My Husband Was Deported and I Want a Divorce – 3 Ways to File

My husband was deported and I want a divorce is a common desire for those women who married an immigrant but now, for any reason, he has been deported. We know both parties need to be served the documents in the divorce process.

But, as he is already out of the country, it is a problematic issue. Don’t worry. Here, I will discuss 3 easy ways following which you can still divorce him.

My Husband Was Deported and I Want a Divorce

My Husband Was Deported and I Want a Divorce – 3 Ways to File

Before describing three such ways, I want to quote the story of Maria. She explained her situation in this way:

“When my immigrant husband abandoned me, I was left feeling lost and alone. I didn’t know what to do or where to turn. I had always thought he was the one for me, and now it seemed like he had just disappeared from my life.

However, I desperately wanted to divorce him, but I didn’t know how to divorce an immigrant spouse. He is living outside of the country and has no communication with me. Is there any easy way to get a divorce without him being present?”

Yes, there are ways for Maria as well as other wives who are in the same kind of situation. Following any of the below ways, you can get a divorce from your deported husband:

#1. Personally serve:

If you know your husband’s whereabouts, you can send him the documents in person. You may use the postal service to send the documents. You would need to hire an international process server to have your husband personally served with everything.

The server will hand over the divorce papers to your husband and sign an Affidavit of Service as proof that he has served the papers.

The Affidavit of Service would then be notarized, and a copy would be sent to you along with the original. You would then file the original Affidavit of Service with the court as proof that your husband has been served with the paperwork.

It had been 11 long years since my husband was deported.

It had been 11 long years since my husband was deported. We were married in California in 2005, and things were good – until he got deported in 2011. I didn’t even know what to do when immigration officials showed up at our door one day, telling him he had to leave the country.

It was a total shock. But, the reality is, now I want to divorce him to start my new life. I am not finding a way to stop this long divorce process as I don’t have any contact. Shared by Jesmina from Yuba City, CA.

#2. Service by publication:

It is a system that is used to notify the other party about the lawsuit when the other party’s whereabouts are unknown.

Generally, this process is done by publishing a notice about the litigation in the local newspaper where he was last known to live. Many international agencies can serve this kind of publication on behalf of you.

But, before that, you need to get prior court permission. Without prior permission, the court will not accept this. The spouse in such cases is called a “missing” or “secret” spouse.

You need to give public notice about your divorce in a local newspaper where your husband will most likely see it.

The notice would contain all the information about the divorce proceedings and would also mention that your husband has 30 days to respond to the notice.

If he doesn’t respond within that time frame, the divorce proceedings will continue without his input, and he will be considered as “defaulted.” An experienced family lawyer can help you regarding this point.

#3. Convince the court about your attempt to serve him:

Show the court that you attempted in good faith to find him but failed. It can be done when you have made a good-faith effort to locate your husband, but you were unsuccessful. You need to show the court that you have tried all other ways to serve him, but all in vain.

You would have to file an Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiries with the court, containing information about all your attempts to locate your husband. The court would then consider your efforts and allow you to serve him via publication.

Rebecca Zung, a family lawyer, discussed the details way of divorcing a missing spouse in the below video:

FAQs on My Husband Was Deported and I Want a Divorce

Can marriage stop deportation?

No, marriage cannot stop deportation. If you are married to a US citizen or permanent resident, you may be eligible for a green card, also known as legal permanent residency.

However, even if you have a green card, you can still be deported if you violate the terms of your residency. So while marriage may help you stay in the United States, it cannot guarantee that you will never be deported.

Can my husband come back after deportation?

Deportation is a legal process by which a foreign national is removed from a country. It’s important to note that deportation is not the same as exile, which is the act of forcing someone to leave a country.

There is no one answer to this question since it would depend on many factors, including the reason for your husband’s deportation and whether he has any grounds for appeal. In most cases, it would be challenging for someone who has been deported to return to their home country.

If you’re feeling lost for the person you still love and don’t know what to do, it may be helpful to speak with an immigration lawyer who can provide you with more specific advice about your husband’s case.

How does divorce affect my immigration status in the USA?

If you are going through a divorce, your immigration status in the United States may be affected. Depending on the circumstances, you may still be able to remain in the country and become a citizen.

If your divorce is due to fraud or other issues, your status could be in jeopardy. Speaking with an experienced immigration attorney to discuss your specific situation and options is essential.

What happens if you divorce a foreign spouse

If you divorce a foreign spouse, there may be some implications for their citizenship status in the United States. In general, if your spouse is a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the US at the time of your divorce, your status will not be affected by the divorce.

However, suppose your spouse obtained their LPR status through you (i.e., they were an immediate relative or derivative beneficiary of your immigration petition).

In that case, their green card will likely be “conditional” and valid for only two years. In this situation, the divorce may cause them to lose their LPR status and face removal from the United States.

There are some ways to avoid this outcome. Such as if your foreign spouse can show that the marriage was entered into in good faith or demonstrate that they would face extreme hardship if removed from the US.

An experienced immigration attorney can help your spouse navigate these options and determine the best course of action for their particular situation.


It is not impossible to divorce your husband if he has been deported. You can follow any of the ways mentioned above to serve him the divorce papers. But, before taking any action, it is always advisable to consult a lawyer to get the best possible outcome.

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