Couples Divorcing In Separate States Can Face Challenges
When a couple decides to end their marriage, a number of significant life changes often follow this decision. One of which is a decision to move. Moving while in the midst of a separation is entirely doable, but it is important to recognize that it does add some complexities to the process that may not exist if both parties remained in the same state.
Think Before you Move
If you have not loaded up the moving boxes and moved to a different state, do yourself a huge favor and pause. Take time to investigate the divorce laws in your current state and those in the new state where you plan to establish your residency.
Particularly with the division of assets, states vary on how this practice is legally exercised. You may discover that it would be best for you to wait until the divorce is final to move. A sit-down with an attorney to discuss your plans is a great place to start.
Learn About Residency Terms
One misconception people have is that just because you establish a place of residency, you are now a resident. The truth is that every state has its own set of residency terms, such as a requirement to have been in the state for a certain length of time.
Until you meet this residency term guideline, you will be unable to file for divorce in the state. Instead, the divorce will be on hold until you can file or until your soon-to-be ex-spouse files in their current state. Again, speak with an attorney so that you can get a clear timeline and all the facts.
Prepare for Jurisdictional Hurdles
When a couple lives across state lines, typically, the individual who files first will get what is called jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is basically a ruling that establishes which state the divorce proceeding will be in. However, prepare for possible hurdles.
For instance, if you file first, and the other party files, in their state, a month later, but they have custody of the children, their filing may take precedence over yours. One reason is that the court sometimes prefers to handle the preceding in the same location where the children reside for child custody concerns. Just prepare in case a similar scenario occurs.
An attorney's help during a divorce is always helpful, but when the ex-couple lives across state lines — it is especially important. Seek the counsel of an attorney to make certain everything is on course correctly.
For more information, contact a divorce lawyer.