Does Divorce Have to Be Filed in the Same State as the Marriage?

Divorce can be both logistically and emotionally complicated. While working through the emotional aspect of divorce may seem like the real hard part, the logistics of getting through the divorce process can be a whole other set of daunting hurdles. What paperwork is required? What documentation is needed? Where can I actually file for divorce? These are all great questions and you will need the answers in order to successfully initiate and navigate the divorce process.

Does Divorce Have to Be Filed in the Same State as the Marriage?

The simple answer to whether or not a divorce has to be filed in the same state as where the marriage took place is, no. You do not have to get a divorce in the same state in which you were married. You will, however, need to meet state-specific residency requirements in order to file for divorce in a particular state and location. These residency requirements will be different from state to state and local rules may also apply. Before filing for divorce, you need to be sure that you meet both state and local residency requirements for filing.

In Florida, either you or your spouse must reside in the state for a minimum of 6 months prior to filing the dissolution of marriage petition. The petition can be filed in the country where either you or your spouse resides. Should you fail to meet the residency requirements set forth by Florida statutes, you have a few different options. You can wait until you have lived in Florida long enough to meet the residency requirements. Alternatively, if your spouse meets the Florida residency requirements, he or she could file the dissolution of marriage petition. You could also check to see if you or your spouse meets the residency requirements to file the dissolution of marriage petition in another state. If you choose to wait until you meet the Florida residency requirements to file in the State of Florida, be sure to start working on gathering the necessary paperwork and getting things in order to prepare for the divorce process so you are all set once you are able to file your petition.

You can prove residency in Florida in a number of ways. You may produce a Florida vehicle registration or Florida voter’s registration card. Alternatively, you may produce employment records or military orders showing that you have resided in Florida for at least the past 6 months.

You may have more than one option on where to file for divorce. If you and your spouse are living in different states, you both might satisfy the requirements of your state to file there. You may want to consider quickly filing in the state in which you reside to avoid the logistical difficulties of going through a divorce in another state. You may also want to gain a basic familiarity with the divorce laws of each state to see which one may have a more favorable set of laws and then you can choose accordingly.

Florida Family Law Attorneys

You do not have to go through the divorce process alone. At Orlando Family Team, we are here for you. Contact us today.