December 6, 2021

Volume XI, Number 340

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December 06, 2021

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December 03, 2021

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Picking Your Jurisdiction In Divorce Law Cases

Practicing in the Washington Metropolitan area gives us a unique opportunity on occasion to pick our jurisdiction.  There are significant differences between the divorce laws in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.  For example, in Maryland, the determination of what property is marital is based upon what was acquired from the date of the marriage through the date of the divorce.  In Virginia, the determination of what property is marital is determined from the date of the marriage through the date of separation.  Oftentimes, the parties do not obtain a divorce for two years or more after the separation.  

If you represent a client who has acquired a significant property interest since the separation, or a property interest has increased in value substantially since the separation, you may want to choose Virginia as your jurisdiction.  In order to establish jurisdiction, your client must be a resident and domiciliary of the state for six months.  In appropriate circumstances, it might be very beneficial to have your client move to Virginia or whichever jurisdiction is most favorable in order to establish jurisdiction to take advantage of a more favorable law.  

© 2021 Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, P.C.National Law Review, Volume IV, Number 131
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About this Author

J. Patrick McConnell, Odin Feldman Law Firm, Family Law Attorney
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With more than 30 years of experience in Family & Domestic Relations law, Patrick McConnell represents clients who have particularly complicated matters that cross state or international boundaries, or that involve complex financial issues. His background in finance and knowledge of tax law provide insight that can lead to innovative solutions. When necessary, Patrick teams with an attorney from the firm’s Estate Planning or Corporate practice areas to assist with the preservation of wealth for his clients' children or their future generations.

Patrick is chair of the Family...

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