California courts may act on a marital status case, like divorce, if at least one of the spouses is domiciled in the state at the time of the proceedings. However, child custody jurisdiction rests on the state’s relationship to the child, not on the parents’ relationship to the state.

So it may be possible to file for the dissolution of marriage in California, even though one spouse resides out of the state, “depending upon proof of fact” [Fam.C. § 2322].

While the dissolution may be under the state’s jurisdiction based on one of the spouses residency, the state-child relationship must satisfy fundamental jurisdictional requirements set by the Federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (FPKPA, 28 USC § 1738A) and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA, Fam.C. § 3400 et seq.)

Before proceeding with the marriage dissolution petition, it is best to work with a lawyer who is an expert in divorce and family law to be properly guided on the right steps to take.