Married almost 11 years, separated almost 8 years. Now live in Va for 2 months and want to get a divorce. What's the best route to take?
The best thing to do is consult with a lawyer. If your current husband has no connection to Virginia, then there may be issues with filing an obtaining a divorce in Virginia. If you and your husband can agree, then it won't be an issue. You should sit down with a lawyer to discuss the specific facts of your case. You should be prepared to discuss with your lawyer where you and your husband last lived together as husband and wife, where he currently lives, whether you both consent to the division of property, support, and more.
The more important question is where does your spouse reside? That would likely be the best jurisdiction in which to file for divorce.
Legal issues often depend on the specific facts in any given case or situation. Please do NOT utilize the information you receive as either a binding legal opinion in your case, nor presume that I am your counsel because I've answered a question you had. Any legal representation is accomplished by written contract ONLY, signed by each of us.
You need to be a resident and domiciliary of VA for at least 6 months in order to be eligible to file for divorce. If your spouse lives here also and VA is the place of last matrimonial domicile, VA will also have jurisdiction over property and support. If not, the jurisdiction issue is more complicated. If your spouse still lives in NY, you may need to file for divorce there.
This answer is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. To receive advice tailored to your unique circumstances, you should meet with an experienced attorney.
The place of marriage has little bearing on where a divorce should be filed. Your question raises the issue of "divisible divorce", the concept that a marriage consists of both a legal relationship and resulting property rights. The marriage itself is a "res", a thing that follows each spouse wherever he or she resides. Consequently, the spouse can terminate the legal relationship once that spouse has satisfied a state's particular requirements for residency and domicile.
In contrast, under the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution, a person must have a sufficient connection to a particular state in order for a court in that state to exercise personal jurisdiction - the jurisdiction necessary to affect one's property rights. In order to resolve property rights, a spouse must file in a state where the other spouse could reasonably be expected to answer a lawsuit or case there. This might be the state where the parties last resided as husband and wife, where the defendant spouse owns property, and/or where the defendant spouse has established a domicile and residency.
It is important to consult with an attorney about the best place to file a divorce against your spouse.
The foregoing is intended to be general legal information concerning Virginia law based on the scenario as written and not legal advice to anyone in particular. The information provided should not be relied on as legal advice or as an appropriate basis for any legal action, and it's provision does not establish an attorney-client relationship with the reader. Information shared or provided on a public forum is obviously not confidential or private. Every situation is unique and you should always immediately consult with a Virginia attorney to discuss all your options in light of your particular circumstances before acting.
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