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I want to file for divorce. I have been separated from my…

I want to file...

I want to file for divorce. I have been separated from my spouse since 1992. I live in California. My spouse lives in Pennsylvania. I am about to move to Georgia. In what state should I file for divorce?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

What do you mean? I live in California but I'm shortly going to move to Georgia. My spouse lives in Pennsylvania.

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

No I have not

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Answered in 3 minutes by:
10/28/2017
LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,705
Experience: Experienced Family Law Attorney
Verified
In order to file for divorce, a person must first establish residency in the state. California requires residency for 6 months. The law of the state where the petition is filed will apply the laws of that state to determine property issues, alimony etc.
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Similarly GA has a 6 month residency requirement.
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I've lived in California for 17 years
I want to know what state would be quicker/to my advantage.
GA information is here:
https://georgia.gov/popular-topic/divorceCalifornia has a mandatory 6 month waiting period after filing the petition before a divorce decree can be entered.
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Georgia does not have any such period so an amicable divorce can be completed quickly since there is no time frame.
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
what are the ramifications as far as property and debt? I do not own a house but I have plenty of debt. She owns a house and has debt as well.
California is a no fault divorce, whereas GA can be both no fault and fault based depending on how the parties file. So in GA the court may consider conduct whereas a CA court may not. Similarly while CA is a community property state, that means the parties own everything acquired during the marriage equally. In contrast GA uses the equitable division method meaning that the court will divide marital property in an equitable yet not necessarily equal manner.
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This applies to debt as well though both states do allow the judge to assign debt to the party that incurred the debt particularly if that party is awarded that asset.
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I am retired military veteran. Can she ask for some of my pension?

Yes, pensions acquired during marriage can be divided by the court, including military pensions.

That information can be reviewed here:

http://www.nclamp.gov/publications/the-legal-eagle/fact-or-whacked-myths-and-mistakes-in-military-divorces/

CA divides pensions 50/50 (the portion earned during the marriage) whereas GA applies the equitable division rule and may consider the following factors:

The income and property of each spouse at the time of the marriage, and at the time of the divorce;
The length of the marriage and the age and health of both spouses;
If there are minor children involved, the need of the spouse who has custody of the children to live in the marital residence and to use or own its household contents;
The loss of inheritance and pension rights of each spouse because of the divorce;
The loss of health insurance benefits of each spouse because of the divorce;
Any award of support or maintenance the court will be making;
Whether one spouse made contributions to marital property that the spouse does not have title to; for example, where one spouse helps the other spouse increase their ability to earn more money by getting a degree, license or certification;
The liquid or non-liquid character of all marital property (“liquid” means that the property can easily be converted to cash);
The probable future financial circumstances of each party;
The impossibility or difficulty of determining the value of certain assets, like interests in a business, and whether one spouse should be awarded the business so it can be run without interference by the other spouse;
The tax consequences to each party;
Whether either spouse has wasted or used up any of the marital property while the divorce was ongoing;
Whether either spouse transferred or disposed of marital property at less than market value, knowing that the divorce would be happening;
any other factor the court deems relevant.

So as you can see, the individual judge assigned to the case has great discretion, so it is difficult to predict in advance what the judge may rule. An attorney that is familiar with the particular judge may be better able to provide an estimation based on the judge's past rulings.

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This may be helpful to review:

http://www.courts.ca.gov/1254.htm

https://www.georgialegalaid.org/resource/basic-marriage-and-divorce-law-ending-marriag

They both provide an overview for each state.

LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,705
Experience: Experienced Family Law Attorney
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