How do you serve someone divorce papers that is out of the country?

UPDATED: Feb 19, 2012

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How do you serve someone divorce papers that is out of the country?

My husband is living in his home country and I have no way of serving him. I have recently started divorce proceedings and paper is filed at court but was told that they would collect dust until I served him or took other steps. Are there newspaper proceedings?I’m at a loss as to what to do now. We have been separated for over a year and I’m ready to get this finalized. It is a non-contested, no child custody divorce.

Asked on February 19, 2012 under Family Law, Louisiana


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to figure out if there is an abandonment procedure which would allow you to disregard certain notice requirements by direct service and simply allow for publication in a newspaper of general circulation in your home state. You may need to get the state department involved (by contacting the state department or the consulate office for the country you believe in which he resides). If you can find him by seeing if the information could be located via passport number and the like and if the country accepts international mail by signature, then you should be safe. Do not give up. You may need to file in this manner if you cannot be granted a petition based on abandonment.

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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