Divorcing your spouse who does not live in the United States can be a difficult and frustrating process. Service of court documents is the challenge, and service is required in order to process your divorce. Here is how you obtain service on your spouse in a foreign country:
Step 1. Contact the embassy for your spouse's country of residence. The method for serving your spouse with your divorce papers outside of the United States will depend largely on the laws of his or her country. The U.S. Department of State can also provide you with this information.
Step 2. Mail the divorce complain and summons to your spouse (if your spouse’s country of residence allows service by mail). China, Japan, Germany, Poland, Argentina, Venezuela and Switzerland, for example, are among many countries that do not. If the country your spouse is living in permits service by mail, send your complaint to him by international registered mail, and complete postal Form 2865 for a return receipt.
Step 3. Contact the court where you filed your complaint if your spouse’s country of residence will not accept service by mail. If that country is a signatory to the Hague Service Convention, the court can request process of service as a “letters rogatory” procedure. The court will forward a copy of your complaint to a process server in that country and work through its government to get your complaint served.
Step 4. File your mail return receipt with the court to prove that your spouse received your complaint if you were able to serve him by international registered mail, if you have any questions regarding North Carolina’s form you can call the court clerk and ask. The court clerk can advise you which form you must complete and attach to the international mail receipt. If the court has served your spouse through the "letters rogatory" process, you generally will not be required to do anything more, but check with your court to be sure.
If you need to speak to a family law attorney regarding a divorce, and obtaining international service, contact Adkins Law. We have locations in Huntersville and Ballantyne for your convenience.