I am currently residing in the state that I was married - Maryland. We have been married for 7 years, we currently own a home together, have 2 dogs and no children. Neither can afford to live in the home w/o dual income. Additionally, the value has dropped that we have very little equity and it would cost us out of pocket to sell. I don't know how we could afford to legally seperate and live in different places. I have no idea of what to expect. I really don't want a divorce and would like to reconcile but I want to be informed if and when he goes through with it. He's always had a temper and is controlling so I do whatever I can to avoid argument and for the most part, do what he tells me. I don't want to be the victim, I want to know what to do to protect and prepare myself.
Make an appointment immediately with the local SAFE division for getting some support about getting out from a mentally-abusive relationship. You have the right to file against him for divorce, but you will have to file in Virginia since that appears to be where he resides. You can file for a loan modification with your lender, so don't presume that you cannot keep the house.
First and foremost- get some help in stopping being victimized- there is no reason for you to put up with his attitude, and he doesn't have the right to 'file when he wants to'. There are strict legal guidelines, but if he forced you out of the house, that may constitute the fault-based ground of divorce for desertion (actually, constructive desertion).
Talk to a lawyer who cares about these kinds of situations and is sympathetic- the SAFE folks should be able to recommend someone.
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Family Law Attorney
I would recommend that you immediately schedule an initial consultation with a family law attorney in the jurisdiction where you and your husband currently reside (or, if separated, last resided) TOGETHER. The attorney can help you sort out, as a veryt important initial matter, whether this is a Maryland divorce case or a Virginia divorce case. Each state has their own laws concerning marriage and divorce, so you first need to have an attorney determine which state's laws would apply to your case before being able to advise you any further.
There are a number of attorneys out there who offer free initial consultations (generally 15-30 minutes) for family law matters, which should be enough time to at least determine the threshold jurisdictional question. Having an attorney representing you in the matter would also provide you with a very useful buffer between you and your spouse. Let your lawyer be the bad guy in your husband's eyes -- we are use to it!
This response does not create an attorney-client relationship and is intended for general information purposes only.