Get Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Filing for Divorce When Spouses Live in Different States
Posted on: August 14, 2019
If you and your spouse got married in California but one of you no longer lives here, do you know how to file for divorce? Do you both have to file in different states? Can you go through the process only in California? Who decides where the divorce happens?
The best way to get answers to your specific questions about your unique case is to contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 and speak to a divorce attorney. You can also keep reading to get answers to some basic questions about these types of cases.
Do Both Spouses Have to Meet Residency Requirements to File in California?
No. Only one spouse does. It can be either the person who files for divorce or the person who responds to it. The residency requirement in California is six months. Residency is obtained after a person has a physical presence in and financial obligation to the state. For most people, this means when they start paying taxes or pay to register their car in California.
Additionally, the spouse with California residency must have been a resident of the county in which they are filing for at last three months.
How Do We Decide in Which State to Get Divorced?
If you live in California but your spouse lives in another state there are many factors to consider when deciding in which state to get divorced. Ask yourself if you have satisfied all requirements of both states and which state has divorce laws that are the most beneficia. If you have children, then it may be best to file for divorce in the state in which primary custody will be.
You will want to look at how both states handle property division. California is one of nine states in which property is community property and both spouses have a right to 50% of all property. The majority of other states are equitable distribution states, which can work better or worse for you, depending on a number of factors. Your divorce attorney can help you decide where to divorce.
What Happens if We Cannot Agree on Which State to Get Divorced In?
In the event that you and your spouse disagree about where the divorce should be handled and you cannot come to an agreement, then the state in which the papers were filed first will be the state it is handled in. For this reason alone it may be worth filing sooner rather than later.
If you have additional questions about this specific divorce situation or other situations affecting divorce, contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation.