Any type of divorce is an emotionally challenging process. However, part of these proceedings is understanding all the legal requirements to end your marriage. One of the most important prerequisites to a divorce is meeting California’s residency requirements. Before filing, you want to make sure that the county has jurisdiction over the case. Here is everything you need to know about residency requirements for a California divorce.
What Are Residency Requirements?
Residency requirements ensure that you file the paperwork in the proper courthouse. California has two types of requirements for divorces: jurisdictional and county. Find out how they can affect your case.
If you want to file for divorce in California, you or the other spouse must be a state resident for at least six months before starting the divorce proceedings. With that, you or your spouse should have lived in California continuously for six months or longer.
Temporary visits or residency for a shorter period do not satisfy this requirement. This requirement allows the state to have jurisdiction over your divorce case. At this stage, California has the legal authority to handle the divorce.
You or your spouse must also satisfy the county residency requirements in addition to the state requirements. For instance, one of the parties must have lived in a particular county for a predetermined time.
Before filing for divorce, there is frequently a three-month waiting period. These rules ensure that you file in the appropriate county courthouse, like the jurisdiction requirement. If you file in the wrong county, the process may get complicated and delayed.
Significance of Residency Requirements
Residency requirements are important for many reasons. First, they establish the legal authority of a court to make decisions about spousal support, child custody, and property division. If divorce papers were improperly filed, it may lead to a transfer to another jurisdiction or a case dismissal.
Not all counties have the same residency requirements. For that reason, finding the proper county for your case is vital. Once again, filing in the wrong courthouse could result in additional expenses and time, especially if the case must be transferred.
Not meeting residency requirements could also result in legal challenges and invalidate divorce proceedings. Before taking action to dissolve the marriage, you need to understand these requirements to avoid unnecessary setbacks.
How to Meet the Residency Requirements
There are numerous ways to meet the residency requirements in California. You will want to keep a documented record of your residency in the state, especially the county. Make sure to have lease agreements, utility bills, driver’s licenses, and other documents that demonstrate your residency.
If you have questions about these requirements, consult an experienced family law attorney who can provide more insight into your case.
We Can Help Explain Your Residency Requirements
Knowing and meeting the residency requirements for a California divorce is vital to beginning the divorce process. For the most part, you need a jurisdictional residency of at least six months in the state and county residency of at least three months in the specific county where you plan to file. You can have a successful divorce by ensuring you meet these requirements.
If you need the assistance of an experienced family law attorney, contact the Roberts & Zatlin Family Law Firm. For over 35 years, we have provided clients with exceptional family law services throughout California.
Our office in Temecula extends its services to Menifee, Hemet, Sun City, Lake Elsinore, Winchester, Wildomar, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County, Vista, San Diego, Inland Valley, and all other parts of the state. To schedule a consultation today and receive a free initial assessment of your case, please call (951) 381-8147 today.