Basic Divorce Residency Requirements in Your State

Divorcenet has compiled a that chart identifies your state's residency requirements and explains, in some instances, where there may be limitations or county requirements.

Residency requirements refer to the length of time you must reside in a state before you’re allowed to file for a divorce there. In the divorce context, having residency in a state simply means that you’ve been present in the state for a set period of time. If you can’t allege and prove that you (or your spouse) meet the residency requirement, then your divorce case may be rejected or dismissed.

The original purpose of these residency requirements was to prevent “forum shopping,” where spouses would file for divorce in a foreign state in order to take advantage of more favorable divorce laws. Longer residency requirements are designed to discourage those who are simply looking for better divorce outcomes.

The following chart identifies state residency requirements and explains, in some instances, where there may be caveats or county requirements. We've created articles for several of our most popular states. When you click on the specific state name, you'll be directed to detailed information about how that state's residency requirements work. Local laws vary, so you should check the laws in the county where you intend to file for divorce to determine if there are additional residency requirements you must meet.

Residency Requirements in Your State

State

Residency Requirement

Notes

Alabama

6 months

Alaska

Resident at time of filing.

Arizona

90 days

Arkansas

60 days

California

6 months

And 3 months in county where filing for divorce.

Colorado

91 days

Connecticut

Either spouse may file for divorce at any time after establishing residence in Connecticut.

Must establish residency for 12 months before final divorce judgment can be entered, unless one party lived in Connecticut at the time of marriage and returned with intention to stay, or the cause for divorce arose after either party moved to Connecticut.

Delaware

6 months

District of Columbia

6 months

Florida

6 months

Georgia

6 months

Hawaii

3 months

Idaho

6 weeks

Illinois

90 days

Indiana

6 months

Iowa

1 year

No requirement if the responding spouse is in Iowa and was personally served with divorce papers, but there is a one-year residency requirement if only the filing spouse is in Iowa.

Kansas

60 days

Kentucky

180 days

Louisiana

6 months

Maine

6 months

Maryland

6 months

If the cause of divorce occurred in state, you only need to show you’re a resident at the time of filing for divorce.

Massachusetts

1 year

If the cause of divorce occurred in state, you only need to show you’re a resident at the time of filing for divorce.

Michigan

180 days

Minnesota

180 days

Mississippi

6 months

Missouri

90 days

Montana

90 days

Nebraska

1 year (if marriage was entered in state and the filing spouse has been a resident for 1 year before filing for divorce.)

No requirement if either spouse is continuously a resident from date of marriage to date of filing.

Nevada

6 weeks

New Hampshire

1 year

Filing spouse must be a resident for one year before filing for divorce. This requirement is waived where both spouses reside in the state when divorce is commenced, or where filing spouse resides in the state when filing for divorce and personally serves the other spouse in state.

New Jersey

1 year

This is waived if cause of divorce arose when either spouse was a resident and continued to be a resident until time of filing.

New Mexico

6 months

New York

1 year

This is waived if cause of divorce occurred in state and both spouses are residents at time of filing for divorce.

North Carolina

6 months

North Dakota

6 months

The filing spouse must be a resident for 6 months before filing, and if not, then the divorce may be granted if the filing spouse has been a resident of the state for 6 months before entry of the divorce decree.

Ohio

6 months

Oklahoma

6 months

Oregon

6 months (if marriage was not solemnized in Oregon)

If the marriage was solemnized in Oregon, then at least one spouse must be a resident at the time of filing.

Pennsylvania

6 months

Rhode Island

1 year

South Carolina

1 year

South Dakota

Resident at time of filing

Tennessee

6 months

Texas

6 months

And 90 days in the county where the divorce is filed.

Utah

3 months

And 3 months in the county where the divorce is filed.

Virginia

6 months

Washington

Resident at time of filing

West Virginia

1 year

If the marriage was entered in state, then one of the spouses must be a resident when the divorce is commenced.

Wisconsin

6 months

And 30 days in the county where divorce is filed.

Wyoming

60 days

Waived if the marriage was solemnized in Wyoming and one spouse has resided in the state from time of marriage to time of filing for divorce.

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