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Frustrated and Confused!. I am told I need to file for divorce in the state my ex and I last lived as a married couple. How?

Warrenton, VA |

I live in VA and he lives in ID he and I married in ID 12 years ago but have not lived as husband and wife for 11 years . I am being told I need to file in that state however it requires me to live in it for a period of at least 6weeks. I was also told I can not file in my current state because he and I did not live as husband and wife in this state. I am so confused. what can I do?

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Attorney answers 2


So long as HE has lived the for the period required by the statute in ID, you can proceed there. You can file in VA if he agrees or if you just want a divorce and no other relief and have lived here for 6 months, you also can file here.

This response does not create an attorney-client relationship and is intended for general information purposes only.


I have four suggestions for you:

(1) VERIFY the jurisdictional/residency filing requirements in Idaho with an attorney who practices divorce law in Idaho. Idaho is the state that should have complete jurisdiction over the divorce suit since it is the last place of marital cohabitation, at least one of the parties still resides there, and Idaho has personal jurisdiction over the defendant. So, the first thing I would recommend is that you make sure there is no misunderstanding about what the law in Idaho actually is on the subject. For example, in Virginia the pro se sample divorce pleadings include a statement that the complainant is a resident and domicilary of Virginia and has been so for at least 6 months prior to the filing of the suit. This leads pro se litigants to assume that the filing party must be a VA resident when the statute (the law) actually provides that a suit for divorce can be filed as long as at least one of the parties (including the defendant) is a bona fide resident and domiciliary of Virginia for 6 months.

2. If in fact only the resident spouse can file in Idaho, then find out from your spouse if they also want a divorce and would be willing to initiate the suit.

3. If your spouse is amenable to the divorce, have an attorney assist you in negotiating and drafting a written settlement agreement that includes provisions agreeing to the applicability of VA law, consent to jurisdiction in VA for the divorce suit, and acceptance and waiver of service. This would enable the VA court to enter a final decree of divorce that resolves all incidents of the marriage.

4. File a bifurcated divorce action in Virginia. Under the facts you have described, VA only has jurisdiction to change your marital status, but not to deal with marital property or support issues. You risk losing important rights by doing this, however, so please consult with an attorney before filing anything.

This response does not create an attorney-client relationship and is intended for general information purposes only.