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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action


The Family Liaison Office (FLO) provides guidance and support in the area of divorce. Foreign Service employees and family members in the process of a divorce are eligible to access these services.

While Foreign Service couples go through divorce proceedings in the same manner as those living permanently in the United States, there are factors to consider which may complicate or prolong the process due to the nature of international assignments. FLO can help couples navigate those issues that are unique to the Foreign Service.

Divorce and the Foreign Service (pdf): a comprehensive guide to divorce for Foreign Service families

Frequently Asked Questions about Divorce in the Foreign Service

Employee Responsibilities during Impending Dissolution of Marriage or Domestic Partnership

Travel of Children of Separated Families

Finding an Attorney

Former Spouse Benefits

Former Spouse Benefits under the Foreign Service Retirement System - The Department of State's Office of Retirement website has up-to-date information on former spouse benefits. Another good source of information is AskRNet (click on Frequently Asked Questions) where employees and family members can submit questions.
Tel: (202) 261-8960 or (866) 224-9053


The Family Liaison Office (FLO) advocates for employees and families under Chief of Mission authority. The Crisis Management and Support Team provides guidance and referral to all Foreign Service employees and family members on a range of topics related to divorce.
Tel: (202) 647-1076

The Career Development Resource Center (CDRC) is a comprehensive career development service that assists individuals in making effective career decisions. Senior Career Counselors are available to provide individual, confidential counseling by appointment or brief consultations. Note that this service is only available to spouses who have not yet finalized a divorce.
Tel: (202) 663-3042

Employee Consultation Service (ECS) provides short-term counseling and referrals for State Department and USAID employees and family members. This is a confidential, free service staffed by licensed clinical social workers. ECS has a monthly divorce support group that meets at the Department of State.
Tel: (703) 812-2257

IQ: Information Quest is an employee assistance program, available to Department of State employees and their families, that provides comprehensive services on topics ranging from child care and financial planning to legal issues and eldercare support. Log on to their website ( Contact IQ for login assistance. Specialists are available 24/7.
Tel: (866) 552-4748 or (888) 604-9565

Victim’s Resource Advocacy Program (VRAP) - The Department of State’s Victims’ Resource Advocacy Program (VRAP) provides advocacy and on-going support during investigations conducted by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

Metro D.C. Area Resources

This is a list of advocacy resources the Family Liaison Office (FLO) has compiled, but does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any of these organizations by FLO or the Department of State.

Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW) have an active group for Foreign Born Spouses among their many groups and programs. They also sponsor a Yahoo Group called Livelines but you must join AAFSW to access the group. Spouses may join this group even after a divorce as a way to stay active and connected to the Foreign Service community.
Tel: (703) 820-5420

Brilliant Exits and Second Saturday are two local resources to help explain the process of divorce and available options. Brilliant Exits has a wealth of resources on their website. Second Saturday meets once a month and covers the basics of divorce, providing education and support.
Tel: (703) 659-2060

Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA) is an officially recognized organization that represents the concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) personnel and their families.

The Women’s Center is a counseling, education and information resource that provides psychological, career, financial, and legal services to women and families regardless of ability to pay.
Tel: (703) 281-2657

Northern Virginia Mediation Service (NVMS) provides mediation services, which is more cost effective than litigation. Mediation is appropriate for resolving issues related to divorce and separation.
Tel: (703) 865-7263

Email for more information. Information provided by the Family Liaison Office.


Information provided by the Family Liaison Office
Contact the Family Liaison Office


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