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Divorce When Living in Different States

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If you are considering divorce, but your spouse lives in a different state, a few additional things will need to be considered, such as whether or not a Florida court has sufficient jurisdiction for the divorce to proceed. But with the help of an experienced divorce attorney, you can navigate these challenges and come out the other side successfully.

Keep reading to learn more about what you need to know about getting divorced when your spouse lives in another state.

Florida Divorce Jurisdictions

There are two primary elements when it comes to divorce jurisdiction in Florida. These areas include:

  • Subject matter jurisdiction - Whether or not the court has the power to hear a particular matter. This is a mandatory requirement.
  • Personal jurisdiction - Whether or not the court has the authority to make decisions or enforce an action over a person. The filing spouse grants a court personal jurisdiction over themself through starting the initial paperwork. Personal jurisdiction over the respondent party (out-of-state spouse) may be waived if they do not contest the divorce proceedings.

To grant a divorce, the filing spouse needs only for a Florida court to have subject matter jurisdiction. For this, either must meet the state's residency requirement.

Residency Requirement

If you and your spouse live in different states, you'll need to follow the residency requirements of the state where you want to file for divorce. To file for divorce in Florida, one spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months before filing. This residency requirement exists to ensure that couples have a connection to the state before they can file for divorce there. Once the residency requirement is satisfied, a court may now have subject matter jurisdiction and grant a divorce.

Personal Jurisdiction

For a court to be able to require a spouse to pay alimony or to distribute marital assets, it must have personal jurisdiction over them, of which fulfilling the residency requirement is not enough. A Florida court may have personal jurisdiction if:

  • The married couple owned and maintained a home in Florida.
  • The out-of-state spouse is served with divorce papers and/or waives their right to contest the personal jurisdiction.

Want to Know More About the Divorce Process?

Owenby Law, P.A. is here to help you through the Florida divorce process. We have experience handling various divorce cases, so we know what it takes to get the best possible outcome for our clients. We understand that going through a divorce can be a difficult and emotional time for our clients. That's why we work hard to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. We will answer all your questions and help you understand your options to make the best decisions for your future.

If you are thinking of divorce, call us today at (904) 770-3141 or schedule a free initial consultation online by filling out our form.