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Here’s an article from our tax fraud attorneys at our sister website.Divorces sometimes stall for long periods of time. This may be due to area courts, due to laws in the state, or due to one or other of the people involved. Many people wonder if they can simply start the process over in another state when this happens. This is often possible, although it will depend on a variety of factors.
In the most common situation, the spouses live in different states. The divorce is stalled, dismissed, or otherwise cannot proceed so the couple decides to file in the other person’s state. Some courts are also reluctant to approve divorce decrees that they themselves approved by issuing a marriage certificate. If the couple also agrees on the terms of the divorce, the venue usually does not matter. Whether this is legal depends on several different factors.
In addition, there may be concrete reasons to have a divorce occur in a different state. States have different laws, including laws regarding how property is distributed. Some split all marital assets 50/50 while others use other bars. States may have different laws regarding how child support is calculated, as well as who pays for things like childcare, college, and children’s activities. In many cases, filing in a different state can make a difference of thousands of dollars for one of the people involved in the case.
In general, people can file for divorce in a state where at least one person of the couple resides. However, you can also file for divorce in a state where you lived while you were married and in which you own a marital home. You can also file in the state where any children from the marriage currently reside; in fact, this is usually the state that is in charge of determining child custody. Check your area or talk to a family law attorney to find out what constitutes a rightful claim to file divorce there. In general, you can call any area your home for the purposes of a divorce if you have lived there for at least six months.
If you live in another state, it is important to make sure your spouse is notified and served with papers as soon as possible after you file. They may be able to get your case dismissed with the argument that it is currently being heard in another court system. You can prevent this by asking the court where your divorce is stalled to dismiss the case. If the court decides not to dismiss the case, they will often un-stall and continue moving forward.
In general, there are two things that could happen in order for the court in your state to have jurisdiction. First, you could file for divorce and have your spouse served with papers. If they do not protest, the jurisdiction has been successfully moved. Second, your jurisdiction is changed if your spouse begins interacting with local courts without any attempt to protest the jurisdiction. For instance, if they show up to court appointments and file responses, it is seen as accepting the change in jurisdiction.
Once your jurisdiction has been successfully changed, there are a few other ways that this move will affect your life. First, you will only be able to amend your divorce agreement by filing in the county where the decree was made. The only way around this to file for a change of jurisdiction. Second, child custody and property division papers may not be valid if your ex resides in another state. However, most states will respect and enforce the divorce decrees of other jurisdictions. States recognize that people may move, but they still need to have a stable divorce and custody situation.
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