Do You Have to File for Divorce in the Same State as the Marriage?

If you received a marriage license in one state but live in another, please read on, then contact one of our experienced contested divorce attorneys in Bergen County, NJ to learn if you have to file for divorce in the same state as the marriage.

Can you file for divorce in a different state than where you and your spouse married?

The short answer is yes, but it is more complicated than that. Couples can only file for divorce in the state and county that has jurisdiction to hear the case. However, you do not necessarily have to file in the state or county that issued your marriage license or even the one in which you currently live. The jurisdiction for your divorce case will depend on the locations of both spouses and how long each one has lived there.

How do you file for divorce in a different state from where you got married?

The jurisdiction that will have to hear your case will depend on the following factors:

  • Where you meet the residency requirements: Each state has a minimum length of time that a spouse must live there before he or she can file for divorce in the state. In the Garden State, that requirement is one year, unless the grounds for divorce are adultery.
  • Which spouse files first: If you meet the residency requirements of a state – let us say New Jersey – and are the first spouse to file divorce papers, New Jersey will have jurisdiction over the case. The same applies if your spouse files first.
  • Your children live in another state: If your children attend school in the state where your spouse lives and your spouse meets the residency requirement there, filing in your spouse’s state may be less stressful for your children. However, you will be subject to another state’s child support, custody and alimony laws.

Whatever the circumstances of your divorce, you should reach out to one of our skilled Bergen County divorce attorneys to discuss your next steps.

How can a Bergen County divorce attorney help you?

Like the marriage itself, divorce is a step into the unknown. Nonetheless, a qualified legal professional from our firm will have a great deal of experience with which to guide you toward an equitable and timely resolution. While you will have to make the final decisions yourself, our firm can give you a better understanding of what strategies work in a given situation and which do not. If nothing else, we will defend your rights. Please do not let fear of the unknown affect your ability to be happy.

Contact our experienced Bergen County firm

At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to understand and protect their legal rights before, during, and after the divorce process in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee. To speak with our team of divorce lawyers today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your concerns about your divorce, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.

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