Understanding Florida’s Residency Requirements for Divorce
Divorce is an extremely stressful process and if you do not understand and follow the law, it becomes even more stressful. One of the most basic requirements for divorces in Florida is that which regards residency. Florida is one of the top tourist states in the country and many people come to spend days, weeks, and even months in the state. During that time, some people may get married, and they may even want to get a divorce in the future. It is for this reason that it is so important that everyone in the Sunshine State understands the state’s residency requirements for a divorce.
Residency Within the State
Florida Statutes Section 61.021 dictates that if a couple wants to divorce, one of the parties must have been a resident of the state for a minimum of six months. If a couple does not meet this requirement, the Court does not have jurisdiction over their marriage and as such, cannot issue any judgments on the case. To be considered a resident, one person must be physically present within the state, although traveling outside of the state during the required six month does not impact the residency requirement. One spouse must also have already met the requirement, or have the intention of becoming a permanent resident of the state.
The Florida Statutes also provide several ways a person can prove that they meet the residency requirement. These include:
- A valid Florida’s driver’s license
- A Florida voter’s registration card
- A valid Florida ID card
- Testimony or an affidavit from a third party that is not one of the parties involved in the divorce
Even if you are not yet a permanent resident of the state, you can still prove you had the intention of doing so by:
- Signing a lease for a residence, or purchasing a new home
- Obtaining permanent employment in the state
- Using a Florida address for both personal and official purposes
- Personal testimony
Options for Those that Do Not Meet the Residency Requirement
While it is true that the Florida Family Courts do not have jurisdiction over your divorce if you have not lived in the state for at least six months, you do have options if you still want to move forward with your divorce. One of the most common options people choose is to establish residency and then file for divorce. Even though you cannot get a divorce, it does not mean you cannot prepare for the process while you are establishing residency.
If you do not wish to establish residency, you can file the Petition in the state in which you do meet the residency requirements. Additionally, you can also ask your spouse to file if they meet the requirements.
Our Family Lawyers in Orlando Can Advise on the Requirements for Divorce
The residency requirements for divorce in Florida are strict, and they are also not the only laws that govern the process. At O’Mara Law Group, our Orlando family lawyers can advise on all the laws that govern divorce, and help you secure the fair settlement you deserve. Call us today at 407-634-6604 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation with one of our seasoned attorneys.