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Married in idaho, live in washington which state do I file for a divorce in?

Spokane, WA |

My husband and I got married May of 2011 in Idaho, and now are seperated, want to know which state to file divorce in. We live in Washington. Also we have a child on the way due November 2011. He works for his dad under the table and was going to school being paid by the VA but isn't attending school now, I'm the only one who works will I have to pay him alimony? Need help please

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Attorney answers 4


Washington is the correct state in which to file for a divorce because you live here. You are discussing a very short term marriage, so the likelihood of either of you paying maintenance to the other is slim to nil. But what is going to be a problem is trying to finalize your dissolution before your baby is born. Oddly enough, the jurisprudence on this subject comes out of Spokane, mostly. You have to tell the court you are expecting a baby, and if the child is going to reside primarily with you, then your husband is going to be paying you child support.

Support is based on your combined incomes and when your husband is working under the table it is important to have an attorney who can document what they are earning so you are sure to get support set accurately.

I have had the great good luck to work with Kelley Padgham in Spokane; she is a very good family law attorney and a consultation with her would probably set your mind at ease. Hope this helps. Elizabeth Powell

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If you are both currently residing in Washington, then file your divorce in Washington. You will not be required to pay spousal maintenance post divorce because your marriage was very short. It does not seem likely that you would be required to pay him temporary maintenance - which covers the period between separation and the entry of the final divorce decree - based on your representation that he is working. The court will consider your income compared to his and decide whether or not he has the need for support and whether or not you have the ability to pay it.


You should file in Washington because you both live here and likely conceived a child in this state. Before the court would even consider awarding maintenance, he would have to prove that he has a "need" and you have an "ability" to pay it. You need a good family attorney to give you some advice as to how to protect yourself and your baby.

Margaret Brost


You will definately want to file in Washington State. With regard to you question about maintenance every case is different so there is no yes or no answer, I would suggest seeking a consultation with an attorney in the county you reside. The attorney would need to know more specific information during the consultation in order to answer this question more accurately.

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