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When a spouse files for divorce overseas

Sometimes, the divorce process is very complex and people have a lot of uncertainty regarding their rights and even the validity of their divorce. For example, if you or your former marital partner decided to end the marriage outside of the U.S., you likely have questions about different family law topics. Moreover, some people find out that their marital partner ended the marriage in another country unexpectedly and have no idea of which steps to take next.

In some instances, those who find out that their ex filed for divorce in another country have difficulty contacting their former spouse, further complicating matters. It is imperative to understand your rights and carefully work through divorce-related matters.

Securing a divorce decree

One of the first steps you can take if your former spouse ended the marriage abroad is to obtain a divorce decree. According to USA.gov, you can reach out to the consulate or embassy of the country your ex obtained a divorce in to obtain a copy of the divorce decree. Moreover, if this country participates in the Hague Convention on the Authentication of Documents, you can have the document certified.

Securing your custody rights and other issues

While people have the ability to end their marriage in another country, key family law issues such as property division, child custody and child support often require additional action in the U.S. If you are a parent, it is imperative to ensure that your custody rights are safeguarded and understand your options (sometimes this is even more complicated when the child’s other parent is currently abroad). Moreover, you need to pursue your financial rights, whether you are entitled to alimony payments or child support or have concerns about the distribution of marital property.