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Divorce Attorneys Bellevue

Can You File for Divorce in a Different County?

In the modern day and age, divorce is a tumultuous although very real concept. That being said, when it comes to deciding what county or venue to proceed it can become tricky when considering each factor and ramification of personal issues when separation of state or county becomes a problem. When these issues arise, is it possible to file for divorce in different counties?

Divorce In A Positive Light

In a positive light, Time magazine ran a study which concluded that the divorce rates in the United States have hit a 40 year low. While this is a good number, the threat of separation isn’t always an avoidable concept and when it does happen, most, if not all states within the USA tend to allow divorce within different states; but there may be drawbacks to this.

While divorce sometimes can be inevitable, there is a chance that for some spouses there are a range of reasons why they cannot reconcile amicably within a county, whether it’s out of fear of their safety, other arrangements of work, or even regarding a simple return to their family. With these reasons in mind, it’s good to elaborate on the ability of US law allowing divorce to be allowed separately.

Different Strokes

Some counties may require different approaches and legislation when it comes to your filing for divorce. The legal advice site, DuBois Cary Law Group (a professional group of divorce attorneys in Bellevue), states that some counties may require you to undergo a parenting course before they will acknowledge your request for a divorce. This is not a preliminary request of all counties or states, however.

However, when you are divorcing in different counties and states you must understand their individual policy as well as your own standing on this process. A state may request that your spouse must be a resident and they will have to be present there for a certain amount of time. When it comes to going to court to discuss residency they will account certain factors in order to determine your spouse’s true residence. According to Findlaw.com these factors can be where is your spouses family, and where they are currently living as well as where your spouse votes, and where they are employed.

What Will Courts Use?

Courts will also look at things to determine you or your spouse’s true state of residency by where your children go to school, where you use your bank and its registration. If you or your spouse owns multiple properties, they can also determine a final verdict by being able to find out which one is your permanent as opposed to vacation properties. The courts may even look at your vehicle purchases or registration to determine true residency. There are a range of ways that the legal representatives of your county can find out the best possible place and official residency you have.

Residing Times

For most states, you must reside within them for 3 to 6 months in order to have legal standing of divorce in that area. This isn’t so much a serious setback as you or your spouse can agree on separation until the residing time is met, and then you can move onto legal proceedings which will then allow you both to divorce amicably and legally.

However, some states simply have different times for what you must abide by and some do not have a residing period at all, and you may be able to file for divorce with no statutory provision; Alaska is well known for this. States such as Louisiana, Kentucky, and New Mexico have a waiting period of six months while some like Utah or Montana have 90 days.

A similar state to Alaska and the only other state which will allow divorce without a residual waiting time is South Dakota, where when legal action is taken and the venue is considered for South Dakota, that you are considered a resident of that state. This is a rarity and most spouses will look for other means in divorce.


In summary, it is legally possible for you or your spouse to file for divorce in different counties. There is a plethora of issues and legal viewpoints which may come into play when involving multiple counties, but the preliminaries of each county should be discussed with your legal representative. Not only do you or your spouse have to decide on a county, the controlling figurehead will always have the first say when it comes to where divorce should be filed. You should always research where different states and counties stand when it comes to divorce.  Important things to remember are:

  • Some states have different policies and this means you will have to reside in them for upwards of three months.
  • Depending on if you or your spouse file for divorce, the person who filed has legal standing of proceeding with the divorce in their chosen county.
  • Courts can use a range of ways to determine the true residency of you or your spouse, and can make a legal decision on this to decide where divorce proceedings will go underway.