divorce papers and gavel

Where Do I File for Divorce?

During a divorce, there are countless difficult decisions that need to be made before moving forward. While you may think these are just decisions regarding who gets what and what kind of parenting plan you’ll have, there are other things to consider such as where to file for divorce in the first place. There are some situations in which a person goes into the situation blindly, unsure of how to go about filing for divorce. It is important to know that the location in which you file your divorce can have an impact on how the proceedings will play out.

Each state has various residency requirements that the couple must meet before filing for divorce. This means you have to live in a location for a certain amount of time before you can file for divorce. In California, you must have lived in the state for at least 180 days, or six months, and lived in the county in which you want to file for at least three months. This limits exactly where you would be able to file for divorce and which court will have jurisdiction over the proceedings.

This may sound confusing, but think of it in this way. You and your spouse have been living together in San Bernardino County for three years. You separate and you move out. Now, you have moved to Los Angeles County and have only been a resident there for a month. Because you lived in San Bernardino County for longer than the minimum required time, you may file for divorce in California. However, because you have only lived in Los Angeles County for a month, you would not be able to file for the divorce in Los Angeles County. Your spouse would be able to file in San Bernardino County.

Knowing what court will be handling your divorce case is also important, as certain judges handle the aspects of a divorce differently than others. The more you understand about the judge handling your case, the better prepared you can be and potentially file in a more favorable place.

You cannot file for a divorce without first complying with the residency requirements of the state and the county in which you intend to file. You can discuss this with a divorce lawyer or with the branch in your county to learn more about these requirements. It can be complicated to determine where you should file. You shouldn’t go through the process alone, though, and you should make your decisions with the help and advice of a legal professional who can guide you towards the choice that best suits your needs and protects your best interests.

At Chung & Ignacio, LLP, our Rancho Cucamonga divorce attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients and their families. It is important to us to make sure our clients know what’s at stake in these matters. From start to finish, you will have someone on your side who knows what it takes to help you reach the favorable result you deserve.

Call our firm today and learn more about your rights and options.