Virginia Divorce Law Lawyers
Filing divorce papers is the first step of a divorce. These papers put your spouse on notice of the impending legal process. Technically, you don’t need a lawyer to file for divorce, but the documents can be complicated, especially if you have children or large assets or debts that need to be divided. A divorce lawyer can help you make sure that you cover all your bases in the divorce and help protect your rights to make sure that you get what you are entitled to.
Where Do You File Divorce Papers?
Your divorce documents are filed at the courthouse in the county where you live. However, most places have residency requirements before you can file divorce paperwork. You generally have to live somewhere for a minimum amount of time, for example, six months, before you can file in that county. This court takes jurisdiction over your case.
What If You and Your Spouse Live in Different Counties?
When you and your spouse live in different locations, it can be a little more complicated. If your spouse meets residency requirements, he or she can file for divorce in the county where he or she lives. This means that you’ll have to travel to that county for court dates. In some cases, if it’s a hardship for one person to travel, the case can be transferred to another jurisdiction. If the divorce is filed in a different state, make sure to find a lawyer who can practice where the divorce proceedings will be held.
What If You Weren’t Married in the United States, but Live Here Now?
As long as your marriage is recognized in the United States, you can get a divorce here. However, you do need to meet the residency requirements. If one spouse lives overseas, while the other one lives here, you can still file divorce papers in the U.S. where you live.
What If Both Parties File for Divorce?
If you file for divorce, then your spouse files for divorce in a different location, one case will have to be withdrawn. Divorce lawyers can negotiate which one should be dismissed, but typically it will be the second to file.
What If Both of Us Agree and the Divorce Is Uncontested? Do We Still Need a Lawyer?
Even uncontested divorces should at least have a divorce attorney look over the paperwork before filing to make sure that you haven’t left anything out. It’s easy to forget to divide retirement accounts or vacation property that was bought during the marriage but is only in the spouse’s name.
Contact a divorce attorney in Arlington, TX to protect your rights during your divorce.
Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into family law and common questions about filing for divorce.