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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 118127
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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My mother and father were married in Serbia. About 2 years

Customer Question

My mother and father were married in Serbia. About 2 years ago my dad left and moved back to Serbia to start a new life. Understandably, my mom wants a divorce so she can move on with hers. They are both US citizens. My mom is concerned that my dad will want spousal support so shes avoided getting a divorce. My mom owns a house thats under both their names and is willing to sell it and give him half but doesn't want to be paying him for anything else. Whats the best way for her to get divorced and avoid my dad leeching off of her? Should she get divorced in Serbia since my dad lives there or do it in the US? She lives in CA. Thanks!
JA: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: California
JA: Have you talked to a laywer yet?
Customer: She has, I have not
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
She can file divorce in CA, since she lives there. Also, it would likely be cheaper for her rather than an attorney in Serbia and fighting him long distance. As far as spousal support, he cannot generally get spousal support when he abandoned her in the US. Furthermore, in CA, spousal support is based on his needs, his ABILITY to work and her income/ability to pay. In a case like you describe, unless he is disabled and cannot work, the fact cost of living in Serbia is much less than in CA, it is highly unlikely he will get support once the community property is divided and he gets his 50% share.
I would suggest she get an attorney in CA and file divorce in CA and have him served in Serbia. Once he is served, if he does not answer the petition for divorce, that is good, because then she can seek divorce and property division by default and it makes things go much faster.