You Can Divorce Your Overseas Partner with This Guide

signing papers

If you and your partner live in different countries and have decided to get a divorce, the process can be complicated. You must familiarize yourself with both countries’ laws and work to understand how they may conflict or interact. Understanding how to serve the papers and ensuring your interests are protected when navigating the legal process is important. In this blog, we provide advice and tips on how to go about the process concerning a partner who lives abroad with a divorce lawyer.

The Process

If you meet the conditions for divorce in BC, you must apply with the Supreme Court of British Columbia. This process will involve completing and presenting the necessary paperwork to the court. Once the court has accepted your application, your overseas partner will be notified and allowed to respond. After both parties have submitted their documents, a judge will review the case and decide to grant the divorce.

You and your legal representative must inform your partner of your request. This part of the process is often the most difficult to complete. To serve a document outside of BC, ensure the document:

  • Abides by the British Columbia Supreme Court Family Rules rules to ensure proper service is provided.
  • Make sure to follow the rules set out by the country or area that your partner is living in for the service you are providing, as long as it is reasonable to assume that people will be aware of the information OR
  • If the document needs to be delivered to a country that is part of the Hague Convention, it must abide by the standards for delivery outlined by the Hague Convention.

The primary factor determining how you can serve your international partner is whether their country is part of the Hague Convention, the local laws and regulations and if you can send a representative to meet them in person. All these elements must be taken into consideration for a successful service.

If you are considering divorcing your partner who lives in a different country, it is important to understand the Hague Convention and how it applies to overseas divorce proceedings.

The Hague Convention and Divorce

The Hague Convention is an international agreement on how divorces should be conducted in different countries. It covers issues such as jurisdiction, recognition of foreign court orders, and service of process. Knowing and understanding the Hague Convention can help ensure a divorce goes smoothly. Additionally, if you are still determining where your partner resides, the Hague Convention can guide you on where to look for them.

If you’re looking for the requirements for servicing a document in a signatory country, route it through a Central Authority designated by that country. Additionally, you must translate the document into the official language of the signatory country. 

What If Your Partner’s Whereabouts Are Unknown?

Suppose you cannot find your overseas partner to serve divorce papers. In that case, you can try to find them and, if unsuccessful, apply to a judge for an order of substituted service to deliver the notice electronically.

In Closing

Divorcing someone who does not reside in the same country can be difficult to manage due to the different laws in each country. It is best to consult a qualified divorce lawyer to make sure the process goes smoothly and is done correctly.

Contact Dreyer and Associates Now

At Dreyer and Associates Family Lawyers, we strive to provide exemplary service to families in the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland. Our team is experienced in various family law matters, as well as wills, estates, and residential conveyancing. Above all, our focus is to ensure that the best interests of families are safeguarded. Contact a divorce lawyer in Langley via or 604-539-2103.





Recent Posts