How to file for divorce while overseas?

divorce attorney Jill DuffyQuestion:

My wife and I are separated. I have since had to move overseas for my job. I would like to file for divorce and obtain custody or at least visitation rights.

How do I file for divorce while overseas? How will my current living situation affect my ability to gain custody or have visitation rights?


First, let me preface my answer by stating that I am not licensed to practice law in the state of Ohio. The information in the article is general in nature. You should contact an attorney in your jurisdiction immediately to discuss your options.

In order to file for divorce in Ohio, you must be a resident of the state for the six months preceding your filing. Because you are out of the country, your wife may have to be the one to file for divorce. You should appoint a representative inside the state of Ohio to protect your interests. This representative can be your attorney. Your attorney can receive pleadings for you and appear in court on your behalf. You will want to immediately notify the judge that you do not live in the country.

Custody and visitation rights will be governed by the laws of Ohio. You and your wife are free to come to an agreement on custody and visitation that works with your schedules and is feasible for the children. If you cannot come to an agreement the court will establish a custody order at its discretion.

You should contact an attorney who is licensed in Ohio to further discuss the specifics of your situation.


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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