Residency Requirements for Filing Divorce

If you have reached the point where you feel confident that your marriage cannot be reconciled, you should definitely explore the option of getting a divorce. However, it is essential to note that each state has specific guidelines that you must adhere to before you will be legally eligible to go through this process.

Fortunately, an experienced local divorce attorney can help you navigate through all of your state’s applicable laws. Additionally, you should pay close attention to residency requirements so that you will have a better understanding of any roadblocks that could force you to stay married for a little longer.

What are Divorce Residency Requirements?

It is common for states to require at least one spouse to be a resident before enabling them to file for divorce, but the specific guidelines that will impact your legal rights can vary greatly depending on where you live. For example, some states require you to be a resident for a minimum of six months before you are legally eligible to begin divorce proceedings.

However, many other states require at least one year of residency, including Connecticut, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. West Virginia typically enforces the one year rule, but this stipulation will be waived if the wedding occurred within the state.

Additional Requirements to Obtain a Divorce

Meeting the residency requirements alone is not enough for a divorce to be granted. Instead, you must also meet all of the other applicable guidelines for your state. In Florida, it is mandated that couples with children must attend the Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course before they will be allowed to move forward with their divorce.

Additionally, some state laws say a divorce will only be granted if the person who files can prove that the marriage is irretrievably broken or that one of the parties is legally considered to be mentally incapacitated. It is also important to note that the state has the right to force the couple to attend counseling before granting a divorce if there are minor children involved.

Tips for Dealing with Residency Requirements

It is understandable that an individual who files for divorce will want everything to be completed as quickly as possible. However, this can be severely impeded if you have recently moved. Therefore, it is in your best interests to remain in one location for as long as possible, especially if you have already started having doubts about your marriage. After all, moving to a new state together when the relationship is on rocky ground will complicate things if you make the decision to move forward with a divorce.

Another important thing to consider is the fact that many states have different guidelines for members of the military. Because of this, you will need to carefully review all of the applicable requirements if you or your spouse is currently enlisted in one of the Armed Forces. Ultimately, the best way to ensure that you take the proper action is to utilize the services of a divorce lawyer.