Where is Jurisdiction for Divorcing Spouses Living in Different States?

divorce jurisdiction las vegasIt is surprisingly common for people to ask whether they can file for divorce in Nevada if they or their spouse lives in another state. Does Nevada have jurisdiction to hear the divorce? Where is the best place to file? What procedures need to be followed? Read on for an explanation of divorce jurisdiction and Nevada law from our knowledgeable Las Vegas divorce attorneys.

Where Can I File for Divorce?

A Complaint for Divorce can be filed in any jurisdiction where one of the parties maintains residency, regardless of where the other spouse lives. Different states have different residency requirements, so it is important to understand the laws of each state when considering where to file for divorce. It’s important to note that these laws change frequently and what was permissible for residency requirements a few short years ago may not be now. So it’s important that you consult with a divorce attorney that keeps up on all the changes.

Nevada’s Residency Requirement

Nevada has a residency requirement of only six weeks. For a Las Vegas family court to have jurisdiction over a divorce, one of the parties must have resided continuously in the state for at least six weeks before filing for divorce. Nevada’s residency requirement is one of the shortest in the country. Therefore, many people think “OK I’ll just move to Las Vegas for six weeks and then I’m good to file there.” The reality can be more complicated. At a minimum, the Las Vegas resident will need a resident witness and file an affidavit in the divorce case asserting their presence in the state in order to affirm their residency. The spouse residing and filing in Nevada must serve proper notice of the divorce proceeding on the out-of-state spouse. And both spouses must adhere to the same legal processes as any other divorce case.

Where Should I File for Divorce?

In addition to asking where you can file for divorce, it is important to ask where you should file for divorce. One of the advantages of being the first to file is that you get to choose the jurisdiction. Typically, it is to your advantage to choose your home state. It makes things easier and more convenient for you, giving you the “home state advantage.”

If, however, the lion’s share of the assets, evidence, and witnesses are in another location (for example, if you and your spouse lived in another state for a decade and all of your property and family are still located there), then another jurisdiction may be more appropriate. The court, on a motion from your spouse, may even decide that while it technically has jurisdiction to hear the case, another jurisdiction is a better forum to resolve the dispute. Courts are especially likely to transfer a case to the jurisdiction where shared children reside.

Get Expert Legal Counsel for Your Las Vegas Divorce

Talk to your divorce attorney in Las Vegas about your options and learn how to put yourself in the best position in advance of your divorce. Our seasoned divorce lawyers are ready to lead you through all aspects of your divorce case. We will analyze your individual case facts, advise you on the best forum for your divorce, establish jurisdiction, and effect service of process. You will benefit from our expert legal counsel through every step of your divorce case. Our Las Vegas divorce attorneys will speak to you directly and assist you in setting up a consultation. Call our office at 702-222-4021 to speak with one of them and see if what we offer is right for you.