How To Determine Where To Get Divorced If You & Your Spouse Live In Different States


When you and your spouse live in the same state, in order to get divorced, you just need to follow the rules of that state for getting a divorce. When you and your spouse live in two different states, you will need to take a few things into consideration before determining which state to file for divorce in.

State Residency Requirements

First, you need to figure out if either you or your spouse meets the residence requirements to file for divorce in the states that you both reside in. The residence requirements vary from one state to the next.

In general though, you have to be a resident in the state for at least six months. To be considered a resident, that state has to be where you have your primary physical residence or where you are physically present. If you have financial obligations, that would also be the state where you pay taxes.

In many states, you also have to have lived in the same county for a specific number of months. The number of months you are required to have lived in that county are usually about half the number of months that you are required to have lived in the state.

Either you or your spouse must meet the state residency requirements to file for divorce in that state.

Divorce Law Benefits

Divorce is not the same across all fifty states. Divorce rules are set at the state level, which means that getting a divorce in California can be a very different process then getting a divorce in Kansas, for example.

Before filing for a divorce, you and your spouse should research the divorce laws in each state. You should choose the state where the divorce laws would be most beneficial to you and your spouse.

For example, in some states you will automatically get half of all community property and in other states, each spouse is awarded what the courts decide is a fair division of assets.

Child Custody

If you have children, you should also consider where the children live. It is generally easiest to deal with child custody laws in the state where your children reside for most of the year. However, as with general divorce laws, you should look into how child custody laws and rulings vary from the two states you and your spouse live in before determining where to file for custody.

When it comes to filing for divorce when you and your spouse live in two different states, research divorce and child custody laws in each state to determine which state offers the benefits and experience that you want with your divorce. Find out what the residence requirements are for each state as well, and make sure the spouse living in the state meets the residence requirements before filing for a divorce.


1 July 2019

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