What to do about an out-of-state divorce?

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What to do about an out-of-state divorce?

My father filed for a divorce and my mother has 60 days to reply or she gets nothing. My father’s lawyer is supposed to be sending my mother some type of agreement but she has not received it yet and her time for the 60 days is running out. She doesn’t want to be left with nothing. My father filed in MD, where he lives. We were told to get a lawyer where he filed because finding a lawyer in our area (DE) to do the traveling is hard. They have been married for 35 years and there are no kids or property involved (just finances). Should she wait for agreement or get a lawyer? How can we get the 60 days extended? Should she contact my father’s lawyer? What’s the next step?

Asked on April 20, 2011 under Family Law, Delaware

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

She needs to preserve her rights, so the best approach for her would indeed be to get a lawyer to ensure she gets the most of this divorce and ensure she preserves the 60 day response limit. Further, her lawyer can always simultaneously ask for a continuance to go through her history and see what they can do to review the settlement agreement and fight back. After 35 years, your mom is entitled to a lot more than she thinks and property may be involved (do they own cars, motorcycles, boats, power equipment, furnishings, couches, etc)? All of this needs to be divided and the best bet is to make sure your mom is in a position that will best protect her. If she chooses along the way to re-evaluate what she wishes to take away from the marriage, she can discuss with her attorney, who will serve as the person to be her go between, without worry that emotions can negatively impact her case.


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