How do I initiate a divorce while living abroad?

I am an American citizen living in France on a student visa. I would like to initiate a divorce from my husband, who lives in the us. However, I have been in France for 2 years and as such am not in residency in any US state. Is there any way to initiate divorce for someone in my situation?

Asked on October 10, 2011 under Family Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your spouse lives in Texas, you may have some options for filing for a divorce in Texas.  Jurisdiction can be based on the residency of either spouse.   So, even if you do not live in France, if your spouse has lived in Texas for at least six months and a particular county for at least 90 days, then you can file an original petition for a divorce in Texas based on his residency, instead of your residency.  If your spouse were to try to sue you for divorce, then he would have a harder time bringing you to Texas involuntarily, unless he could show that you had sufficient connections with Texas.  However, you can consent to jurisdiction in Texas.  Texas tends to be a preferable state for filing for some couples because Texas has a no-fault divorce statute.  That means that neither side has to allege or prove bad things about the other spouse in order to get a divorce.  If you both want the divorce, a divorce in Texas can be completed in a couple of months.  However, one of you will have to go to the courthouse for a final prove-up.  A prove-up is simply a mini-hearing in front of the judge where one side puts on basic testimony about the marriage being over and that an agreement has been reached that is fair and equitable.  If your spouse refuses to do the honors, you may need to come to Texas for one day to finalize the divorce.    

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