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#771499 - 02/24/16 03:25 AM Don't have a clue about how to start.
doormat1 Offline

recently joined

Registered: 02/24/16
Posts: 1
My husband and I are currently out of the USA but will return at the end of March. Will spare you the details, but I want out. Here's the tricky part. He retired 3 years ago after a lengthy career, and we decided to become world travelers. We gave up our PA residency and became, on paper, residents of Florida because of tax purposes, not to live there. So I have no residency established in the U.S. anywhere. From what I've read, I need to establish residency somewhere in the U.S. before I can file for separation. My husband has a sizable investment portfolio (in both our names), a pension, an inheritance, Social Security to begin in May this year, a boat (our only semi-permanent residence in Maryland, also in both our names), and a car (in both our names). The boat and car will be paid off by May. We have no debt, no house or other sizeable assets. Our one child is 40 years old, so no problem there. What should I do first? Consult a lawyer in Pennsylvania? Separate from my husband and establish residency in PA before doing anything else? (I have no money of my own). My only income will be my Social Security, which will not start until the end of this year at the earliest. I gave up on having a career to stay home to raise our son and then work part-time to help with the finances. My health (I'm 64 with asthma and other health problems) precludes my getting a job. I have no one with whom I can stay temporarily while establishing residency. My biggest concern is that my husband will play hard-ball and do everything in his power to keep me from getting a penny. I'm quite sure he would sleep well even if he knew I was living in a cardboard box. What do you advise me to do? I only made the decision to divorce him a few days ago. Thank you.

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#771500 - 02/24/16 04:27 AM Re: Don't have a clue about how to start. [Re: doormat1]
TJMH Offline

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Registered: 07/17/15
Posts: 339
Where (what state) in the U.S. will you be returning to? If you're legally a resident of FL for tax purposes you can probably file there even if you haven't physically lived there.

If it were me I think I'd keep quiet about it until you got back to the States and then schedule a consultation with a family law attorney wherever you wind up. Usually they'll do an initial interview for free to hear about your situation and let you know how they can help you. And if your husband is as you describe it sounds like you're definitely going to need to lawyer up. Luckily it sounds like you should come out of the divorce with some assets to pay them.

The attorney should be able to give you some guidance on where you should file--you may have a few different options and you may want to evaluate which state would have more or less advantageous divorce laws for you. Every state has different divorce laws, and how the case proceeds may also depend on which county or court district you're in.

In pretty much every state much of what you say your husband has is actually community property. You both equally own the investment portfolio, pension, boat and car. If he's kept his inheritance separate it's probably his alone, but if he's commingled it with marital funds (deposited it in a joint account, for example) then you may be entitled to a portion of that also.


Edited by TJMH (02/24/16 04:29 AM)

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#771501 - 03/23/16 10:06 AM Re: Don't have a clue about how to start. [Re: doormat1]
warrenphillips Offline

recently joined

Registered: 02/22/16
Posts: 10
Even I faced such dilemma when me and my husband decided to separate but my lawyer at Seigman, Starritt-Burnett & Sinkfield, PLLC, supported me throughout the case and helped me make the right decision.


Edited by warrenphillips (03/23/16 10:09 AM)

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