Divorce Planning: Do I Have to get Divorced in the Same State Where I got Married?

Marriage Cake Photo
A Scottsdale divorce lawyer explains when people can divorce in states other than those where they married.

No, not if you meet the divorce requirements for another state. And understanding other states’ divorce requirements and laws can help you in the divorce planning process, as it can assist you in figuring out where to file for divorce in order to maximize your benefits/protect interests in the process.

Background on Arizona Divorce Requirements

Before delving into the requirements for divorce in other states, here’s what you should know about the eligibility requirements for filing for divorce in Arizona:

  • At least one spouse has to have lived in Arizona for at least 90 days before filing a divorce petition.
  • Grounds for divorce in Arizona include the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage (because Arizona laws provide for no-fault divorces).
  • For “covenant marriages,” however, grounds for divorce in Arizona can include infidelity, addiction/alcohol abuse, and abandonment (just to name a few).
States With Minimal Divorce Residency Requirements

If you are considering filing for divorce in a state other than Arizona, states that do not have any residency requirements for divorce include:

  • Alaska
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • South Dakota
  • Washington

Other states with minimal divorce residency requirements include (but may not be exclusive to):

  • Idaho, Nevada – 6 weeks
  • Arkansas, Kansas, Wyoming – 60 days
  • Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, Montana – 90 days
Divorcing in Other States: More Important Information
  • Grounds for divorce – Although you may meet the residency requirements for divorce in another state, you also need to check that you meet the grounds for divorce in that state. Similarly, you need to be aware that a divorce can take months (or longer); so, proceeding with a divorce in another state may necessitate that you relocate there for the duration of the divorce case (if that is where you want to move forward with the dissolution of your marriage).
  • Property division considerations When considering divorce in another state, another important consideration is the potential impacts to property division matters and, more specifically, what marital property you have (and where that property is). Although divorce laws in another statemay provide you with some greater advantages when it comes to dividing up the marital property, these benefits can be mitigated by higher divorce costs (if, for instance, your property is in states other than where you are divorcing, you do not properly plan for the tax issues, etc.).
Need More Answers? Contact a Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau

For effective, experienced representation in Arizona divorce, you can rely on Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer Karen Schoenau. Since 1987, Karen Schoenau has been committed to helping people resolve their important family law matters, including complex cases related to divorce, custody, paternity and other issues.

To receive professional advice and learn more about how we can help you, schedule an initial consultation with Attorney Karen Schoenau. You can set up this meeting by calling 480-209-1918 or by emailing us using the drop-down contact form at the top of this page.

From her offices based on Scottsdale, Attorney Karen Schoenau represents clients throughout the metropolitan Scottsdale area, including in Scottsdale, Mesa, Surprise, Maricopa County, Pinal County, Gila County and throughout the state of Arizona.

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