Historically marriage and divorce laws, rules, and requirements were state specific. And while many states still have a specific set of rules governing how to proceed with marriage and divorce, the decisions made by one court are typically honored by all courts. For individuals facing divorce, moving out of state may only make it a difficult process. It will not change how your home state views the decision.
In an attempt to make family court orders easier to enforce, all family courts honor the decisions made by others. If an individual files for divorce in their home state of Florida, their soon-to-be ex will be held to the orders of the Florida family court no matter which state they live in.
The exception to this rule however, is when personal jurisdiction is not held over an individual by the court producing the documents or orders at the time of the preceding. Personal jurisdiction is obtained by a court when the person being served with divorce papers is physically present in the state at the time they are served. This physical presence may be overlooked if the individual recognizes the court proceedings by either signing off on related legal paperwork or appearing in court.
A lack of jurisdiction only pertains to divorce-related decisions like support property division in child custody. It does not invalidate a divorce decree awarded by the Family Court. While many divorcing couples tend to establish separate households, it is not unusual for those households to be in different states. Any time an individual receives court documents from a foreign state they should speak to an divorce attorney. With their help divorcing couples can stay informed of jurisdiction and other issues that may impact their divorce proceedings and outcome.