Hi, My husband and I were married in April 2008, in India. We both are naturalized citizens of the US, currently living in Garnet valley, PA. We have 2 girls, ages 7 and 1. Our relationship reached to a point where I don't see any future for us living together anymore. He completely shut me down for about 2 weeks now, stopped all verbal communication. We still live in the same house with our kids. I would like to initiate the divorce process and not sure if I can do that while I'm still in the house. I don't have any family support system here in the US and most of my family is back in India. I'm not finding enough courage to move out of the house with my kids as they are very young and dont want to put them in any kind of risk. Please advise on how to proceed with filing etc., while staying in the same home.
Every State has their own system of divorce. Some require a reason and others, like Washington, do not. You need to make an appointment with a divorce lawyer where you live and have him or her advise you on how ot proceed and to draft the proper documents.
When you see the lawyer, be prepared with some basic information. Name, both married and birth, number, age and sex of the chilldren, if any. You also should have an idea of work for both of you, incomes and a general idea of property and debt.
AVVO has a system called Find a Lawyer that you can use or you can talk to any of your friends about an attorney.
The advice will differ depending on whether there has been abuse/violence, or if you think it may turn to an abusive, violent environment. States have domestic violence prevention statutes that allow for immediate protection if that is or becomes an issue, and often the protection orders will require the bad actor to move from the marital home. If abuse/violence is not an issue, honesty is the best initial approach - find a safe time and place, with a friend around perhaps, to explain your unhappiness. Ask him to move out and explain that you will proceed with divorce complaint if you and he are unable to make an agreeable arrangement for use and occupancy of the home. States also have divorce statutes that allow for "orders to vacate" when a divorce is pending and the home environment has turned toxic and contrary to the children's best interests/health/safety.
Hello -- I am sorry to hear of your situation. You can absolutely file for divorce while you're still living in the house. You do not have to move in order to do this. Your best course of action is to contact a divorce attorney in your area, tell him or her more about your situation, and get some personalized advice on how to proceed. We cannot do it justice here on this site. For example, my first meeting with a new divorce client is usually quite comprehensive and it takes a little over an hour generally, but after that it over, the client is informed and has made decisions as to how to proceed.
Please note that once a divorce is filed you can petition the court to ask for exclusive possession of the house. And if there is any abuse against you, you can file for a protection order and he will have to move out.
Finally, be aware that divorce laws and procedures, and even terminology, can be very different from one state to the next, so you do want to consult with a lawyer licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, preferably with some experience in your county. All the best to you!
I have a private practice in suburban Philadelphia, and I welcome new clients. My office phone is 484-875-3023. I am working from my home office in response to the governor's order to stay home, so all services are being provided via phone, email, and online video conference. My answer to your question is not to be considered legal advice, just general information and direction based on the information in your question, and my knowledge and experience. The fact that I answered your question does not create a lawyer-client relationship between us.
You can certainly file for divorce while living in the same house with your husband. However, you really need to discuss your case with an attorney to find out the best way to handle what will certainly be a difficult living situation.
THESE COMMENTS MUST NOT BE CONSIDERED LEGAL ADVICE. Comments made on websites such as Avvo.com are provided for information purposes only. The only way to determine how the law may apply to your particular situation is to consult with an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation.
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