Divorce With Spouse In Another Country

by Grace from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Broward County


My husband lives in Haiti, is there a special form I need to us. We have no children or property.


My husband and I have been married for almost 12 years and I want a divorce.

However he lives in Haiti. We have no children or property. What forms do I need to file?

Answer to Florida Divorce Question

Dear Grace,

You can file a Petition for Dissolution for Marriage, Florida Supreme Court approved form 12.901(b)(3).

Have a look at our web-powered instructions page for Form 12.901(b)(3)

You can mail him the Petition and accompanying forms; and providing he responds within twenty calendar days your case will likely continue.

However, since he is in another country you may use constructive service instead.

Constructive service is advertising your intent of a legal action, rather than having the other party served personally with documents.

Instructions for that form, which is available on the Florida Supreme Court's website at www.flcourts.org, include the following explanation of constructive service:

For your case to proceed, you must properly notify your spouse of the petition. If you know where he or she lives, you should use personal service.

If you absolutely do not know where he or she lives, you may use constructive service. You may also be able to use constructive service if your spouse resides in another state or country.


Notice: We provide these answers to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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Comments for Divorce With Spouse In Another Country

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What is the process for an overseas divorce?
by: Steve from Boynton Beach, Florida, Palm Beach County

I live in Florida and my spouse lives in another country. What is necessary for me to obtain a legal divorce?

From what you've said it sounds to me like you have two options. Choosing the best option depends on your specific circumstances.

If you know that your wife lives in another country, and you are not in contact with her, and do not know exactly where in this other country she lives -- then your best choice is to serve her through constructive service.

On the other hand if you email regularly, have a current address for her, and know that she will respond to your petition for dissolution -- then you may be able to simply send her an Answer, Waiver, and Request for Final Judgment (along with your petition), and that will be the end of it.

Constructive service is advertising an intent to a legal action. In your case, if you used constructive service, you advertise your intent of divorce. Before you can advertise your intent, you first must go through a process called Diligent Search and Inquiry which is a list of places to look for her.

The list includes things like prisons, hospitals, death records, utility companies, her relatives, and internet databases. Once you look in all of those places, you file with the clerk of court an Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiry; and a Notice of Action.

These two forms having been completed and filed; then allow the clerk to guide you in advertising your intent to divorce. When using constructive service in a dissolution of marriage, you may not request any spousal support or any other relief. Generally, when one spouse has gone missing, support or other relief is hardly expected.

--Staff

What is the process for an overseas divorce?
by: Steve from Boynton Beach, Florida, Palm Beach County

I live in Florida and my spouse lives in another country. What is necessary for me to obtain a legal divorce?

From what you've said it sounds to me like you have two options. Choosing the best option depends on your specific circumstances.

If you know that your wife lives in another country, and you are not in contact with her, and do not know exactly where in this other country she lives -- then your best choice is to serve her through constructive service.

On the other hand if you email regularly, have a current address for her, and know that she will respond to your petition for dissolution -- then you may be able to simply send her an Answer, Waiver, and Request for Final Judgment (along with your petition), and that will be the end of it.

Constructive service is advertising an intent to a legal action. In your case, if you used constructive service, you advertise your intent of divorce. Before you can advertise your intent, you first must go through a process called Diligent Search and Inquiry which is a list of places to look for her.

The list includes things like prisons, hospitals, death records, utility companies, her relatives, and internet databases. Once you look in all of those places, you file with the clerk of court an Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiry; and a Notice of Action.

These two forms having been completed and filed; then allow the clerk to guide you in advertising your intent to divorce. When using constructive service in a dissolution of marriage, you may not request any spousal support or any other relief. Generally, when one spouse has gone missing, support or other relief is hardly expected.

--Staff

Florida Divorce for Non US Citizens
by: Mary from Rome, Italy

My husband and I we got married in Florida but actually we are resident in Italy. The marriage has been celebrated less than one year ago.

We want to divorce, we have no properties nor children but in Italy the procedure is very long and complicated. Might we file for a divorce in Florida? And in case how long it gonna take?
Thank you

One of the requirements for any divorce in Florida is that one of the spouses must be a resident of the state for the last 6 months. Since you both now live in Italy, you may not file for a dissolution of marriage. --Staff

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