Q: I filed for divorce first in Pennsylvania, can my ex file in another state months later?
I filed for divorce in Pennsylvania. My ex and i lived there during the marriage. We separated, i moved to Maryland and filed for divorce in Pennsylvania My spouse claimed she wasn't properly served. My attorney sent the divorce papers certified mail. My ex responded, we signed a marital agreement settlement and divorce papers she signed I signed. She signed a waiver for regarding service. There was an error on my attorneys behalf to fix my address. This was done and papers were resubmitted to the court. My ex is now dodging to be re- served she will not give her address up. She now has filed for divorce in maryland using a P.O box. Can this be done with a pending divorce case by me in Pennsylvania?
A: Who cares where you get divorced? You have a signed separation and property settlement agreement which I assume resolves all issues between you, so why expend time and money arguing over which court to get the divorce judgment from? If both parties voluntarily participate in one of the divorce actions and submit to jurisdiction for purposes of the divorce, it will achieve the end you both want: a judgment of absolute divorce that incorporates but does not merge your settlement agreement. By motion, the court in Maryland may allow remote (internet) participation of the defendant spouse at the 10 minute uncontested divorce proceeding, if that is an issue. If you force the two courts to decide which one shall exercise jurisdiction, then you will spend money on motions regarding this issue, oppositions to the other's motion, a court hearing on jurisdiction, and yes, arguably the first filed case may get the nod, but you'll both spend an awful lot of money to get there, all for no real benefit that I can see.
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