Should You File For Divorce In A Different State? Can You?
Some circumstances make getting a divorce more complex than most. One of these happens when one spouse has moved to another state. Whether you're the spouse left behind or the one who moved on, one question needs to be addressed before you can take the important step of ending your legal marriage: should you divorce from another state?
To help you find the right answer to this question, here are four key reasons you might take this step.
1. When State Laws Are Better
Certainly, one of the biggest benefits of divorcing in a particular state is to take advantage of that state's rules that govern divorce. For example, community property states divide marital assets 50/50, while equitable property states attempt to divide it based on the idea of 'fairness.' Depending on your assets and contributions to the marriage, one option may result in a better outcome for you.
2. To Control the Jurisdiction
The jurisdiction in which a divorce occurs is generally done on a 'first come, first served' basis. If your spouse files first — in your state or their own — the divorce case will almost certainly be accepted and handled in that state. If the choice of jurisdiction really matters to you, you may lose control of this choice if you're late to the game.
3. When It Doesn't Really Matter
Although the choice of jurisdiction can be important, it's a non-issue in more amicable divorces. When both spouses agree on the major points that will need negotiated — things like division of the most valuable assets or child custody — the specifics of state family law may not actually matter much, because you agree to your own terms.
4. Because It's Convenient
Don't overlook the value of simply having your divorce matters handled in a location convenient for you. This means less travel, less time, fewer billable hours, and less time spent away from your work or children. If divorce is already stressful for you, having the 'home field' advantage could be a way to manage extra worries.
Where to Start
If you are considering whether or not to file for divorce in the state in which you now live, the best place to start is by consulting a divorce attorney in your new state. They will help you evaluate the pros and cons of filing in different jurisdictions to decide the right move for you and your family. Make an appointment today to learn more about family law.