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No Jurisdiction to Award Maintenance

A husband who was incarcerated in Virginia throughout his marriage to wife, a Maryland resident, loses his appeal of denial of his petition for separate maintenance; the Court of Appeals affirms the trial court decision that it did not have personal jurisdiction over the wife.

Appellant husband argues the circuit court erred in determining that it did not have personal jurisdiction over appellee wife. He acknowledges wife is a resident of Maryland and has resided there throughout their marriage. He does not allege they had a matrimonial domicile in Virginia because he has been incarcerated in Virginia since they were married.

In order to adjudicate support issues, a circuit court needs to have in personal jurisdiction over the parties. A court may obtain personal jurisdiction over a non-resident through the use of Virginia’s long-arm statute.

Wife was personally served in Maryland and is a legal resident of Maryland. She never made an appearance in this case. The parties never established a matrimonial domicile in Virginia. Therefore, the trial court did not err in concluding that pursuant to Va. Code § 8.01-328.1(A)(9), it did not have personal jurisdiction over wife to adjudicate appellants’ petition for separate maintenance.

Washington v. Lucas (Per Curiam) No. 1221-14-3, Dec. 30, 2014; Augusta County Cir.Ct. (Ludwig) Milford Washington, pro se. VLW 014-7-385(UP), 4 pp.

VLW 014-7-385

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