Can I achieve a legal divorce from my separated wife, who resides with our 2 children in Japan?

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Can I achieve a legal divorce from my separated wife, who resides with our 2 children in Japan?

I am a U.S. citizen living in Japan. I am married to a Japanese national (legally separated for several years) and have 2 children. My wife refuses divorce but I’d like to obtain a legal divorce, at least in the U.S., to get on with my own life. Can I legally divorce my wife in my home state after establishing residency? Even if my wife resides in Japan, will there be any difficulties or issues occuring with serving the papers and getting a reply? Will legal divorce in the US officially change my marital status in the US? Finally, how long might the process take?

Asked on May 2, 2012 under Family Law, Nevada

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Since you and your wife are residing in Japan, you can file dissolution papers in that country assuming you establish residency there.

If you wish to file for a dissolution in the United States, you must first establish residency in a county and state in this country by at least living there for 6 months. You can file for a dissolution in the United States even though your wife resides in Japan after you establish residency. Typically getting the marital status dissolved requires a minimum of 6 months after the other spouse is served with the summons and complaint for marital dissolution.

Dividing out the assets and dealing with visitation and support issues typically takes much longer than 6 months.


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