Divorce:

Court and Residency Requirements

The power over divorce proceedings is held by the state courts. Consequently, when seeking a divorce, the petition/complaint should be filed with either the county or district branch of the superior or circuit court of the state. Some states have a specific division that deals with family law. If there is no specific branch, the petition/complaint is filed with the main civil division of the superior or circuit court. In densely populated regions, the county or district branch of the state court may have a number of facilities in different locations. Check with the local county/district branch of your state’s court to find out about where you should file for divorce.

Residency Requirements

Most states have particular residency requirements those who wish to file for divorce in the state's court system. These rules specify the period of time a spouse must reside in a state before filing for divorce under the rules of that state. For example, California requires that one or both divorcing spouses have lived in California for the previous six months. The time period in other states ranges from as short as six weeks to as long as one year before filing for divorce.

There are also local county or district residency requirements. Again, using California as an example, in order to file for divorce in the state you and/or your spouse must have lived in the state for six months AND in one of the state's counties for the previous three months. Check with the local county/district branch of your state's court to learn more about residency requirements for filing for divorce.

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