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My husband has filed for divorce petition in King County…

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My husband has filed...

My husband has filed for divorce petition in King County court, Seattle. I raised motion of dismissal from the court since I do not agree with divorce and sincerely ***** ***** to reconcile. We both are citizens of India and marriage was solemnized in India. As expected, court rejected my motion for dismissal stating that WA recognizes no-fault divorce and one party is requesting for it. Unless I raise request in another court, King County court in WA has jurisdiction to continue on my husband's petition The case schedule started on May 11

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

Washington

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

After the court rejected my motion, I reached out to lawyers in India and filed case on the basis of restitution of conjugal rights as per Family Laws prevailing in India. Family Law in India does not recognize no-fault divorce and tries to protect the sanctity of the marriage institution.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

My question is how do I raise this fact to the WA court here that I have filed case in India which follows different set of rules and allows me the option to disagree with the divorce?

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Family Law
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11/12/2017
Family Lawyer: Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law replied 8 months ago
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 22,313
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
Verified

Hello: This is Phillipsesq. Welcome to JustAnswer! I am reviewing your post, and I will post my response very shortly. Thank you for your patience.

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Family Lawyer: Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law replied 8 months ago

I am sorry to read about your difficulties.

Unfortunately, the King County Court cannot entertain further objections from you regarding the dissolution of your marriage based on Indian Law. The Court is operating under Washington State Law and cannot prevent your husband from getting a divorce based on the family law in India. The Court cannot force the parties to seek reconciliation if one of the parties seeks to dissolve the marriage. The Court cannot force both of you to remain married.

I am sorry that I do not have better news for you.

Best wishes,

A positive rating to my response is appreciated so that I can receive credit for responding to your post. There is no additional cost to you for giving a positive rating.

Thank you for your cooperation.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
But, I have filed a case in India on this matter. Can I not claim to WA court that I am seeking jurisdiction in another court (place where our marriage was solemnized) and hence, request to dismiss my husband's petition? How does WA courts sort out jurisdiction issue if respondent wants to seek jurisdiction in a different court?
Family Lawyer: Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law replied 8 months ago

Unfortunately, the Court cannot dismiss the divorce case. The Court in U.S.A. has jurisdiction of the case because your husband resides in the States and has properly filed for dissolution of your marriage. Your filing in India will not affect the divorce proceeding here in the U.S.A. My initial response stands.

I am sorry that I do not have better news for you.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Under section 13 of the FL 201 petition, my husband has listed who should keep what property. He has listed one of the items in that table as "he contributed X USD towards the house I (respondant) purchased and other expenses for family" that he should own ("Petitioner"). He has spent (he used to manage both mine and his bank accounts and monthly bill payments) more than 80% of expenditure for the family expenses from my earnings all these years though. He has not mentioned my contributions as a separate line item in the list. I do not want to participate in any further court proceedings in US per direction received from my Indian Lawyer so that the divorce decree granted in US court will not be considered valid in India (i.e. not subject myself to jurisdiction in US court). Based on what has been quoted under section 13 in FL 201 petition, will the US court force me to pay the X USD to my husband?Note: I am not "FOR" division of any of the assets in the first place since my stance is to save the marriage and not go for divorce.
Family Lawyer: Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law replied 8 months ago

I am unable to further assist. So, I will opt out to give another Attorney the opportunity to further assist you.

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Family Lawyer: N Cal Attorney, Attorney replied 8 months ago
N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9,788
Experience: since 1983
Verified

I am sorry to hear this.

You can get a free consultation from some of the local divorce attorneys listed here.

I am sorry but there is a rule that the first court to assume jurisdiction retains jurisdiction even if a party files a case in a different court covering the same subject matter, see

https://www.legalcrystal.com/case/49905/thomas-vs-secretary-panchayat

If you do not defend yourself in the case in Washington, the Court will give your spouse everything he asks for. You can try to file a motion to stay the proceedings in Washington based on the pending case in India, but the odds are that the Washington court will retain jurisdiction, and if your husband files a plea in the ase in India stating there is already another action pending in Washington, the Court in India is very likely to stay or dismiss the case there.

I urge you to get local attorney to defend your rights in Washington.

I am sorry this is not the answer you had hoed for, but it would be unprofessional of me, and unfair to you, not to provide accurate information.

Your attorney in India may not understand that because you already filed a motion in the Washington case, you made a general appearance and submitted yourself to that court's jurisdiction. And I predict that both the courts in Washington and India will find that Washington has exclusive jurisdiction, at least over the divorce case, see

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/md-court-of-special-appeals/1459999.html

Whatever you decide to do, you need to consult an attorney in Seattle.

I hope this information is helpful.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
How can I file a motion to stay the proceedings in Washington court citing that I am seeking jurisdiction in India to save the marriage by means of marriage counselling under the Hindu Marriage Act? I do not agree with the divorce decision and hence do not want to participate in any division of assets or custody conversations at all.
Family Lawyer: N Cal Attorney, Attorney replied 7 months ago

The experts here are not allowd to prepare legal documents, you need an attorney in Washington to do that.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Makes sense. What is the legal form number/name to file for motion for stay of proceedings? The local attorney I consulted was not aware of such a provision. Perhaps, I am not using the right term that is used or recognized here in US.
Family Lawyer: N Cal Attorney, Attorney replied 7 months ago

I am not aware of any standard form for a motion for a stay in Washington state courts.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Sorry, I didn't understand. I thought you had advised in a previous post that I should meet with a local attorney in order to prepare a legal document to file a motion for stay of proceedings in Washington based on the pending case in India. My follow-up question was about that. If there is no form, can you please clarify what did you mean by the statement- "The experts here are not allowd to prepare legal documents, you need an attorney in Washington to do that." ? I want to make sure I am able to convey what sort of legal document is needed to be filed to the attorney as she has not dealt with such a situation before and does not know of such a provision.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Gentle reminder that I am still waiting to hear back on the clarification I needed on the procedure to request stay of proceedings in US court. Kindly revert back as soon as possible.
Family Lawyer: N Cal Attorney, Attorney replied 7 months ago

You need an attorney in Washington to protect your interests.

It is not clear that you can obtain a stay in Washington; your attorney there shoud read the cases I linked to.

The Experts here are not allowed to represent you or prepare legal documents for you - those are rules of the web site. If you do not have an attorney represent you in Washington, the court will give your spouse everything he is asking for.

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Family Lawyer: N Cal Attorney, Attorney replied 7 months ago

You can file a motion to ask the Court to order marriage counseling, see

http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=26.09.030

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