Hello. I'll be assisting you with your question.
Was your marriage in DC a legal same-sex marriage, or was it a private ceremony? In other words, was there a marriage certificate filed?
OK. In that case, you will have to file for divorce in Virginia. Of course, this is somewhat complicated by the fact that Virginia doesn't recognize same-sex marriages.
True, but you need to have been separated for at least 6 months.
OK. So, on June 18th, you can begin the process in Washington DC, which is clearly your best option, given the fact that you are so close to the 6 month mark.
As far as whether you need a lawyer, you don't necessarily NEED one, although it would make the process go much, much smoother, especially considering the fact that it will be very difficult and expensive for you to travel back and forth for all the hearings and meetings.
However, you can find the proper forms here:
To get the process started, you have to file a petition for divorce in DC and serve your wife with a copy. From there, the court will start issuing deadlines and hearings. Also, the number of hearings and complexity of the divorce proceedings are largely driven by the number of assets to be divided up.
Yes, you DEFINITELY want to get her served while you still know where to find her. At the very least, you should start the process and get her served, then hire a lawyer to finish up the process.
You won't need a lawyer, but you won't be legally divorced just by filing one. A separation agreement just deals with assets while you are separated or the divorce is pending.
OK. You can do that without a lawyer, but you will still be married. Also, filing a MSA won't begin the divorce process, it essentially separates your financial ties.
I'm not suggesting it is a bad idea, I just wanted you to understand the limitations of a MSA.
It is a very wise first step, but you still need to follow up with a divorce, preferably while you still know where she is.
A lawyer can represent someone living in another country.
Glad to help.
Can I do anything else for you?
Great. If there isn't anything else I can do for you, please remember to "Rate" my answer. Also, if you have any questions in the future, you can direct them to me by including "this question is for TexLawyer" in the title.
Unfortunately, the terms of Just Answer do not allow us to recommend specific lawyers.
However, I can point you to a couple of resources.
You can use www.lawyers.com or www.martindale.com. Both are well respected (and free) lawyer referral services.
Glad I could help.
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