What Is the Uniform Divorce Recognition Act?


Pasadena divorce laws are governed by the Uniform Divorce Recognition Act (UDRA). The UDRA denies recognition of an out-of-state divorce if both spouses were domiciled in the home state. Domiciled is defined as residing in the enacting state within the 12 months before the divorce and resuming residence in the enacting state within 18 months after the presumed departure from the state. You will also be considered domiciled if you maintain a residence in the enacting state at all times after your departure from the state and until your return to the state.

The primary purpose of the UDRA is to deny recognition of the "quickie" divorces some couples try to get when they want to avoid the state's minimum waiting period. This is often because they have a new romantic partner that they are in a hurry to marry.

Another reason for the UDRA is to prohibit people from shopping around for a state with more favorable divorce laws. Since California is a community property state, both spouses have an equal interest in marital property even if only one spouse worked outside the home. The UDRA prohibits a high earner with a stay-at-home spouse from trying to obtain a more favorable settlement by divorcing in a state without community property laws.

The UDRA essentially requires that you obtain a divorce in the state in which you actually live. If you don't want to obtain a divorce in California, one spouse needs to have residency in another state.

At this time, the UDRA is in effect in seven states. In addition to being part of California divorce law, the UDRA is also the law in Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Wisconsin.

How Can We Help?

If you are in need of legal representation during your divorce, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com. Our experienced Pasadena divorce attorneys are eager to advocate for your needs throughout the divorce process.