How to Divorce an Illegal Immigrant

By Valerie Stevens

Illegal immigrants have almost the same legal rights as citizens in the U.S. -- at least with regard to marriage and divorce. The Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution guarantee immigrants equal protection under the law and the same access to U.S. courts.The legal process to divorce an illegal immigrant is the same as the process to divorce a citizen.

Step 1

Determine where you need to file for divorce, usually with the clerk of court in the county where you live. You might have to wait until you have lived in your jurisdiction the required period of time if your spouse has left the country.

Step 2

File a summons and verified complaint for divorce and pay the required filing fee. Keep a stamped copy for yourself.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Step 3

Serve a copy of the summons and complaint on your spouse by hiring a process server or law enforcement officer. In some states, you can serve him by certified U.S. mail. Have your spouse served in the country where he is currently living if he has already left the country or been deported. If he is in jail awaiting deportation, have him served in jail. Finally, you may ask family court personnel about the possibility of publishing notice in a newspaper if you do not know where your spouse is.

Step 4

File a document signed by the process server, officer or publisher with the court to prove your spouse was given proper service.

Step 5

Wait the required time -- typically 30 days -- to give your spouse an opportunity to respond. Even if he is in another country, he can respond through the mail. If your spouse responds, you might have to involve a guardian ad litem if children are involved or go through mediation, depending on the laws of the state where you file.

Step 6

Ask the court to schedule a hearing and let your spouse know the date if he responded to your complaint.

Step 7

Attend your hearing with witnesses, if required. If your divorce is granted, court personnel will ask you for information about your spouse, including his Social Security number. If necessary, you must tell them he does not have a Social Security number.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to Divorce a Person Out of the Country


Related articles

Texas Divorce Laws When a Respondent Cannot Be Located

The typical divorce process requires you to serve your spouse with divorce papers, but you may not be able to get the papers to your spouse if you don’t know where he is. However, that doesn’t mean you have to stay married. Though it is more difficult to divorce when you cannot locate your spouse, Texas laws on service by publication and posting make it possible.

How Does a Spouse Get Served for a Divorce in Broward County?

After you file a divorce petition in Broward County, Florida, you must provide your spouse with a copy of the filed petition, referred to as service of process. If you do not properly serve your spouse with a copy of the divorce papers using the sheriff’s office or a private process server, and your spouse has not waived service, the judge can deny the divorce and dismiss your case. Therefore, following Florida's rules for service is very important.

How to Serve Military Personnel With Divorce Papers

Military courts cannot grant divorces, so military couples must get divorced in state courts following the same basic process that civilians follow. However, divorces involving service members can have additional obstacles because of the nature of military service. For example, it can be tricky to find a way to serve your military spouse if he is overseas or on a military base.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to Get a Divorce When Your Spouse Isn't a U.S. Citizen and Left the Country

If you are married to a non-U.S. citizen and want to get divorced, you can even if your spouse is no longer in the ...

Divorce to an Immigrant That Has Been Deported

Deportation of an immigrant spouse disrupts the marital relationship. Unless the remaining spouse leaves the country to ...

How to Divorce Someone Who Was Deported

Divorcing a spouse who has been deported involves more time and effort than divorcing a spouse who lives down the ...

How to File for Divorce With an Ad in the Newspaper

Although state residency requirements vary somewhat, if you are seeking a divorce, you must typically file a petition ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED