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Can You Get Divorced in Florida if You Were Married in a Different State?

If you have decided to file for divorce, or are even considering divorce, it is likely that you have a great many questions running through your head. Many will be emotional, legal, and logistical in nature. Once you have started to think about divorce, questions you may not have thought of before will likely arise. For instance, you may never have thought about the divorce process. You may never have considered where you can get a divorce. This, in turn, may lead you down the rabbit hole of other questions like whether you can get divorced in Florida if you were married in a different state. We’ll take a look at the answer to this last question here. It is an important one and, if you are considering filing for divorce in Florida, one you will need to know the answer to.

Can You Get Divorced in Florida if You Were Married in a Different State?

To put it simply, where you were married has no bearing on where you can get divorced. If you were validly married in any state in the U.S. pursuant to the laws of that state, Florida will acknowledge the validity of that marriage. If you were legally married outside of the U.S., then Florida will also recognize the validity of that marriage. As you are party to a legally valid marriage, Florida will allow you to dissolve that previously established marriage in the state and pursuant to the laws of Florida.

In fact, even if you formed a marriage that would not necessarily have been legally binding if it had occurred in Florida, you would still be eligible to get a divorce in Florida. For instance, there are some states that still recognize common-law marriage. Common law marriage is not available in Florida, but Florida will still recognize the validity of a common law marriage legitimately established pursuant to the laws of the state in which it was formed. As such, those who have established a common-law marriage in another state may still get divorced in Florida.

While it may not matter where you got married, there is a residency requirement for seeking a divorce in Florida. Either you or your spouse must have lived in Florida for at least 6 months prior to filing for divorce. This is perhaps the most critical requirement for seeking a divorce in Florida. You may not even need a copy of your marriage certificate to get divorced in the State of Florida. As long as you plead in your petition for dissolution of marriage that you were legally married and that you or your spouse have lived in Florida for at least 6 months, and neither party contests these facts, then it is unlikely the court will challenge your word on the legality of your marriage.

Do be mindful, however, of other things that can seriously impact your divorce in Florida. For instance, if you have a prenuptial agreement in place, it may well have specified that, in the event of divorce, the divorce proceedings must be pursuant to the laws of another state. For instance, it is not uncommon for a prenuptial agreement to say that a divorce must be in accordance with the laws of the state in which the prenuptial agreement is signed. This means that, while the divorce may take place in Florida, it has the added complication of necessitating a Florida judge follow the laws of another state.

Florida Family Law Attorneys

Are you considering a Florida divorce? Get dedicated legal assistance from the trusted divorce attorney team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou. Contact us today.

Andrew Nickolaou

Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew also handles record expungements and sealings. If you have questions about this article, contact Andrew today by clicking here.