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Should I File For Divorce Before Moving Out of State?


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Question: Should I File For Divorce Before Moving Out of State?
My husband and I are divorcing. I will be moving out of state, should I file for divorce before I move to a new state or after?

Whatever state you file in you will have to be a resident. If you wait to file after you move you will need to set up residency in the state you move to before you will be able to file. Check out your state’s divorce laws to see what the time period is for setting up residency.

There are pros and cons to filing for divorce in a new state if you plan to move.


  • You will be using a local court which means no traveling from one state to another should there be a need to modify the final decree of divorce.
  • It is always best to have a child custody order from the state that will become your children’s home state.
  • Cons:

  • You will not be able to file immediately due to the need to set up residency.
  • If your children spend more than six months out of the year with the non-custodial parent there could be hassles if custody issues arise. Determining which state is the child’s home state and has jurisdiction over custody could be an issue.
  • If you have children, living in a different state than the non-custodial parent will make it hard for your children to have a close bond and relationship with the non-custodial parent. Parental visitation is always something to consider when thinking of moving out of state.
  • One more thing to consider…Your spouse can file for a divorce at any time in the state you are now a resident of. There could be a danger of him/her filing for divorce after you move. That would put you in a position of traveling back and forth for divorce related processes.

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