Which state do I file for divorce -the state I was married in or the state where I currently live?

UPDATED: Oct 16, 2011

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Which state do I file for divorce -the state I was married in or the state where I currently live?

I got married last yearand after a couple months, caught him cheating and lying. I kicked him out and do not know where he lives. I’ve since moved across the country. Where do I file for divorce? How can I prove that I don’t know where he is (I have social networking records of my attempting to contact him with no response)? What else do I have to do in order to try to find him before I can file for a divorce? There are no children or any property involved.

Asked on October 16, 2011 under Family Law, New Mexico


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You can file in the state in which you maintain your legal residence. The courts there have legal jurisdiction over you. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to file in the state in which you were married.  As to specific NM residency requirements, 1 of the parties must been domiciled in the state for 6 months prior the commencement of the proceedings.  You would file in the county where you live.

If you legitimately cannot find him, then you can file for a "divorce by publication". This is used when the petitioning party (you) cannot legitimately locate the respondent (your husband). First, you will need to file for a divorce. The court will allow the respondent to be served by having notice of the divorce action published in a newspaper in or near the respondents last known address. If the respondent doesn't file an answer, then the court will grant the divorce on basically the terms and conditions requested by the petitioner.

Since this can all get complicated, you need to consult with a divorce attorney in your area.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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