If you’re getting divorced and live in a different state than your spouse (or one of you is planning a move prior to the divorce) there is a lot to take into consideration.
While many couples wait until their divorce is finalized to make a move, some end up moving away during the separation phase for a variety of reasons, including job opportunities, family support, and more. When facing a two-state divorce, there are some things you should know.
Legal Aspects of Divorcing Someone Out of State
You need to meet residency requirements to file for divorce in any state. Each state has its own requirements for residency; for example you may have to have lived in the state for a period of six months or more prior to filing.
Whatever state the divorce is filed in is the state where the divorce proceedings will take place. In some instances, this means that one party will have to drive or fly a long distance to make court dates, and this can require quite an expenditure of time and money. This is why there is sometimes a “race” between the two divorcing parties to file in their local state.
In some cases, you may be able to travel minimally, even if your divorce proceedings are being carried out in another state. Couples who are willing to compromise and write a divorce agreement may have an easier time ending their marriage in a long-distance situation because the divorce would consist mainly of paperwork rather than courtroom battles.
Whether you file in your own state or in your ex’s, you will be dealing with the same basic issues and potential divorce pitfalls, but divorce laws do vary from one state to the next. You should become familiar with the divorce laws of the state in which your case will be heard, and you should find a family law attorney in that state to help guide you through the divorce process.