Howdoyou divorce man who is not living in the US?

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2010

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Howdoyou divorce man who is not living in the US?

I am married to my kid’s dad and we are not leaving together. I am based in the USA and he is in Jamaica. I don’t want the marriage anymore and he does not seem to be cooperating. When I call he would not answer my calls. I need to move on with my life. What can I do?

Asked on July 14, 2010 under Family Law, Maryland


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is possible to divorce someone who lives outside the United States.  The main concern is that the court obtains "jurisdiction" or the right to decide the issue against him.  If he were cooperating he could sign an affidavit waiving his appearance.  But since he is not you will have to make sure that he has proper "notice" of the proceedings. How you will have to do so may have to be decided by the court. Generally you serve a party with the paperwork personally or otherwise by state statute. You may have to try that before another method can be used.  Speak with an attorney on the matter. And Also be aware that although you may be legally divorced the court may not, in the same proceeding, choose to decide distribution of property or issues relating to the children without him actually present. Good luck. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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