Can I file for divorce in Utah if my husband has filled out papers in Oregon, but not signed or filed them?

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Can I file for divorce in Utah if my husband has filled out papers in Oregon, but not signed or filed them?

My husband has filled out papers for divorce in Oregon on Divorce Writer. However, he has not filed them nor dated nor signed them. Since he hasn’t signed or filed, can I have divorce papers drawn up in Utah? He doesn’t have my new address, because he scared me and I left Oregon without giving him notice. Another matter is that my husband did all of our taxes while we were married. He withheld information on the taxes and has now been involved in audits which have resulted in thousands of dollars owed to Oregon and the IRS. While we were married, I added up all of the debits from Brian’s business and some of the credits but not all. Brian sent in the taxes I was not allowed to see the taxes before they were sent in. I need to know if I can fight any fault with the taxes since I wasn’t allowed to see them. I could just sign the papers that he sent to me and get the divorce over with quickly and amicably but I need to know these 2 things before I move forward.

Asked on June 1, 2018 under Family Law, Utah

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) Until he files his case, you could file first or instead, such as in a different state (e.g. the court is more convenient or the law more favorable to you). Once the first case is filed in court, any subsequent attempt to file a different or another divorce case would either be dismissed or would get "consolidate" or "merged" into the first case filed.
2) If you signed the tax returns, you are responsible for them. It is not a defense to say that your husband didn't let you see them, because you had the legal right to refuse to sign (and *should* have refused to sign) without reviewing the returns. You chose to sign them sight unseen and are therefore held to what you signed.


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