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What are the residency requirements for filing for divorce ?


What are the residency requirements for filing for divorce ?

State specific laws govern divorce and they may vary from state to state. The grounds of divorce are different in each state. You will have to check the divorce laws of your state while you are filing for a divorce. Different states have different laws, different processes for divorce, issues like child support, etc.

In case the court finds out that it does not have jurisdiction to hear your divorce case as you do not meet residency requirements, your case may be dismissed. You should talk to your divorce attorney to discuss your case and see which the best place to file your divorce. In case you do not meet the residency requirements in a particular place do the following:

  1. Do not move forward with filing the divorce in that court
  2. Establish residency for a period of time depending upon the type of your divorce
  3. Have your spouse file the divorce in case he/she meets the residency requirements
  4. Choose other state where you or your spouse meet residency requirements
  5. Sate residency laws vary, so check the laws of the state you got married and the states you live

State law requires a spouse to be a resident of the state. This is a required that the spouse be present in the state for a specific amount of time before filing for a divorce. The residency requirements of establishing residency vary from state to state. Some times a proof is necessary to show that the person has resided there for a required length of time.

In some states the spouse must be a domicile, i.e. must have one true home there. When in doubt a court may look into the following:

  1. Where the rest of the family lived
  2. Where the person voted
  3. Place of employment
  4. Car registration and license
  5. Bank accounts and address

In case one of the spouse is a resident and the other is not then the court may grant a divorce but may not decide on issues like division of property, custody, alimony, etc.

If any one of the spouse meets the residency requirements of the state a divorce obtained is valid. This is the case even if the other spouse resides in some other state. The courts of all the states will recognize the divorce when it is granted. The other decisions regarding property, alimony, child support may not be valid. This may be till the non resident spouse consents to the jurisdiction of the court. This is true if the other spouse acts as if the foreign divorce was valid like paying the ordered child support, alimony, etc.

In case you are a military member or spouse:

In such cases you need to think where to file the divorce case. You may have three options as you are a military member or spouse:

  1. State where the military member is stationed
  2. State where the spouse resides
  3. Place where the military member plans to live after retirement


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