Divorce Guides & Information

Residency Requirements for a Los Angeles Divorce

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Like many other states, California has its own laws regarding who is eligible to file for divorce, or more formally known as a marital dissolution. Each state protects its jurisdiction and takes steps to ensure the proper legal statutes are applied to each case. If you are looking to pursue a divorce, it is important you meet the California residency requirements to prevent your case from being automatically dismissed. While many believe that they must pursue a divorce in the same state in which they were married, this is simply not the case. In fact, most divorces in the United States are initiated in the county where the filing spouse resides.

To file for divorce in Los Angeles, at least one of the spouses must have:

  • Lived in California for at least six months prior to filing
  • Lived in Los Angeles County for at least three months prior to filing

If you wish to file for divorce in another county in Southern California, then at least one of you must have lived in that county for at least three months. For the purposes of proceeding towards dissolution of marriage, both you and your spouse may have separate residences as long as they are provable and are not based on legal presumptions.

When Is There No Residency Requirement?

There are certain special circumstances in which no residency requirement applies. Couples who wish to pursue an annulment, legal separation, or dissolution of a California-registered domestic partnership are not bound by any residency requirement. However, an out-of-state domestic partnership may have a California residency requirement before you could dissolve that domestic partnership. It is important you check with the laws that govern the state in which your partnership was formed.

If you and your spouse do not meet the residency requirements, you may file for a legal separation and amend your petition at a later date once you have met the requirements. This will allow you to make progress through the court system or obtain certain court orders in the meantime. Once you have met the requirements, as long as you and your spouse are in agreement, an amended petition may be filed and completed as a divorce.

Trust in a Firm with 50+ Years of Experience

Divorce can be a heartbreaking and emotionally draining experience – and it is certainly not one that should be endured alone. At Castellanos & Associates APLC, our compassionate and skilled lawyers understand the anguish you must be going through and are here to provide the steadfast legal support you need during this time. Having earned a 2014 Avvo Clients’ Choice Award and a “Superb” Avvo Rating for our unmatched skill and dedication, we have what it takes to get you through this difficult experience and ensure your best interests are protected every step of the way.

Discuss your legal options by calling our office at (323) 212-5599 or by scheduling a no-cost case review today.


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