How To Handle a Divorce in Different States

Divorce Attorney

Not everyone is still living in the same household when they decide to get divorced. Some couples don’t even live in the same state anymore! If that’s the situation you’re in, you might wonder how to handle the divorce being in different states. 

Residency Requirements

Getting a divorce when you and your spouse live in different states will require a look at the residency requirements for the state of at least the spouse who is filing the paperwork. Residency requirements are different by state, but they must be met in order to file. For example, if you live in a state with a six month requirement, it means you have to live in that state for at least six months before you can file for divorce. If you and your spouse both moved out of your home state and are both living in new states, it may take a little longer to get divorced.

Jurisdiction Over the Case

Generally, the state where a spouse files for divorce has jurisdiction over the case. If you end up going to court, you will go to court in the state where the divorce was filed. Keep this in mind if you and your spouse are trying to decide who will file. If your spouse files in another state, you’ll either have to hire a lawyer in that state, or you’ll have to hire a lawyer near you and pay for him or her to travel for legal proceedings. You will also have to pay for your own travel. For these reasons, it might be better to file in your own state.

State Laws

Because the state where the divorce is filed will have jurisdiction over the case, you have to realize those state laws will apply to your divorce. You may want to look at the differences between the two states and how they handle divorce. For example, some states divide property with a 50/50 mindset. Everything is split evenly. In other states, property is divided with a standard of “equitable distribution.” The circumstances of the couple, how they acquired the property and other issues would be considered.

Child custody is also handled differently between states. You should understand how both yours and your spouse’s states handle this situation, as it may be the most important aspect of your divorce.

Contact Your Divorce Lawyer Today

Getting a divorce when you and your spouse live in different states doesn’t have to be difficult, but you should be smart about it. Contact a divorce lawyer today to learn more about it.