Please take a moment to familiarise yourself with the forum guidelines:
Check out our country and city guides at

divorce in Tunisia

edited September 2014 in - North Africa
I am married to a Tunisian man for 13 years i am American we live in the USA do i need to go to tunis to get a divorce if my husband goes their to file for one.


  • As you are both resident in the USA, especially after thirteen years of marriage you require  a US divorce.
    A no fault divorce is the easiest and most straightforward. 

    If your husband decides to go to Tunis that is up to him. Tunisian men seem to run home to divorce as they seem to think that divorce from another country is not relevant to them , particularly if they married in Tunisia.
    You most definitely do not need to go to Tunisia, if he divorces there, the Tunisian court will simply write to you.
    You do not mention if you have children, as this may be important.
  • Divorce in Tunisia can be very quick and very easy for either party. Usually if one party does not wish for the divorce it can take a little longer, but for the Tunisian all they have to do is give an incorrect address for the other party. The court will not verify this address. Two letters will be sent by the court and if the other party does not reply or come to the court on the verified date then the divorce will be granted. The Tunisian can then have it entered onto their birth certificate and as far as Tunisia is concerned this is legal and binding. Many foreign women have fallen prey to this.  There is a very famous case here when a Tunisian living in the UK divorced his English wife after many years.  She had financed houses, businesses etc etc.  She is still going through the court system, however the Tunisian has married and has all the assets.  If you have children do not under any circumstances bring them to Tunisia as wherever they were born and no matter that they may be US citizens Tunisian court system recognises them as Tunisian and he can refuse for them to leave the country unless of course they are of adult age.

    So, let him come here and make the divorce, you do not have to be here, you will not have to pay, it will be quick and you can be rid of him!

  • Lesley can you explain more regarding the Tunisian who divorced his UK wife after many years. I do not understand the relevance. The reason I ask this question is because when people divorce in the UK the assets and children are not dealt with by the divorce court but separately and it does not take years to finalise.

  • Alethia, the Tunisian husband came back to Tunisia and divorced his wife here, therefore all the assets (which were here in Tunisia) reverted to the husband. The laws are very convoluted here, based on the old French laws (some) and then added to and changed......In the case I talk about, the husband came back from the UK telling his wife he was coming here on vacation and then did exactly what he wanted. He even had a Tunisian woman waiting for him and she had been waiting for him a long time but this is what it is like here.

    I suppose I was referring to this case as an example of what some Tunisian men who have gained citizenship while married to a foreigner can and will do.

    Let me know if you want more intimate details and I will happily give you more information.
  • Thanks Lesley, I understand completely about life in Tunisia but did not understand your reference to the divorce. 

    The majority of foreign women who marry Tunisians do not have assets in Tunisia, so it is easier and better for them to divorce in their own country i.e.. UK, USA Europe etc. 
    It is the Tunisian men, who rush to instigate a divorce in Tunisia, no matter how long they have lived abroad , as they seem to think that only a Tunisian divorce is acceptable. Presumably they think they can maybe manipulate the system.

    The biggest problem as we both know is minor children and the difficulties that can follow if the women allow these children to visit Tunisia after a divorce.
  • Alethia - exactly! The assets in the foreign country can usually be sorted quite well which is why I tell many foreign women to let their Tunisian husbands come back here for the divorce. It is quick and virtually painless unless they hold assets/joint assets. They can manipulate the system but then so can the foreigner if they wish for a quick divorce. 

    They probably also believe wrongly that only in Tunisia can they have their new status put on their certificate de naissance.  Wrong but of course someone told them that and they were told by that one who was told by that one etc and does my head in sometimes.

    You are right in regard to the children which again is why I always advise that the children stay with the mother in her country rather than coming here to Tunisia. It can even be a visit before the divorce and before she knows it her children have Tunisian passports and then refused permission to leave Tunisia by the Father. Oh I have stories you can't or you probably would believe!!

  • Thank you for the info but i have another question how long does it take for the divorce in tunis.
  • I married my husband in tunisia does it make difference?
  • Susie - it can take as short as 3 weeks if you both agree to the divorce. You can divorce in UK or in Tunis, however, it is very very cheap to divorce here. If you don't have assets or children then it can cost as little as around tnd200
  • Susie - sorry that should have read USA and not UK
  • Hi I am from Canada and I am in Tunisia right now I would like to divorce my Tunisian husband before I return back to Canada is this possible and where do I go to do this ? is there alot of paperwork and how do I get started ?
  • It depends how long you will be in Tunisia and I believe you need to hire an English speaking lawyer. 

    Lesley the Tunisia expert will hopefully be along to advise you further.
Sign In or Register to comment.