Do Both People Have to Be Missouri Residents to Get a Divorce in Missouri?

By Beverly Bird

Residency requirements for divorce depend on one spouse or the other living in a state before either of them can file there. This holds true for Missouri. Only one of you must live in the state, but you might have problems with certain aspects of your divorce if one of you resides elsewhere.

Residency requirements for divorce depend on one spouse or the other living in a state before either of them can file there. This holds true for Missouri. Only one of you must live in the state, but you might have problems with certain aspects of your divorce if one of you resides elsewhere.

Missouri's Residency Requirement

Missouri's residency requirement for divorce is 90 days, so you can file for divorce about three months after you move to the state. The three months must occur right before you file. If you don't live in Missouri, but your spouse does, you can file if he's lived there for the last 90 days. Either way, you must have him officially served with your divorce papers, either in Missouri or in the state where he resides.

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Property Issues

If you and your spouse don't both live in Missouri, you might hit a roadblock when it comes to the court dividing marital property. If the property is located outside the state, perhaps because you lived elsewhere then moved to Missouri to file, the court has no jurisdiction over it. Only a judge in the other state can decide who gets the property. Missouri courts can't decide issues of alimony unless the spouse who is asking for it lives there. As for custody, Missouri has adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, so the state generally only has jurisdiction over your children if the child has lived in the state for the last six months before you file.

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How Long Do You Have to Be a Resident of Pennsylvania to File for Divorce?

References

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Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act in Virginia

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act is recognized by 49 states, as of 2012, including Virginia. What this means for parents seeking a divorce in the state is that a court can't rule on your custody issues unless and until your children establish residency there.

What Is the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act?

The media regularly reports on cases of parental child-snatchings, many occurring post-divorce as parents unhappy with the custody provisions of a divorce decree flee with their children, taking the law into their own hands. According to the website Travel.State.gov, it happens more than 200 times every day. Parental kidnapping is a common issue during and even before divorce. For this reason, several federal laws have been enacted, including some that specifically prevent parents from moving to a new jurisdiction in order to establish new custody orders that favor them. One is the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, passed in 1980.

Divorce Residency Requirement for Georgia

Meeting a particular state's legal residency requirements gives the court there the authority to make rulings as part of your divorce action. In legal terms, this authority is called jurisdiction. In most states, two sets of residency rules apply to jurisdiction – one for the spouse who is filing and a separate one for the children. Georgia's laws are no different.

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