Legal Question in Family Law in Virginia

Not Divorced

I filed for divorce 10 + years ago, and have since remaried. I recently went to get a copy of my divorce papers only to find out that the 1st divorce was not finalized~~~My x had done the papers and I followed up with the courts to m ake sure it was complete and when I called they confirmed it was OK. There is more, my new husband of 7 years and I are trying to adopt. Here are my questions, how difficult will it be to get this divorce FINALLY done and how will this effect our adopting a child?? Please help. I am in the process of getting an attorny but want to know your thoughts~~ PS the X has been out of the state an I have no contact with him or any of his family.

Asked on 3/04/05, 7:17 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Fred Kaufman Fredrick S. Kaufman, Esquire

Re: Not Divorced

The largest problem is that since you are not divorced, your marriage to your current husband is void, that is no matter what ceremony you went thru and what license you have, the current marriage is illegal. This means your adoption would have to be between two single people.

Divorcing the original husband will have to begin all over again. If he cannot be found or served, he will have to be served by notification in a newspaper. This is not very complicated if more expensive (publication for divorce costs about $400). I'd say get started immediately.

Good luck.

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Answered on 3/05/05, 3:15 pm
Wayne Comer Wayne E. Comer, Esquire

Re: Not Divorced

There is no getting around the fact that the 10 year old suit is moribund and your bigamous marriage has no validity. If I were in your situation, I woud want to get the Court in which the suit was filed to pull it out of the archives so you could look at it. In satisfaction of

curiosity, if nothing less, I would want to contact any law offices involved and see what light they might shed on what happened in regard to that Court procedure or what halted it.

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Answered on 3/05/05, 10:37 pm

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