Out of State Divorce

Out of State Divorce

Out of State Divorce

Florida is a no fault divorce state, which means that one party does not have to prove fault of another. However not all states are the same. If the person filing for divorce is a bona fide Florida resident (having lived in the state for at least six months) then the state of Florida will have jurisdiction over that case. However, that jurisdiction will not extend to the other parties in the divorce if that spouse lives in another state.
Florida can grant a divorce to a resident of Florida but has no authority over the non-resident except in certain cases:

  • The couple maintained a home in Florida as husband and wife (See Florida Statute 48.193); or
  • The spouse living outside of Florida is personally served the divorce petition within Florida; or
  • The spouse living outside of Florida waives his/ her right to contest jurisdiction.
    For instance, if the spouse responds to the divorce petition without raising the issue of jurisdiction in the initial response the spouse will subject himself/ herself to the jurisdiction of the court automatically and cannot challenge jurisdiction at a later time.

If a divorce is filed in a state other than where the marriage took place, it can be very complex. In those instances, the laws of that state will normally apply

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