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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, 17 years legal experience including family law
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I filed for divorce in Delaware in September. My wife who resides

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I filed for divorce in Delaware in September. My wife who resides in Virginia filed there in October. Which filing takes precedence?

Hello and welcome.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service. First, I have some questions for you so I can determine what information to provide you.

Have you had your spouse personally served with the pleadings filed in Delaware? If so, when was she served?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The local Family Court can not be certain as they have never received the return from the post office. They are trying to check on service at this time.

I see. Thank you for the additional information, Donald.

Normally the first spouse to be personally served would dictate in which court jurisdiction attaches. Since you were recently served with the VA pleadings, it appears that court has jurisdiction over the matter and the suit filed in DE would normally be dismissed unless there is proof your spouse was personally served before you were served.

By personal service, I mean to say that the documents were handed to the spouse. Service by mail is not normally appropriate for the initial summons and complaint unless the receiving spouse waives service, which your spouse is not likely to do since it appears she had you personally served first. I'm sorry, but it appears that the VA court has jurisdiction over the matter at this point.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you.

It has been my pleasure to assist you. Kindly remember to rate my answer when our communication is completed so I will be compensated for my time in providing you with the information you requested. If you feel the need to provide a low rating, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will be happy to continue further and assist you until I am able to explain your concern to your satisfaction. Please also remember that I cannot control whether the law is favorable to you or not, so please don’t shoot the messenger. Thank you and all the best to you in 2013.


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