Divorce of Foreign Spouses

Divorcing Foreign Spouses & Enforcing Foreign Divorce Decrees

In many countries, it is extremely difficult to obtain a divorce. For example, it is impossible to obtain a divorce in the Philippines without going through the Catholic Church, which can be a long process that can last 10+ years or more and extremely expensive. There is no divorce process in the Philippines in the court system. On the other hand, divorce in an Islamic State could be as easy as denouncing your marriage vows three times in front of the spouse and having at least 2 witnesses presence. In each of the described scenario, our Houston Divorce Attorneys may be able to assist you to obtain a divorce with a foreign spouse, as well as file necessary petitions and documents to support your foreign divorce while still being compliance to the Texas Family Codes.

Divorcing Foreign Spouses

A Spouse in Texas may file an Original Petition for Divorce and serve the foreign spouse in the country of residence. In many instances, the spouses will co-operate and agree to an uncontested divorce and signs waivers and documents that would allow the U.S. spouse to proceed with the divorce. Service of process may be achieved by registered international mail to nationals of countries that are member of the Hague Service Convention or the Inter-American Service Convention. Some countries that are members of either or both conventions have objected to service by international certified mails. Irrespective of whether the foreign spouse is a national of a country that objects to international certified mail or that the country is not member of either the Hague Service Convention or the Inter-American Service Convention, such as Vietnam, makes no difference. Service to these foreign spouses may also be achieved by working with a foreign attorney or Civil Process organization to serve these foreign nationals. Once the citation has been served, the case proceeds forward just as any ordinary case in Texas. To learn more about divorcing a foreign spouse and how we can assist you, please contact our West Houston Divorce Lawyers at 713-517-6645.

Enforcing Foreign Divorces and Foreign Divorce Decrees

For practical reasons, you may have chosen to obtain a divorce in the foreign country. Under Texas law, foreign divorce decrees have the same force and effect as if the parties are divorced in the U.S. However, the difficulties come when you or your ex-spouse wants to enforce the foreign decree. Our Houston Divorce Lawyers will assist you in preparing and in filing a petition to enforce the foreign decree. In some instances, an enforcement of a foreign decree may not be sufficient under the Texas Family Codes if it does not dispose of all community properties, provide adequate child support or does not include provisions for a standard visitation order or agreement for visitations. In these circumstances, a party may have to file a petition to enforce a foreign decree, and at the same time, preparing motions and request the court to provide temporary and permanent orders regarding the deficient issues. The good rule of thumb is that the court will visit whatever issue that is in the best interest of the dependent children. For more information regarding enforcing a foreign decree, please contact our Houston Divorce Attorneys.

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