Virginia Beach, VA asked in Divorce for Virginia

Q: Divorce finalized in 1997 with the details to be determined at a later date. Can my spouse ask for property now in 2020?

Filed for divorce in Chesapeake in '96. In '97, I was stationed overseas, and flew back for the divorce hearing. My spouse did not respond to anything about the hearing, but had a lawyer call in to ask for a continuance. Judge did not grant delay since I was able to make it and was active duty. Divorce was granted with terms to be determined at a later date. That was the last court action. I just assumed $10,000 of debt that my spouse accrued while I was deployed in 1994. We had split property at the time of separation in 94. Child custody was a verbal arrangement. Child support was calculated by the Virginia child support office. My ex never requested spousal support or a portion of my retirement. With the children grown and another divorce, my ex is broke and is now asking for the court to distribute propery, including my retirement pay. Together 11 of 23 years active duty. Got notice from Chesapeake court of intent to open the case. Can they? Don't live there - jurisdiction over me?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller
  • Vienna, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: It depends upon what the final order of divorce says. It is possible, but highly unlikely that the court ordered the marriage be terminated but then ordered that matters of equitable distribution, support, etc. are left open indefinitely.

Va. Code 20-107.3 provides for divorce and property division to occur separately, but that rare and for good cause shown.

A court always has jurisdiction to enforce its orders.

Your ex can file to reopen the case, but where it goes from there cannot be determined from your posting.

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