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Samuel II
Samuel II, Attorney at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27011
Experience:  General practice of law with emphasis in family law.
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I live in the sate of Maryland. My husband and I owe a house

Customer Question

Hello!
I live in the sate of Maryland. My husband and I owe a house ans a business. However my husband can be verbally and physically abusive. I'm planning to move to Washington State and file for divorce there. Do you think it's a good idea to move away so far from the things that I owe?
Submitted: 1 year ago via Cornell Legal Info Institute.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Hello

This is Samuel and I will discuss this and provide you information in this regard.

Is your husband in agreement with the divorce?

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Or have you discussed this with him at all ? I am wondering if you have discussed a separation agreement?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can't discuss it with my husband because he can be very unpredictable. And in 2014 he got physical with me when I said I need to get away for a while.
That's why I want to discuss divorce with him only if I leave and the farther, the better...
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

I understand. I suggest your assets are protected. That there is no abandonment or desertion in a marriage for at least 1 year with no contact.

So you can file in Washington and the Washington state laws will apply to your marital assets, alimony, etc.

Those marital distribution of asset laws are based on what is equitable to each spouse.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
basically if I leave Maryland and move to Washington state I can still get what I deserve even though I walk out from my martial home and move to a different state?
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

You really should consider having a local mediator begin a separation agreement. However, even under MD law, if he were to file in MD, the desertion ground would not be established until the elements for such grounds are met.

In MD, the abandonment must continued for 12 uninterrupted months, must be deliberate and final and beyond any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.

Now, while you are leaving with no expectation to return if you file for a divorce as soon as possible, then you are not waiving your maritial asset rights. You could have a local attorney refer you to a Washington attorney and in the meantime while you are in transit you can have the MD attorney write a letter to the spouse explaining that you are going to divorce and you would like to work out a settlement.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. I will certainly look into this.
I also would like to confirm that according to my online research Washington state is one of the few states in the US that can give you residency right away. Is this correct?
Another question: is my dog considered an asset? Should I include him into the list of items I would like to get after the divorce?( ps I am taking my dog with me regardless what the law says...)
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

For divorce purposes, that is the way I interpret the law. I reviewed that as I always want to remind people there are residency requirements. Apparently in Washington state it is immediate.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Dogs are considered personal property. An award of ownership will go to one or the other. You can take the dog with you. Worse case scenario if you bought the dog together he can oppose and a court could make you pay him a share of the property.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You did say that you recommend me contacting local attorney to write a letter to my husband. I actually already wrote a letter myself. It explains why I'm leaving and what settlement in seeking. In this case do I really need to hire an attorney here in Maryland or can I just go ahead and make a move? And while I'm driving I'll send my letter to my husband and then call him and talk to him, and then proceed with divorce in Washington state?
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Thank you.

Yes. I suggest that sounds like a viable and legal plan.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Keep a copy of your letter and if you have a PO box in Washington request a return receipt to that PO box showing he was delivered the letter and the date.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was planning to send it via email. This way he won't know my new address. And I will see if it was delivered or not.
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

You can send it by email.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Alright. Then i think I know what I will do. Thank you very much for your help.
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome. I wish you the best of success with this matter.