Can I Get Divorced In Florida If I Was Married In Another State?
Our society has become increasingly mobile in recent years, so it is not surprising that it has become less and less common for couples to remain in the same state where they were married. Fortunately, when it comes to divorce it doesn’t really matter where a couple was married, as long as they satisfy Florida’s residency requirements. For help determining whether you satisfy these eligibility requirements and if so, where you can file for divorce, please call our office and set up an appointment with one of our dedicated Clearwater divorce lawyers today.
Does Florida Acknowledge Out-of-State Marriages?
As long as a couple was married lawfully in another state, Florida will recognize that marriage as valid and allow those parties to obtain a divorce. This is also true for couples who were married outside of the U.S. if the marriage was considered valid under that country’s law. In fact, couples are not always even required to provide the court with a copy of their marriage certificate in order to file for divorce. In most cases, it is enough for the parties to state in their petition that they were once married and that at least one of the spouses satisfies Florida’s residency requirements. If the opposing party doesn’t challenge those assertions, then the court will usually take the petitioner at his or her word and proceed as though the couple were legally married.
What are Florida’s Residency Requirements?
The most important thing, when determining whether a couple can file for divorce in Florida, is whether or not the parties satisfy the residency requirements. Under these rules, at least one of the spouses must have lived in Florida for at least six months before the divorce petition can be filed.
Where Should I File for Divorce?
Once a couple satisfies the state’s residency requirements, they must still figure out where they should file for divorce. Generally, the parties should file in the county court of the city where at least one of the spouses lives. It is also possible, however, for couples to file for divorce in a county where neither party resides if they have a significant attachment to that county, such as ownership of a home.
What if I Have a Prenuptial Agreement?
There is one last thing that married couples should consider before filing for divorce in Florida, whether or not the parties have a prenuptial agreement in place. If a couple signed a prenuptial agreement and in that agreement it was specified that in the event of divorce, they would be required to follow the laws of the state where the agreement was signed when executing the contract, then a Florida judge will be bound by those provisions when dividing property or determining alimony.
Consult with a Clearwater Divorce Lawyer
To learn more about Florida’s divorce-related residency requirements, please call Cairns Law and set up a meeting with a member of our dedicated Clearwater divorce legal team. We are happy to work around your schedule and are available for both evening and weekend appointments. Please call us at 727-683-1472 to set up your appointment today.