If my spouse has filed for divorce but has filed 6 hours away from me, can I file for dismissal of the case or change of venue?

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If my spouse has filed for divorce but has filed 6 hours away from me, can I file for dismissal of the case or change of venue?

His first case was thrown out due to him never showing up for court. What should I do? This is the second time that he has filed.

Asked on August 5, 2015 under Family Law, South Carolina

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Before you make a decision to dismiss or answer, arrange for a free consultation with a family law attorney in his jurisdiction and in your jurisdiction.  Let me tell you why.... even though the laws within a state are supposed to be uniform, they are not necessarily applied uniformly.  Some judges are more generous to women.... others are more generous to women.... and others have certain reactions to certain situations. 

You may want to agree to his venue if that judge would be favorable to your circumstances.  The judge in your venue may be horrible for your circustances.  This is one of the limited times when doing a bit of forum shopping comes in handy at making the best possible decision. 

If your spouse is filing in the correct state but wrong county, or in a state where jurisdiction is not proper, then you can file certain objections.  Usually these objections must be included in your initial pleadings to avoid any waiver issues.  From there, the court can either force him to dismiss and refile.... or potentially transfer the case to the correct venue.  If you want the divorce too, a simple transfer may be the quicker route to go if the only issue is filing in the wrong county.    If he filed in the wrong state, then the court's only option is to dismiss the case and require one of the parties to file in the correct state and county.

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Before you make a decision to dismiss or answer, arrange for a free consultation with a family law attorney in his jurisdiction and in your jurisdiction.  Let me tell you why.... even though the laws within a state are supposed to be uniform, they are not necessarily applied uniformly.  Some judges are more generous to women.... others are more generous to women.... and others have certain reactions to certain situations. 

You may want to agree to his venue if that judge would be favorable to your circumstances.  The judge in your venue may be horrible for your circustances.  This is one of the limited times when doing a bit of forum shopping comes in handy at making the best possible decision. 

If your spouse is filing in the correct state but wrong county, or in a state where jurisdiction is not proper, then you can file certain objections.  Usually these objections must be included in your initial pleadings to avoid any waiver issues.  From there, the court can either force him to dismiss and refile.... or potentially transfer the case to the correct venue.  If you want the divorce too, a simple transfer may be the quicker route to go if the only issue is filing in the wrong county.    If he filed in the wrong state, then the court's only option is to dismiss the case and require one of the parties to file in the correct state and county.


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