Even with countless divorces yearly between Americans, what happens when you want to terminate your marriage, yet your spouse is a non-U.S. citizen?
For couples in this situation, working with a Seattle divorce attorney is a sound bet. In doing so, he or she can clear up a myriad of questions you are likely to have.
When you have two American citizens divorcing, things can be a little more clear-cut. That said a divorce between an American citizen and one who is not officially recognized as such can move forward.
As your divorce attorney in Seattle can share with you, serving your spouse overseas with divorce papers is not the same as when a partner is stateside.
In order to get things moving, you first need to know the divorce regulations in place for where your spouse is currently residing. Is that country a part of a treaty that the U.S. is involved with? Specifically speaking, you want the service validated in the country where they are residing to correspond with services here in the U.S.
Once you start working on your divorce petition to the courts, be sure to note not only as much information that you presently have on your spouse, but also the legal grounds you are claiming for the divorce.
In a worst-case scenario, the judge here in the U.S. might move forward with a default judgment of divorce in the event your spouse chooses not to return to the country.
Also note that if your spouse is not a recognized U.S. citizen, he or she may end up fighting to stay in the country.
Typically, if you married a non-U.S. citizen, he or she receives a conditional permanent resident label. That status remains in effect up to the point of two years of marriage.
If the individual wants to get the entire permanent resident status, they are required to file a petition with INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) before the second anniversary of receiving conditional permanent resident status. In the event the couple remains married at that point, then the immigrant partner will be looked upon as a full permanent resident of the U.S. If a divorce has taken place, that immigrant spouse can be deported.
As you see, there are a number of moving parts in such divorces.
By working with the right divorce attorney, you can oftentimes land the result you want.