Where to File for Divorce?

Divorce lawsuits must be filed in the state courts. So if you want a divorce, you must file the petition or complaint in the state court having jurisdiction over your place of residence – generally the branch of your state superior or circuit court located in your county. Some states have specific family courts that deal with divorce and related legal issues. If your state has a family court, you must file your petition or compliant in the family court having jurisdiction over your place of residence.

In California, the Superior Court deals with divorce proceedings. The California Superior Court has established facilities in each county. California has residency requirements for divorce filings. One or both spouses must have lived in California for the six months immediately preceding the divorce and in the county of filing for the 3 months immediately preceding the filing. So if you have been living in Los Angeles, you must file in the Superior Court of California – County of Los Angeles. You can check the website of your state’s Superior Court to know where you have to file your petition or complaint. You can also visit the nearest facility of your state’s Superior Court to know where to file your petition or complaint.

State and County/District Residency Requirements

Almost all states have some residency requirements for divorce filing. You must have lived in that state for a certain number of days before the filing. For example, California has a 6 month residency requirement. In some states the residency requirement is only a few days. In others the residency requirement can be as long as one year. Some counties may also impose additional residency requirements. For example, in California, you must have resided in the county of filing for 3 months. This is in addition to the California residency requirement of 6 moths. Check your state and local residency requirements to know more.

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