Does the State Your Marriage License Is in Matter to Get a Divorce?

By Mary Jane Freeman

Updated March 30, 2020

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When it comes to divorce, where you got married has absolutely nothing to do with where you may get divorced. As long as you meet the residency requirements in the state where you plan to divorce, you can get obtain a divorce decree wherever you choose.

Meeting Residency Requirement

Once you make the decision to divorce, you must file a petition for divorce or dissolution in your local court to begin the process. However, before the court can accept your petition, you must meet residency requirements. Either you or your spouse must have lived in the state, and sometimes in the county, for a specific period of time before you can file for divorce there. Although state laws differ, this is a common requirement. For example, to divorce in California, either one or both spouses must live in the state for at least six months and for at least three months in the county before filing the petition. In Connecticut, one or both spouses must be a resident of the state for at least one year prior to filing.

Residency Requirement While Serving in the Military

If a spouse is serving in the military, the divorce can take place in one of three states: The state where the service member is a resident, the state where the civilian spouse is a resident, or the state where the service member is stationed. The residency requirements of those states govern when the petition can be filed.