... if you have 3 kids involved, I'm going to assume you'll be working with counsel to make sure all is done correctly.

IF YOU LIKE THIS ANSWER AND APPRECIATE THE TIME IT TOOK TO WRITE IT, PLEASE SELECT IT AS "BEST ANSWER." Thanks. The above is said without seeing your case file and without my understanding the entirety of the facts of your case. Depending on those facts, the above information be may incomplete or may be completely inaccurate. The above is intended as general information only based on what you described and not as legal advice. I advise you to consult with counsel who may be able to provide better information commensurate with a better understanding of your situation.


If your wife cooperates she can sign an acknowledgement of service in India. Otherwise an international server will do it. If you marry a US citizen you may be able to adjust status and become a LPR.

973-984-0800. Please be advised my answers to questions does not constitute legal advise and you should not rely on it, due to the fact that we have never met, I have not been aprised of the facts in you case nor have I reviewed any documents.

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