dismissal of divorce would make her...


            Posted on Nov 25,2012

            Dismissal of Divorce would make her vulnerble

Q. After a long marriage, I started a divorce against my husband, something that has been pending for awhile. He now tells me he wants to reconcile, will buy me a house in Oregon near where our daughter and grandchildren live, will support me there, will join me there as soon as I dismiss the divorce and he can sell the property we own here.

My lawyer is worried this is a trick, so she doesn't want me to dismiss the divorce. I would like to reconcile, move to Oregon, and so on, but I wonder what safeguards I need to protect me if the divorce is dismissed.

R.S., Newton

A.        You have every right to dismiss your divorce.  And your lawyer has every right to think this could be a trick. If he is really going to reconcile, then he should agree that, before you do any dismissing, at the least he has to buy you that house in Oregon, paid in full, and put it into your sole name with enough money to support you for a year, just in case the support money suddenly stops.

Dismissal of the divorce ends the automatic restraining order on assets. Then, if your husband sells all the assets and keeps all that money for himself, you could be out of luck trying to chase him for more money. That's because once you leave Massachusetts with the intention of making Oregon your new home permanently or for the indefinite future, you lose your domicile here.

So you'd have to wait the required number of months to file for divorce there.  Even so, Oregon won't have personal jurisdiction over your husband.  So, you'd still have to file a complaint here for division of assets and alimony.

Because I don't know you, your husband, anything about your relationship, or about your case, can only say two things.  First, if you want to go trust him that's your choice. 

Second, if things don't work out the way you hope, don't go blaming your lawyer for not getting you committed to McLean for a sanity check before you signed the dismissal!