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.
Mat Camp is a former Lexicon Services Online Editor, who focused on providing a comprehensive look into all aspects of the divorce experience. On MensDivorce.com, he concentrated on issues, such as parenting time, custodial rights, mediation, the division of assets, and so much more.
Mr. Camp used the wealth of experience of Cordell & Cordell attorneys to bring tangible answers to reader questions in Ask a Lawyer articles, as well as offer a step by step process through the divorce experience with Cordell & Cordell Co-Founder and Principal Partner Joseph E. Cordell in Divorce 101: A Guide for Men.
Mr. Camp used thorough research to highlight the challenging reality that those who go through divorce or child custody issues face. He helped foster the continued success of the Men’s Divorce Survival Guide, the Men’s Divorce Podcast, and the Men’s Divorce YouTube series “Attorney Bites.”