Written By: Lenorae C. Atter, Attorney
Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A.
In Florida, to file for divorce, you must reside in the State for at least six (6) months prior to filing a petition with the court. The Florida residency requirement only requires one of the parties to have residence in Florida, to file here and actions can be brought against a party that resides outside of Florida.
An example would be if you and your spouse live in New York and decide to separate and during the separation you move to Florida for at least six (6) months, then you can file for divorce in Florida though your spouse still resides in New York. Typically, if there is an issue with children, the matters involving the children will be in the court where the children physically reside. However, the actual divorce, equitable distribution of assets, etc. can be decided by a Florida court.
The easiest method of proving your residence is by showing the Court a Florida drivers license. If you do not have one or it was not issued six months prior to your filing for divorce, then you can use the following: lease agreement that signed and dated; utility bill, in your name; or anything that may show the court that you have actually resided in Florida for six (6) months. If you do not have one of those available, then you may have a signed affidavit by someone that can attest that you have lived in Florida for the required time.
A family law attorney who handles divorce law will be able to better explain your rights and options in filing for a divorce. A lawyer can walk you through the process and assist you in having proper service of the petition made if the other party resides outside of Jacksonville, Florida.