When a couple separates, they usually want to put some space between each other. Occasionally, this will mean spouses actually live in a different state. When you and your spouse reside in different states and want to get divorced, you are able to do so. Nevertheless, you should fulfill the residency requirements of the state in which you are filing for divorce. When your spouse filed for divorce before you in a different state, that filing and the laws in that state typically control the proceedings.
1. Find out state residency requirements in the state in which you are thinking filing for divorce.
When you want to get divorced, first determine whether one or both of you fulfill the residency provisions of the state in which you wish to file for divorce. These requirements differ from state to state. In many states, at least one of you is required have been a resident for at a minimum of 6 months, although there are a couple of states that have shorter or longer residency provisions.
A couple of states don’t have mandatory minimum residency time periods, rather requiring only that an individual filing for divorce live in that state when filing the primary petition. However, other states implement stringent residency requirements of up to 1 year.
2. Comprehend the relationship between filing and jurisdiction.
The state in which either of you initially files for divorce usually controls the proceedings. Consequently, when you and your spouse presently reside in different states and each of you files for divorce in your corresponding states, the state in which the divorce was initially filed is going to likely have authority over the case.
This is usually an inconvenience for out-of-state spouses, that might have to hire an attorney in a different state and go to that state for divorce-associated court proceedings.
3. Establish which state’s laws govern important choices in your divorce.
In a lot of cases, the state in which either spouse is filing for divorce initially has authority over significant choices in your divorce, including the splitting of the couple’s assets and debts and if alimony is suitable.
Decisions Concerning Asset and Liability Splitting
These decisions can affect the parties’ financial circumstances following the divorce, as different states offer for different handling of property and debts. In many states, essentially all property owned by the spouses or by each of the spouses is marital property, subject to a fifty-fifty split. Other states implement an “equitable distribution” convention when dissolving marriages, which will take the couple’s situation, how the property was obtained, and other factors into account.
Decisions on Child Custody
When divorcing couples has one or more minor children, decisions concerning child support usually adhere to the laws of the state in which they are physically located. Child custody assessments in a lot of states follow a “best interests” convention, in which the judge presiding over the case deems what is in the best interest of the child.
If each of you reside in different states and you want to terminate the marriage, think about your options. It might be more beneficial for you to file a petition for divorce in the state where your spouse presently resides. Think about speaking with a divorce attorney that can counsel you as you get ready to begin the next chapter in your life.
DeRuyter, C. (2019, April 08). What is the process of getting divorced while in different states? Retrieved June 21, 2021, from https://info.legalzoom.com/article/what-process-getting-divorced-while-different-states
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