Special Information for International Divorce Clients

The Good News

Because my presence is so pervasive and focused on the Internet, it won’t surprise you that I provide services frequently for people who are living in other countries, using the telephone and the Internet.

It’s not particularly difficult, and it doesn’t cost you any more than it does people who live down the street from me. With the benefit of the tools I use, if you have high-speed Internet, you’ll be able to see the documents for your divorce take shape as I’m working on them just as you would if you were in my town.

If your spouse is in yet another country and wants to participate, that’s fine too. And if your spouse has high-speed Internet, your spouse can see the documents while I’m working on them just like you can.

The Bad News

So far, so good. Now here’s the rub. Please don’t call and leave me an overseas number to use to call you back. I’ve learned from experience that there are just too many things that can go wrong, and I won’t run up international calling charges on someone who might decide not to use me. And I strongly suggest you don’t keep calling me from overseas hoping to catch me in. That’s a good way to get you frustrated, because when I’m in my office, I’m usually meeting with people or talking on the phone.

At the other end of the spectrum, I’ve also learned from experience that it also does not work for you to try to send me all the information you think I need by e-mail, have me prepare the documents, and then return them to you by e-mail. There are always questions I need to ask you that require a give-and-take oral conversation. We need to talk, friend.

Lee’s Suggestion

If you’re interested in having me prepare the documents for your uncontested divorce, send me an e-mail. We can set a specific time by e-mail, and then when you call my office at the appointed time, you’ll know I will be ready to answer your call and work on your case. I’ll give you a special number to use so that, at the appointed time, I will be looking for a call coming in on that number. Just know that I’ll be standing by at that time and will begin charging you from the appointed time regardless of when you actually call. So you will want to be especially careful to be punctual.

If you have already sent me the information on the Info Template, it will save us a little time at the front end and improve the probability of accuracy with names, addresses, etc. The conversation rarely takes more than an hour. When it does, it’s usually because of negotiations between you and your spouse or extra time for you to make decisions.

When our conversation is over, I’ll e-mail you a PDF file  containing all the documents for your divorce. I will provide you instructions about where and how each of you should sign and my mailing address so you can return the documents to me after you and your spouse have signed them. Your divorce should be effective within about seven weeks after I receive the signed documents.

And One More Suggestion

You may think it’s a good idea to take the e-mail I send you, print off the documents, sign them, and then send them to your spouse (perhaps living much closer to me) and ask your spouse to send them directly to me. That may work, but only if you and your spouse have a really good relationship. What happens too often is that you send them to your spouse, you think surely by now I have received them, and you start checking in with me. “Did you get them?” “Did you get them today?” They should be there by now.” And each time you contact me, that’s another $20 you owe me. It’s not fun for me, and it’s surely not fun for you to pay me that way.

Even though it means a little extra transit time, I prefer that you e-mail the documents to your spouse, have your spouse sign and send them to you, and then you send them to me once you know everything is correct. If you absolutely can’t bring yourself to do that and want your spouse to send the documents directly to me, just get in the habit of checking atclients.divorceinfo.com (I’ll tell how to check when we prepare your papers). It’s free, and it will be up to date within a day or so.

Alabama Family Law Center is a private law firm. It is neither a public legal aid agency nor a section or subcommittee of the Alabama State Bar. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

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