I am separated from my wife and want to file for divorce; however, she does not currently live in my state. She will be moving here soon along with our two children, but I would like to know if I need to wait before filing.
Do they need to live in the same state for a certain amount of time, or can I file before my wife moves?
In Colorado, as long as you have been a resident of the state (and in the state) for 91 days prior to filing, the action for divorce can go forward.
However, because there are minor children involved, there is an added layer of difficulty with the jurisdictional issues. For starters, there may be a question of whether the court has personal jurisdiction over your wife if you file for divorce prior to her relocating.
Also, although the court may be able to proceed with the divorce action, if the state does not have jurisdiction over your children yet, then no issues involving the children can be determined.
In Colorado, in order for the court to have jurisdiction to enter orders regarding your children, it must have “original jurisdiction.” Put simply, this means the children must have been living in Colorado for at least six months (180 days) prior to the divorce being filed.
Of course, there are other ways for a state to obtain jurisdiction, but they can be complicated and I would recommend you speak to a domestic attorney in your area to determine if any of the additional ways to obtain jurisdiction can apply, as each state has its own requirements for service and residency requirements for filing an action for divorce.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.
To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, contact Cordell & Cordell.