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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    2

    Default Florida Divorce Filed in 1997 W/ Active Status – Petitioner Relocated to Ma

    In 1997 I filled for Dissolution of Marriage in the state of Florida, though for a number of reasons I never followed through. My spouse and I have an adult son, (24 yrs. old) and are on good terms, though she lives in FL but in a different county than where I originally filed. I have worked and lived in Massachusetts since 2017. There is no dispute over property or money so this should be simple in that respect.

    I am able to pull my case up online and with regards to the status I’m confused, as it says the following, “Case Status: Disposed”, though below that, under Parties, it says “Status: Active”. Below that, under the Disposition section, it states the Statistical Closure as “Dismissed, Settled or Disposed After Hearing” and “Final Order of Dismissal, Comment (Final Order Of Dismissal Fld & Rec W/out Prej (Moc))”.

    My question is, is it necessary to revisit the divorce process from the same/original location in Florida-especially considering my spouse lives in a different county, (she’s lived there 3 years) or would it be possible for me to file from here in Massachusetts since I meet their residency requirement?
    Additionally, would I need to start from the beginning and file a new petition?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2,886

    Default Re: Florida Divorce Filed in 1997 W/ Active Status – Petitioner Relocated to Ma

    Sounds as if the original divorce is closed. You can file in MA or she can file in FL.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,877

    Default Re: Florida Divorce Filed in 1997 W/ Active Status – Petitioner Relocated to Ma

    Quote Quoting Connie67
    View Post

    Additionally, would I need to start from the beginning and file a new petition?
    It would probably be cleaner that way. If you agree on everything, pick the state where you can file a joint petition. You'll have to look that up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,537

    Default Re: Florida Divorce Filed in 1997 W/ Active Status – Petitioner Relocated to Ma

    were there any actions taken under the original suit? Any orders issued?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Florida Divorce Filed in 1997 W/ Active Status – Petitioner Relocated to Ma

    Quote Quoting Connie67
    View Post
    In 1997 I filled for Dissolution of Marriage in the state of Florida, though for a number of reasons I never followed through. My spouse and I have an adult son, (24 yrs. old) and are on good terms, though she lives in FL but in a different county than where I originally filed. I have worked and lived in Massachusetts since 2017. There is no dispute over property or money so this should be simple in that respect.

    I am able to pull my case up online and with regards to the status I’m confused, as it says the following, “Case Status: Disposed”, though below that, under Parties, it says “Status: Active”. Below that, under the Disposition section, it states the Statistical Closure as “Dismissed, Settled or Disposed After Hearing” and “Final Order of Dismissal, Comment (Final Order Of Dismissal Fld & Rec W/out Prej (Moc))”.

    My question is, is it necessary to revisit the divorce process from the same/original location in Florida-especially considering my spouse lives in a different county, (she’s lived there 3 years) or would it be possible for me to file from here in Massachusetts since I meet their residency requirement?
    Additionally, would I need to start from the beginning and file a new petition?
    No, it is not necessary to revisit the original divorce filing in Florida. And yes you can file in Massachusetts, provided you meet the residential requisites. But with the understanding that the Massachusetts court's jurisdiction would be limited to dissolving the marriage. Meaning that it could not treat with issues pertaining to the distribution of marital property, assign marital debts to the wife or award spousal support UNLESS the defendant wife were to make a general appearance in the Massachusetts court case.

    In other words, in order to adjudicate the financial issues arising out of divorce, the court must have personal jurisdiction over the defendant spouse. If the Massachusetts court should lack personal jurisdiction over the wife, you could very well end up with what is called a "divisible divorce" with financial issues, if any left hanging. (See: Vanderbilt v. Vanderbilt, 354 U.S. 416: (1957); Estin v. Estin, 334 U.S. 541.

    I suggest that you seek counsel with a Massachusetts family lawyer.

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