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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am making plans to move out of my marital house with my four kids. We will be going to live with a relative who lives not too far away (same school district). I want to make sure I have protected myself and the children legally but I am having a hard time finding solid legal/ practical advice. At this point I am only seeking a separation although I am anticipating that it will lead to divorce. I would appreciate any advice, links, resources you would like to share either by posting or by pm.<br><br>
I live in Virginia and I know our laws are a bit different than most so Virginia specific advice is especially appreciated. Thanks to all in advance!
 

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I'd *really* advise getting a lawyer, even just for an initial consult, to know where you stand. From what I understand, moving out of one's marital home can be tricky.<br><br>
Here's what I found in your area<br><a href="http://www.valegalaid.org/VA/index.cfm" target="_blank">http://www.valegalaid.org/VA/index.cfm</a><br><a href="http://www.lawhelp.org/documents/81281divorce.htm" target="_blank">http://www.lawhelp.org/documents/81281divorce.htm</a><br><a href="http://www.virginialawfirmattorney.com/a-legal-separation-agreement-in-virginia/" target="_blank">http://www.virginialawfirmattorney.c...t-in-virginia/</a>
 

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I agree about consulting a lawyer. I know Virginia has very different divorce laws from a lot of states. Do you think custody will be an issue? Any chance you can get him to leave instead of you?
 

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If it's a option in your state, and if you and stbx can be civil enough to do it, I highly recommend divorce mediation rather than lawyers and courts. It's still really hard, but so worth the effort - and, in the end, rather than a judge dictating the conditions of a separation/divorce, YOU (and stbx) retain the power to make those decisions yourselves. You'll also avoid the time/expense of lawyers (you'll only need an atty for the paperwork) and court - and mediation usually takes a fraction of the time and expense of traditional divorce proceedings.
 

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In line with mediation, I'd also suggest collaborative law, which is similar to mediation in that you work out the terms yourselves, but you each have lawyers committed to the process to make sure you're being fair to yourself and each other. It's really hard, but ultimately so much better (and cheaper!). Check out <a href="http://www.collaborativedivorce.net/" target="_blank">http://www.collaborativedivorce.net/</a> for more information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I hope we can use collaborative law. Who knows what will happen as STBX is emotionally abuse but refuses to admit it. He doesn't want a divorce and thinks I should be working harder to "help him" be a good husband.<br><br>
Thank you for the amazing links! They were very helpful and I was able to track down a legal consultation.<br><br>
It would be better if I could get him to leave but if I do that I am sure he will leave the state. This is not what I want for our kids. It may also mean that I would have to file for divorce whereever he goes instead of here (will find out from the attorney). Although, if I leave it could be viewed as dissertion. It feels like a "lose/lose" situation right now. Hopefully the attorney can help me get it straight in my head.<br><br>
Thanks again!
 

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Whatever he decides, however he acts, you cannot force him to do anything, whether it be for your children's well-being or your own. If you feel you want a separation and an eventual divorce, then get the ball rolling and let him do whatever. I know this sounds cruel, but it might be simpler if he left.<br><br>
In any case, before you see a lawyer, I'd really recommend doing a big brainstorming session, writing all your questions down (like...mediation: how, when, how much, separation/divorce, custody, visitation, child support, children's education, etc etc), and then later organizing what came of the session into sections. It'll make your consultation with the lawyer a lot more productive rather than just asking whatever pops into your head on the spot.
 
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