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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default How to Divorce a Spouse Who Lives in a Different State, Separated Five Years

    My question involves a marriage in the state of: We were married in Florida, I reside in Georgia currently and my spouse resides in Florida.

    I spoke to a lawyer recently and at the time my husband was living New York and I am in Georgia. The lawyer stated that since he lived in another state, I would have to get him to sign papers agreeing to have our divorce done in Georgia, otherwise I would have to go to New York. We also discussed me posting in the newspaper since I expected he would refuse to give me his address and/ or would refuse to sign papers agreeing to have our divorce done in NY.
    (I apologize if all this sounds confusing..believe me it is to me too, which is why I have no idea how to proceed. I cannot afford a lawyer.)

    In the meantime, he has moved back to Florida, which is also the state we got married in. We have been separated for five years and at one time I had a protection order against him. I also do not want him to have my new address because I fear he may try to cause harm in some way.

    We have three children, one who lives with me, one in college on her own, and one who is with my ex for the moment. We have no assets at all, nothing to split. I doubt he will try to get custody of my daughter except for the reason of causing me grief and/ or to avoid having to pay child support.

    My question is just how do I proceed to get things under way? Would I need to go to Florida to file? If he refuses to give me the new address would I be able to simply post in a local paper? If he refuses to sign papers what can I do from there?
    Thank you for any help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: How to Divorce a Spouse Who Lives in a Different State, Separated Five Years

    Custody issues are complicated by the fact that your children are in two different states; to enable the court to handle all issues in a single case you can ask him to agree to a divorce in your state or you can file for divorce in his state. If you have to divide issues between states and courts it becomes much more cumbersome and potentially costly.

    If there are no assets to divide and you both want a divorce, jurisdictional issues aside, it would be absurd to file in a state in which nobody (no parent and no child) presently lives.

    You can expect that you will have to use your address if you file in pro per. You can expect that the custody order will require that you keep each other informed of your addresses and phone numbers so that you can contact the children in each other's custody. (I hope you're doing that.) If you truly are in fear of this person, consult a domestic violence shelter to see if they can provide a referral to a low-cost lawyer who handles cases involving domestic violence.

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