LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Howard M Lewis | Oct 22, 2012

Can you apply for a divorce in the U.S.A while living abroad?

For US citizens that are not military and are living abroad, may not be able to file for a US divorce unless they can meet the residency requirements of the state they will be filing in. If they are military personnel, the possibilities for a US divorce are better. Some military divorce attorneys can handle a US divorce on a long-distance basis, if the divorce will be uncontested.

As far as where the divorce will be filed, military personnel generally need to file in the state where they are stationed if they meet the residency requirements. If one or both spouses are on active duty at the time the divorce is filed, they need to sign a waiver of the Soldier and Sailor Relief Act. The US based attorney will handle most of the correspondence over the phone or through e-mails, and documents to be signed are usually sent by a courier, such as FedEx (both parties must be willing to sign all documents needing their signature). There is the possibility that at least one of the spouses may have to appear in the US courthouse where the divorce is filed to complete the divorce, depending on the laws of that individual state.

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