Can I file for divorce in California? | The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
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Can I file for divorce in California?

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If you decide it is time to file for divorce, you have a number of logistical issues you must overcome before you can officially begin the process. One commonly problematic aspect of divorce is the venue where the divorce should (or can) take place.

Determining the proper court jurisdiction in which to file for divorce is an important step, and one that can complicate the process significantly if not done properly.

In California, one or both spouses seeking the divorce must live in the state for at least the prior six months before the date of filing. They must also live for at least the prior three months within a single county in California. If your circumstances make it difficult to qualify for divorce in California, you may need to either file in another state where you meet the qualifications or wait until you can legally file here.

In some cases, one spouse or the other may wish to file the divorce in one jurisdiction and not another. This might happen if one state's laws favor one spouse over the other, or if filing in a particular state places one spouse at a financial or logistical disadvantage.

If, for instance, you and your spouse live for several years in Tennessee, and one of you relocates to California for a career opportunity, the spouse living in Tennessee may prefer to file there to avoid California's property division guidelines.

Jurisdiction can affect several different areas of your divorce, and ultimately may mean the difference between the divorce you want and one that you don't. Be sure to take steps to protect your rights and priorities by obtaining proper legal representation. That will help you address these initial concerns and build a strong divorce strategy from the ground up.

Source: Findlaw, "Where to File for Divorce," accessed Sep. 05, 2017

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