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How to obtain divorce when spouse is Mexican citizen with son

1 Answers. Asked on Jan 21st, 2013 on Divorce - California
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Specifically, how can I obtain a divorce in the state of California if my spouse and I got married in the state of Pennsylvania in 2004 and then separated in 2009, at which point she immediately left the country to return to Mexico and gave birth to our child there. Neither herself or the child are residents of the U.S., as they are both Mexican nationals. Neither of us maintain contact.
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Licenced in CA
Answered on Feb 19th, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Arguably, you can file for divorce in California if you've lived here for six months, and lived in the county in which you file for divorce for the last three months. The difficulty, however, is obtaining jurisdiction over your wife in Mexico. The Court is going to require that you attempt to serve her with a Summons and Petition for Dissolution. It becomes very, very complicated when dealing with an individual in a foreign country. I strongly encourage you to contact a local family law attorney who has dealt with international divorces - they are different and require an attorney with knowledge of the ins and outs of such a matter.

David L. Gibbs, Esq.
The Gibbs Law Firm, APC
San Clemente, California

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Ending a marriage is more than just an emotional process--it's also a legal process. The court must approve your "dissolution of marriage" petition, and will also rule on issues related to the division of property, alimony (also known as spousal support or maintenance), child custody and child support. A divorce or family law attorney can help guide you through the divorce process, while also negotiating with your soon-to-be ex-spouse and his or her divorce lawyer. It's important to note that ethics laws prohibit the same law firm or attorney from representing both spouses in a divorce. Even if your divorce is an amicable one, it's critical to have your own legal representation to ensure that you're treated fairly at all stages of the divorce proceeding.
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