How do I file if my wife lives in a different state?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How do I file if my wife lives in a different state?

I left my wife and moved to out of state 2 months ago. We had lived together for 3 years in my old state but originally in the state in which I am now living. Where can I file for a divorce?

Asked on September 9, 2016 under Family Law, Virginia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

First of all, it is a common misconception that a couple must file for divorce in the state in which they were married. This is not true. A divorce is filed in the state in which either the husband or wife legally resides. The key here in the case of a move, has legal residency been established by the parties? In your case, since you only moved 2 months ago, you most probably have not yet done so in your state (typically it requires about 6 months but you can google to check specific state law). Accordingly, you can wait until you do establish legal residency or you can file in the state in which your wife has legal residency (and in which you are still a legal resident). At this point, you should consult with a local attorney; they can best advise you in which state filing may be most beneficial for you and therefore whether or not you should wait to file.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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