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What are residency requirements for a California divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2018 | Divorce |

For California couples who are at the end of a marriage, it is important to understand all aspects of the case so they do not make a mistake they will regret or one that will hinder the process. The basics are occasionally the most complicated and one that should be addressed before even starting with a divorce is whether the residency requirements are met to file in the state. To divorce or for domestic partners to divorce in California, there are certain foundational necessities.

If it is a married couple, one of the two must have lived in the state for the previous six months and lived in the county in which they are planning to file for the previous three months. If the couple resided in California for the required previous six months, but were living in separate counties for a minimum of three months, it is legal to file in either county in which they resided. Those who do not meet the residency requirement still have the right to file for a legal separation. After that, when they meet the residency requirement to divorce, an amended petition can be filed to request a divorce.

For domestic partners who are registered in the state, there is an automatic agreement regarding the jurisdiction as to where the partnership will be ended even if the couple moves or never resided in the state. There is no residency requirement. However, if it was not registered in the state, the residency requirements are the same as for a married couple. Those in a same-sex marriage and a domestic partnership must meet the requirements for both.

Getting a divorce can be taxing in multiple ways. Making that more complex is when there are divorce legal issues related to residency. Having legal assistance from a lawyer who is fully aware of divorce laws whether it is an opposite sex couple, a same-sex marriage or a domestic partnership can navigate these issues so the participants can move forward with their lives.

Source:, “Options to End Marriage or Domestic Partnership,” accessed on Feb. 26, 2018


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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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