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Special considerations in an international divorce

At the Law Office of Roland R. Esparza, P.C., in Texas, we know that divorce is never easy. This is especially true if your nonmilitary spouse lives overseas. Not only is international law complicated, coordinating Texas divorce laws with those of any given country can be difficult at best.

As FindLaw explains, the first decision you must make is where to file for divorce. If you currently live in Texas, have lived here for at least six months, and have lived in one county for at least 90 days, you can file for divorce in that county, regardless of where your marriage took place.

Getting service

Personally serving your spouse with divorce papers is a requirement in virtually all Texas divorces. Naturally this is difficult when your spouse lives in another country. File a petition in your court asking permission to accomplish service by means of one of the following options:

  • Waiver: Your spouse signs a waiver of personal service which (s)he then mails to you and you file with the court. Be sure to find out if this waiver needs to be notarized.
  • Publication: You place a notice of your divorce proceeding in a newspaper published in the country and jurisdiction where your spouse lives. Be sure to find out how many days this notice must appear in the paper.
  • Foreign process server: You hire someone in the country where your spouse lives to personally serve him or her. Be sure to find out if your process server must be a law enforcement officer, some other official, or just someone willing to do it.

Child support

If you and your spouse have children together for whom the Texas court grants you child support, you must then collect it. This, too, can become very complicated in an international divorce. Check with your county’s child support office to see if the United States has a reciprocal child support agreement with the country where your spouse lives. If so, find out what procedure you need to follow in order to collect the support. If there is no reciprocal agreement in place, you must obtain a child support order in the country where your children’s father lives. This can be a very complicated and expensive proposition.

International divorce and its aftermath present you with many challenges that require competent legal help. For more information on this subject, please visit this page on our website.

 

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