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.
- Helene L. Taylor: State Residency Requirements for Divorce
- American Bar Association: Grounds for Divorce and Residency Requirements
- California Courts: Options to End Marriage or Domestic Partnership
- Connecticut General Assembly: Chapter 815j*, Dissolution of Marriage, Legal Separation and Annulment, Section 46b-44
Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.