How can I stop a divorce if I live out of the country?

UPDATED: May 6, 2011

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How can I stop a divorce if I live out of the country?

My wife is a U.S. citizen; I am a citizen of Russia. Approximately 2 months ago we had a quarrel between and my wife forced me to leave the country. All finances have remained in her accounts. She has now started the divorce process. Although she is telling the court that she does not know my whereabouts. A lie; she is aware of it. I would like to stop the process and to enter into an agreement on division of property.

Asked on May 6, 2011 under Family Law, Illinois


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Ok so she has to serve you some way with the paperwork and if she is telling the court that she does not know where you are, she may be trying to obtain an order for what is known as "substituted service" in that the court  may let her publish the summons and complaint in the paper.  This is to allow the court to obtain "jurisdiction" to decide something involving you. Generally speaking when a court allows a party to obtain jurisdiction in this manner they DO NOT decide division of assets.  But why take a chance.  If you know the county in which she has filed the action for divorce then hire an attorney and have them put in an appearance on your behalf, accept service and put in an answer to the complaint contesting it.  This may force settlement.  Do not wait too long.  Good luck.

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