Florida Divorce Residency Requirements
If a person or a couple wishes to get divorced in Florida, the first step in the process is meeting the residency requirement. The state has specific requirements of residency in order for a court to have jurisdiction over a divorce proceeding. At the law office of Blair H. Chan, III in Tampa Bay, our team understands the importance of establishing residency and can help you prove this critical step to the court in order to begin the process of divorce in Florida. Call or contact the office today to learn more about this and other steps involved in the Florida divorce process with a free consultation from an experienced attorney.
Florida Residency Requirement
Under Florida law, one or both spouses filing for a divorce must reside in the state for at least six months prior to filing. If residency is not proven to the court, it is required to dismiss the petition for divorce. In order to prove residency, a petitioner for divorce must establish the following elements: first, that the petitioner was physically present in the state of Florida and second, that there was intention during those six months to have Florida be the petitioner’s primary residence. There are many ways to prove these elements to the court in order to qualify as a resident for divorce proceedings.
What Qualifies as Residency?
There are a few different ways that a petitioner can prove the residency requirement for divorce in Florida. The petitioner can testify to their intentions that Florida was their primary residence for at least six months prior to the divorce filing. Proof of a signed lease or owning a home also qualifies as residency, although maintaining vacation property is not enough to establish the residency requirement. Filing state taxes is another way to establish residency in Florida for a divorce case. Obtaining permanent employment, proof of joining a church, country club, and social organizations in Florida, utilizing a Florida address for mailing and official matters, and obtaining a Florida driver’s license may all also serve to qualify residence for a divorce case.
It is also important to note that in order to establish residency a petitioner does not need to be physically present for six uninterrupted months prior to filing for divorce. Travel is allowed outside of the state while accruing residency status, but simply vacationing sporadically in Florida while maintaining a primary residence outside of the state is not enough to qualify for residency to petition for divorce.
Contact an Attorney Today for Help
While it may seem like a minor step, establishing residency in Florida is a critical element to any divorce filing. Are you contemplating divorce and would like to learn more from a knowledgeable Tampa divorce lawyer? Call the office or contact us today at the law office of Blair H. Chan, III to schedule a free evaluation of your case and learn more about your legal options when it comes to filing for divorce in Florida.