Divorce: Where You Live Matters
If your relationship is ending and it's time for divorce, you might not spend much time thinking about how where you live affects your divorce. Your legal state of residency matters a lot, and when the parties live in different states, things can get complicated. To find out more, read on.
When Couples Reside in the Same State
You don't necessarily have to get divorced in the same state where you were married. If you have not lived in your current state long enough, though, to satisfy state rules, you might have to wait a bit before you file for divorce. In a few states, though, you don't have to be a resident for a certain length of time, but you do have to be able to show that you are a current resident. In most places, only one of the parties has to be a resident the minimum amount of time. Residency is proven using a state drivers' license or other documents showing your physical address.
When Couples Reside in Two Different States
The party that files for divorce first gets to choose the state you divorce in – as long as they meet the state residency requirements. Rather than just let things happen, though, it might be a good idea to speak to divorce lawyers in both states. In some cases, the divorce laws in one state may be more favorable than those in the second state.
Take, for example, community property vs. equitable distribution laws. These two ways of looking at divorce influence things like property and debt settlements in a fundamental manner. Community property states use a 50/50 division to assign debt and split up property, no matter who the debt or property belonged to. Equitable distribution states use a system that assigns debt and property based on a more common-sense approach, such as who incurred the debt or who paid for the property.
When Children Are Involved
State law is heavily involved in the health and welfare of children, and that is why issues like child support and more depend on the state. The party that files first, if the couple resides in different states, has to abide by the median income in their state when it comes to child support amounts. Child custody and visitation can cross state lines, however, as the federal government has provisions to deal with parental kidnapping regardless of the state.
When state laws affect important issues, legal support is a must. Speak to a divorce lawyer or visit a site like http://gomezmaylaw.com/ to find out more.