Trenton, NJ asked in Contracts, Divorce, Civil Litigation and International Law for New Jersey

Q: How to sue an ex-spouse living in another country?

I want to sue my ex-wife for breach of a divorce agreement, but she lives in England while I am in the U.S. Can she simply ignore a court summons because she's living in another country? What would the consequences of that be? What would be my recourse if she refused to come back to the States to face me in court?

2 Lawyer Answers
Leonard R. Boyer
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  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Clifton, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: You can try, however, she is under no obligation to return to the US to face you in Court. People living in other countries ignore a U.S. Court summons, especially for a civil matter all the time. Unless the U.S. Court would grant you relief over property or something else physically in the U.S. it will be a waste of your time.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
  • International Law Lawyer
  • Potomac, MD

A: The question might be whether the court still has jurisdiction over her. If you have to serve her, you may have a problem. Consult your NJ counsel, but otherwise, you may need to sue to enforce the agreement in the courts of England & Wales. At least the law will be quite similar.

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