divorcing overseas spouse

Divorcing Your Overseas Spouse – There are many instances when married people do not live together.  In fact, in some circumstances, married couples do not even live in the same country.  We have gotten several calls in the past about how that affects the desire for one of the spouses to initiate a divorce action, and in the blog we will talk a little bit about that.

In this blog we will talk about divorcing a spouse that lives in another country.  Like all of our blogs, this is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a family law attorney.

*Please note that the information provided in this blog is with regard to North Carolina law regarding divorce and family law.

Requirements for a divorce

In general, in North Carolina, in order for two people to get a divorce there are a few simple requires:

  • That they were in a marriage
  • That they have been separated, with the intent to remain separate and apart, for at least one year and one day
  • At least one of the parties wants to end the marriage.

This is not any different if one of the spouses lives in North Carolina while the other spouse lives somewhere else. 

Process of getting a divorce

Like starting any family law action, the process for divorcing a spouse typically begins with filing a complaint at the courthouse.  In order for the action to eventually be completed, the other party must be properly served with that complaint and any notices of hearing.

This is not any different if one the spouses lives in North Carolina while the other spouse lives somewhere else, including a different country.  In North Carolina, the law only mandates that either one of the spouses lives in the state of North Carolina for one of the spouses to file an action for divorce in North Carolina.

How do I get a divorce from my spouse in another country?

It would be best to hire a lawyer to help you with process, but the same rules apply to any other North Carolina divorce:

  • Make sure the parties have been living separate and apart for at least one year and one day
  • File a complaint with the North Carolina Courts
  • Serve that complaint on the opposing party
  • Wait the necessary time for an answer to the complaint to be filed
  • Request summary judgement for the divorce if no valid answer was filed
  • Get a signed order from a judge, granting a divorce

How are divorces from other countries viewed?

Though we cannot speak on how divorces in North Carolina are viewed in other countries, we can tell you that North Carolina recognizes divorces that were obtained in other countries. And of course, any divorce that was obtained in another state within the United States is fully enforceable in all the other states through the full faith and credit clause of the United States Constitution.

If you are seeking a divorce, contact us.  We handle divorce and other family law matters in Charlotte, North Carolina and the surrounding areas.

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