It is common for married couples to live separately for several months (or longer) before they decide to get divorced. If you are living in Florida and your spouse lives in another state, filing for divorce can be a bit tricky. In order to qualify for a Florida divorce, one of the parties must be a resident of Florida for at least six months prior to the date the divorce petition is filed. As soon as you have been a Florida resident for six months, you can file for a divorce regardless of where your spouse lives. However, if this is your situation, it is important that you contact one of our family law attorneys so we can discuss how your spouse living in another state may impact the divorce proceeding.
An issue that is often raised is whether the Florida family law courts have jurisdiction over your spouse. A court cannot award relief in your divorce case, including awarding custody, support or dividing assets, unless it has jurisdiction over both of the parties. Generally, if your spouse has never resided in the state of Florida there is a strong argument that the Florida courts lack personal jurisdiction over her. If this is the case, the Florida court is powerless to provide you with any substantive relief.
It should be noted, however, if you are only seeking a divorce and you are not seeking any other form of relief, the Florida court will likely have jurisdiction even if your spouse is not a resident of Florida.
There are many issues that must be addressed when your spouse lives in another state and you want to file for divorce. Every divorce case is unique and is decided on its own facts. Let us review your individual circumstances and help you understand the best strategy for filing for divorce and obtaining the relief you want.
Men often find it difficult to find a divorce attorney who understands the unique male perspective on family law matters. If you are facing divorce or you have other family law needs, our legal team is here to help. Contact the Men’s Divorce Law Firm to schedule a consultation with a caring professional, and aggressive advocate for men’s rights in divorce, child timesharing (custody), and paternity matters.