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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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I was married 18 years ago to an active duty navy man. He

Customer Question

I was married 18 years ago to an active duty navy man. He left our home four years ago to live on his final duty in Virginia. We had agreed that he was to retire after 23 years. He re-enlisted soon after leaving with no communication between us whatsoever. I have maintained our owned home and 3 children (1 special needs from his side of the family)for the duration of our marriage while he was away on duty. He has had several instances of infidelity one of which my eldest daughter was witness, one which our neighbor was witness and revealed to me soon after my husband left four years ago, and one in which he emailed photos of his privates to my ex-sister in-law. I believe he has a child with a co-worker approximately 2 years of age. I was served with divorce papers from the state of Virginia recently. He has cut all but a few hundred dollars a month from the bi-weekly pay deposit into our bank account leaving me with little control of mine and my children's lives. The filing of divorce in Virginia has left me at his mercy because financially I have no means to protect myself. I have tried contacting his superiors to no avail due to his standing in the good old boys network. Any advice will be appreciated. I have already had a nervous breakdown (documented) and am at the end of my rope.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

The New York court has jurisdiction here, because that's where the two of you lived together while married, that's where you live now, and that's where the children live. You can actually file for divorce in New York, file motions for temporary child custody and support, and file a motion to dismiss the Virginia case for lack of jurisdiction over you or the children. New York law allows you to request that your husband pay your attorney's fees to ensure that you're both on equal footing in the divorce. The state wants to make sure a case is won by the person who has a better case, not the person who makes the most money.

You should be able to find a lawyer who will accept the case and file a Motion for Attorney's Fees along with everything else. Then you can pay the lawyer with money the judge awards you instead of paying upfront out of your own pocket. You may have to call a few firms to find someone, but it would be worth it. A NY lawyer cannot move to dismiss the VA case, but they may be able to help you prepare the documents yourself or refer you to a Virginia lawyer (who would also be paid through the money you get from your husband).

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