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State Residency Requirements for Divorce

Most states require at least one spouse, usually the one filing the divorce petition, to be a resident of the state for a period of time prior to filing for divorce there.

Some states require domicile, which means you met a set of standards less demanding than residency requirements to show that you plan to live in the state. Other states require that you be a resident of the state for a specific time period before filing for divorce.

Most states have rules specific to those serving our country and looking for a divorce. In a few states, the residency requirement may be longer if the cause of the divorce occurred outside of the state.

Below is a general summary of each state's residency requirement for getting a divorce. The residency requirements can be complicated and depend on the circumstances of your divorce.

If you're unsure of anything, a local divorce attorney may be able to help talk you through the specific laws in your state, for your specific situation.

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Residency Requirements for Filing Divorce

The following are the state residency requirements for filing for divorce in each state as of April, 2009:

State Divorce Residency Requirement
Alabama 6 months before filing
Alaska Must be a resident of the state
30 days if in a military branch
Arizona 90 days before filing
Arkansas 60 days before filing
California 6 months before filing
Colorado 90 days before the start of the proceedings
Connecticut 1 year prior to divorce decree
Delaware 6 months before filing
District of Columbia 6 months before filing
Florida 6 months before filing
Georgia 6 months before filing
Hawaii 6 months before filing
Idaho 6 weeks before filing
Illinois 90 days before filing
Indiana Must be a resident of the state
6 months before filing if in a military branch
Iowa 1 year before filing
Kansas 60 days before filing
Kentucky 180 days before filing
Louisiana 1 year before filing
Maine 6 months before filing
Maryland 1 year if grounds happened outside state
2 years if filing on grounds of insanity
Massachusetts Resident of state if grounds happened in state
1 year if grounds happened outside state
Michigan 180 days before filing
Minnesota 180 days before filing
Mississippi 6 months before filing
Missouri 90 days before filing
Montana 90 days before filing
Nebraska 1 year before filing
Nevada 6 weeks before filing
New Hampshire 1 year before filing
New Jersey 1 year before filing
New Mexico 6 months before filing
New York 1 year before filing
North Carolina 6 months before filing
North Dakota 6 months before filing
Ohio 6 months before filing
Oklahoma 6 months before filing
Oregon 6 months before filing
Pennsylvania 6 months before filing
Rhode Island 1 year before filing
South Carolina 1 year before filing if one party is not a resident
3 months if both are residents of the state
South Dakota Must be a resident of the state
Tennessee 6 months before filing
Texas 6 months before filing
Utah 3 months before filing
Vermont 6 months before filing
Virginia 6 months before filing
Washington Must be a resident of the state
West Virginia 1 year before filing
Requirement waived if married in state
Wisconsin 6 months before filing
Wyoming 60 days before filing

If you have more questions about the residency requirements for divorce in your state or if you meet the divorce requirements, speak to a local divorce lawyer.

Get legal advice about how divorce laws in your state, and state requirements, could affect the length of your divorce process. Fill out a divorce case review form or call 877-349-1310 to get started today.

The state residency requirements before filing for divorce may vary depending on the circumstances of the case, and the above summary is not intended to serve as legal advice. Laws may have changed since our last update. For the latest information on residency requirements before filing for divorce, speak to a local divorce lawyer in your state.