How do I get a divorce inone stateif I was married in a different state?

UPDATED: Dec 6, 2011

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How do I get a divorce inone stateif I was married in a different state?

I’ve been separated from my husband for 2 1/2 years and would like to finally get a divorce from him. I now have a child with the man I’ve been with for 2 years. I don’t always have contact with my husband or know where he is so that makes it some what difficult to get one at times nor do I know how to go about doing it or where to even start. He also make it hard because he goes back in forth between wanting a divorce and not wanting one.

Asked on December 6, 2011 under Family Law, Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It is a common misconception that you must divorce in the state in which you were married. This is not the case. You can file a divorce in either the state in which you are a resident or in the state where your spouse legally resides. In most states, residency is established after 6 months or so of living there.

As for not knowing where he is, in such a case there is something known as "divorce by publication". Through this legal tool, one spouse can serve the other spouse notice of the divorce proceedings by publishing the notice in a paper in the area of the spouse's last known address. If the spouse does not answer within a certain period of time they default a a divorce is granted on the terms requested.

A default divorce can also be granted if even if you know where your spouse is and can have him personally served notice of the divorce but he refuses to sign the papers.

However, this is just a brief summary; there are specific procedures to follow. You can consult directly with aattorney divorce attorney in your area. They can advise you further.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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