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stevexo, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1000
Experience:  30 years helping those with Family legal needs
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I along with my boyfriend we native Californians residing for

Resolved Question:

I along with my boyfriend we native Californians residing for several years in Orange County California. In October 1999, we decided to get married and have a destination wedding. We flew to Jamaica and stayed the required amount of days and were married on the island. When we returned from our honeymoon, I took the marriage certificate to the Social Security board, and Department of Motor Vehicles, presented the certificate and changed my last name to his. Being pre 9/11 it was a simple process to make the change. I never filed the marriage certificate with the County Clerk’s office. A few years later we split up and I moved to Texas (where I currently reside; since 2003). He still resides in Southern California. At this point we have been apart for several years. I would like to know if we are legally married? Can I file for divorce? If so, in what state do I file? Does he need to sign divorce documents? Any help you can provide so that I can settle this matter once and for all would be much appreciated.
Thank you, XXXXX
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  stevexo replied 5 years ago.
Glad to help. Yes your marriage in Jamaica would be valid in the US, so you are legally married. Now the divorce could be filed in either state, if no children or real property. As to which state controls either Texas or Calif., it depends on who files first. The first state to file in, is the state that should have jurisdiction over the divorce. So you could file in Texas ,and if he would want to sign an answer and waiver than this matter could proceed uncontested to final hearing in Texas if that is your desire. Sincerely, XXXXX XXXXX If you both cooperate there should be no problems!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Just a few more questoins for clarification. Is ne state more desirable/favorable to file in thatn the other? Do I get documents online or hire coulsel here in Texas to do all the divorce papers? Will my name remain the same? Does it matter that we never reported the marriage here in the the states nor that we never filed taxes togethter? We are still friends, have no property together, but we both own property on our own that was aquired after our split from each other.
Expert:  stevexo replied 5 years ago.
Ok , one at a time. It really makes no difference which state to file in, most people choose this because of distance and convenience. It would be much easier to get an attorney in Texas, but with a simple divorce, no children or property you could pick up an uncontesteded divorce packet most likely at your court house, fill it out, file it, serve it, go to your final hearing. Your name can remain the same, or you can keep your maiden name, it is up to you , but if you desire to change it, make sure it is included in the divorce. It should not matter that the marriage was not recorded in the states or that you have not filed taxes together. Sincerely, XXXXX XXXXX the property is fine, just want to mention in the divorce that each one of you own the piece in question free and clear of the others claims, and that it was acquired after separation so there are no problems.
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