What are residency requirements for divorce?

A friend left her home in MI due to domestic violence to stay in PA with relatives in the months since. Which state would handle her petition for spousal support, MI, or PA?

I cannot answer as to which state has jurisdiction now, but whether a court has jurisdiction over a divorce case requires that she be a resident of that state. Each state has different requirements and time periods for establishing residency. The state where I practice law (Utah) has these requirements in the Utah Code:

Utah Code § 30-3-1. Procedure — Residence — Grounds.

(1) Proceedings in divorce are commenced and conducted as provided by law for proceedings in civil causes, except as provided in this chapter.

(2) The court may decree a dissolution of the marriage contract between the petitioner and respondent on the grounds specified in Subsection (3) in all cases where the petitioner or respondent has been an actual and bona fide resident of this state and of the county where the action is brought, or if members of the armed forces of the United States who are not legal residents of this state, where the petitioner has been stationed in this state under military orders, for three months next prior to the commencement of the action.

Pennsylvania will have it’s own residency requirements. A call to a divorce lawyer in Pennsylvania should get her the answers she seeks.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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