When one spouse has established residence in another state, the divorce process becomes somewhat more complicated. That is why it is important to learn about divorce laws in the state your spouse resides in before filing. A person can only file for divorce in a state where they meet the residency requirements.
Every state has residency requirements to consider someone a legal resident. In New Jersey, you must be a resident for one year before filing for divorce in that state. However, if your spouse committed adultery, you are exempt from the one-year waiting period. Only three states do not have formal residency requirements. Certain states may require a person to have a permanent residence.
State laws on child support, child custody, alimony, property division, and other issues dealt with in divorce may vary considerably. New Jersey has passed the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), which requires that a minor child must reside in a state for a minimum of six months before determining custody. If a person has minor children living with their spouse in another state, and those children have lived there continuously for six months, the individual may have no choice but to file for divorce in the state where the children live. If the couple has marital property in another state, the court may be able to grant a divorce, but cannot rule on property division in that other jurisdiction.
When one spouse lives in another state and their spouse files for divorce in their home state, the out-of-state spouse must travel to the other state to attend court hearings. Therefore, the out-of-state spouse could rack up considerable travel costs.
There are instances in which a court in one state may not recognize a divorce granted in another state, although these situations are exceptional. For example, if one spouse was not correctly notified regarding the divorce, or the divorcing spouse did not meet the state’s residency requirements where they filed, the other state may consider the divorce invalid.
If you want to file for divorce but your spouse lives in another state, you need the services of the experienced Monmouth County divorce lawyers at Fox & Melofchik, L.L.C. today. Call us today at 732-493-9400 or complete an online form to arrange a free initial consultation. From our office in Eatontown, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, Mercer County, Ocean Township, Fair Haven, Eatontown, Red Bank, Tinton Falls, Shrewsbury, Middletown Township, Wall Township, Sea Girt, and Spring Lake.