California Divorce Residency Requirements


California has a residency requirement that you should be aware of if you want to seek aPasadena divorce. Your spouse or you must have lived in California for at least six months, and in the county in which you want to file for divorce for at least three months before you are eligible to file.

Most states have a residency requirement for divorce, although the time of residency required varies greatly. The purpose of residency requirements is to make sure that people aren't taking advantage of the difference in divorce laws from state to state. For example, if you are the higher earning spouse, a state with community property laws such as California isn't going to be as favorable to you as a state that does not have community property laws. However, even among the nine community property states, there are still differences in how the division of assets is handled.

If you don't meet the residency requirement for a California divorce, you can still file for a legal separation. A legal separation addresses many of the issues you'd settle during a divorce, such as alimony and child support. However, it leaves open the possibility for reconciliation and prevents you from legally marrying another person.

If you are planning to move, you may be wondering where the best place to file for divorce might be. If you have children and will be the parent with primary physical custody, it is best to have a custody order from the state in which you plan to reside. Waiting to establish residency can also reduce your travel time if you have a messy divorce, since you won't need to visit another jurisdiction to appear in court.

How Can We Help?

If you have a divorce-related question or concern, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at Our Pasadena divorce lawyers can provide the representation you need regarding issues such as child support, visitation, alimony, and the division of assets.