What is the divorce process if your ex moved to another country?

On Behalf of | Jul 11, 2024 | divorce |

Navigating a divorce in Ohio becomes more complicated when one spouse has moved to another country. This situation requires understanding the basic steps involved and the additional complexities that international distance introduces into the process. 

File for divorce 

The first step in the divorce process is to file a petition for divorce with the court. You must file in the county where you reside. When filing, you will need to provide information about your marriage, including the date of marriage, the separation date, and the grounds for divorce. Ohio recognizes both fault and no-fault grounds, so you can file under no-fault grounds to avoid proving any wrongdoing.

Serve divorce papers internationally

After filing for divorce, you must serve the divorce papers on your spouse. Serving someone in another country complicates things, as you must follow specific international laws and agreements, such as the Hague Service Convention if the country participates. This process ensures that the spouse receives the documents legally and officially, allowing the proceedings to continue.

Wait for a response

Once served, your spouse has a set period to respond to the divorce petition. The response time might be longer for international service to accommodate the additional logistical challenges. If your spouse does not respond, you can apply for a default judgment, which allows the divorce process to continue without their input.

Address issues of property, support, and custody

If there are assets, spousal support, or child custody to consider, these issues can significantly complicate an international divorce. Distributing property when one party is abroad requires careful consideration, especially if there are assets in multiple countries. Similarly, arranging child custody and potential child support is more complex when a parent lives overseas, as it involves international laws and potentially, international custody agreements.

Finalize the divorce

After addressing the necessary issues and following the required procedures for international service and response, the court can finalize the divorce. The final divorce decree will outline the terms of the divorce, including any arrangements for asset division, spousal support, and child custody.

Navigating a divorce when one spouse lives in another country requires careful attention to many different steps. By understanding these steps and preparing for the complexities involved, you can manage the divorce process more effectively, even with the added challenge of international distance.