If you and your spouse have separated but not yet filed for divorce, it’s possible that one of you has moved. It’s likely that one of you has even moved to a different state. This makes the divorce process a little more complicated, as a divorce attorney, such as from Brandy Austin Law Firm, knows well. If you’re wondering how to proceed, here are some things to keep in mind.
Where Do You Live?
You don’t have to file for divorce in the same location as where you got your marriage license, but you do need to reside in the district where you file for divorce. In many states, you must live in the place for six months or longer before you meet the residency requirements to file for divorce. At least one spouse must meet the residency requirement to file divorce where you currently live.
Which Court Has Jurisdiction?
Some courts cannot resolve issues or make decisions about out-of-state property. The court may not be able to make decisions about child custody in some cases when the children live out of state. This can factor into where to file for divorce. The court may have jurisdiction over the marriage but may not be able to decide some of the issues. State law determines jurisdiction, and it can be helpful to know these issues before you file for divorce.
Which State Has Divorce Laws That Favor the Decisions?
You may want to consider state laws that govern divorce. There are variations on the law that might favor your case. It’s worth talking to a lawyer before you start the divorce process to find out how different laws could affect your situation. Alimony, child support and property division are established differently in different states.
Who Files First?
Typically, the first spouse to file for divorce in their state where they meet the residency requirement takes precedence. This means that the other spouse will have to travel to the court where the divorce is filed. If a divorce isn’t contentious, this may not be a problem. If you are waiting for the court to decide the factors of the divorce, it could be prohibitive to need to travel back to the jurisdiction for each court date.
When you and your spouse live in different jurisdictions, it is helpful to talk to a family law lawyer who can help you understand the applicable laws in your case. Get your questions answered when you make an appointment to discuss your situation with a divorce lawyer.