Got Married in New Jersey: Where Do We Divorce?

by Wayne Thomas
You must meet the state residency requirement before you are eligible to file for divorce.

You must meet the state residency requirement before you are eligible to file for divorce.

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Spouses often decide to relocate to get a fresh start once a marriage starts to deteriorate. When it comes time to divorce, the most convenient option might be to file in your current state of residence. Knowing what the state residency requirements are, and what other options exist outside the state, will help you determine the most appropriate location to initiate your divorce.

Filing Options

Every state has its own rules for determining when a person is eligible to file for divorce. This is known as the residency requirement. It has nothing to do with whether or not you were married in the state. To file for a divorce in New Jersey, regardless of whether you were married in the state, either you or your spouse must have lived in New Jersey for the previous year, unless you are filing on the grounds of adultery, in which case you can file immediately without meeting the one-year residency requirement. It is also possible to be eligible to file in multiple states. For example, this may be the case if during the previous six months your spouse lived in Georgia and you continued to live in New Jersey. In this situation, you could start the divorce in either state because the residency requirement in Georgia is just six months.