Does the State Your Marriage License Is in Matter to Get a Divorce?

By Mary Jane Freeman

When it comes to divorce, where you got married has absolutely nothing to do with where you may get divorced. As long as you meet the residency requirements in the state where you plan to divorce, you can get obtain a divorce decree wherever you choose.

When it comes to divorce, where you got married has absolutely nothing to do with where you may get divorced. As long as you meet the residency requirements in the state where you plan to divorce, you can get obtain a divorce decree wherever you choose.

Meeting Residency Requirement

Once you make the decision to divorce, you must file a petition for divorce or dissolution in your local court to begin the process. However, before the court can accept your petition, you must meet residency requirements. Either you or your spouse must have lived in the state, and sometimes in the county, for a specific period of time before you can file for divorce there. Although state laws differ, this is a common requirement. For example, to divorce in California, either one or both spouses must live in the state for at least six months and for at least three months in the county before filing the petition. In Connecticut, one or both spouses must be a resident of the state for at least one year prior to filing.

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Residency Requirement While Serving in the Military

If a spouse is serving in the military, the divorce can take place in one of three states: The state where the service member is a resident, the state where the civilian spouse is a resident, or the state where the service member is stationed. The residency requirements of those states govern when the petition can be filed.

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What Determines the State You Get Divorced In?

References

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Divorce Residency Rules in Utah

To grant a divorce, a court must have jurisdiction over the divorce case. Jurisdiction means that a court has authority over a case or authority over a person. Courts acquire this jurisdiction when one of the spouses lives in that state for a prescribed period of time. In Utah, the minimum period of time that a spouse must live in the state before filing for divorce is three months.

How Long Do You Have to Live in a State to File for a Divorce in That State?

State courts only have the authority to regulate disputes that involve their residents, but residency is a fluid concept. Each state determines how long you must reside within that state to file for divorce. The periods vary dramatically, so if you are new to a state, it pays to do your research before you file.

How to File a Divorce in Your State of Residency While in the Military

Military members must get divorced in state civilian courts, and the basic divorce steps are similar whether the divorcing couple is military or civilian. However, military service can complicate the divorce when it comes to issues of residency. State laws determine where you, as the military member, can file your divorce case.

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