Can I file for divorce if my wife lives in another country?

divorce attorney Jill DuffyQuestion:

My wife and I are both Indian citizens but I am in the U.S. working on a visa while she is back in India.

Can I file for divorce in the U.S. if my wife lives in another country? Or must it be filed in India where we are both citizens?


The state I practice in (Michigan) will recognize a marriage that was legal under the laws of a different state or country and can grant a divorce from that marriage. However, India may require that you register the Michigan divorce decree in order to recognize that the divorce is valid in India.

In order to file for divorce in Michigan, a party  must have lived in Michigan for at least 6 months, and in the county of filing for at least 10 days. If the other party is out of the country, the filing party must properly serve the summons and complaint under the Michigan Court Rules to ensure notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to defend against them. This is the requirement of due process.

Do not rely on this information as establishing an attorney-client relationship. Contact an attorney immediately for assistance.

Cordell & Cordell represents men in divorce nationwide.


Jill A. Duffy is an Associate Attorney in the Troy, Mich., office of Cordell & Cordell. She is licensed to practice in the state of Michigan. Ms. Duffy received her BA in Psychology and Spanish and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Oakland University. She received her Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law and graduated Magna Cum Laude.

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7 Comments on "Can I file for divorce if my wife lives in another country?"

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1 year 3 days ago
I am a canadian citizen and my wife is american citizen living in Puerto Rico. After 10 years of marriage, married in canada, and only being physically together for 3 and a half years because of my work and now the costs of travelling plus her attitudes lately..I am thinking of divorce or legal seperation. I do not have the money right now as I am on a pension now as almost half of my pension goes to her because of the current value of the american dollar. I pay for her mortgage and utilities down there plus mine up… Read more »
1 year 4 months ago

I’m married my exhusband on the las vegas,nevada.I’m American citizens and he was a illegal.he came united states cross the border.and because he got deported.since 2012.I lost my contact with him no more cummunication….and I’m decided to file him I need to file or our marriage is valid or invalid..

3 years 7 months ago

Help! add on
I’m going crazy trying to be nice and get my children. I need help guidance because I live on $1400/mn social security and can’t afford 1000s in attorney fees.

Thank you

3 years 7 months ago
I married my British wife in Nevada in 1997, we moved to the UK n 2001, I have now moved back to Texas. I do not want a divorce however our two children (14 & 11) have told her and me on numerous ocassions (I have it in writing from them) they wish to live with me. I have told her that I would like for the kids to be able to be free to go back forth between and us have joint custody. She’s refusing the children physical access with me to the point she won’t allow them American… Read more »
4 years 2 months ago

How do I file a divorce in my case
I resonantly got married in Vietnam, I am an US citizen and she is a Vietnamese citizen. After a few month married, I feel something wrong with our relationship. I would like to file a divorce, my wife currently still live in Vietnam. How can I file and what should I do? Please help.


5 years 15 days ago

MALLEN: You can check in the NATIONAL STATISTICS OFFICE website in the philippines to see if your marriage was legal. If you have the Marriage Certificate with you, then just look for the License number and search it up. (REQUEST FOR A COPY OF YOUR MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE)

kenneth delancey
5 years 22 days ago

me and my wife
my wife lives in the philippines and i live in the u.s.a.i have no intentions of bringing her here to america.therefore i feel our marriage isnt going to work.i have no money these days and have no idea when i will be able to go back to the philippines and see can i research to find out if my marriage was legal in the philippines because thats where we got married.