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Residency Requirements For Florida Divorce


The courts of Florida have jurisdiction to dissolve marriages if at least one of the spouses resides in Florida for at least six months before filing the divorce petition.  Thus, Florida courts have presided over divorce cases where one spouse lived in Florida and the other in Tennessee for most of the marriage.  They also ruled on a case where the wife extended a vacation to Florida for almost a year and then filed for divorce from her husband, who had been in Germany, the parties’ country of citizenship, the entire time.  Things get fuzzier if the couple owns property and used to reside there, but they have been spending more time in other states or countries for the past several years.  If you and your spouse spend some of your time in Florida and the rest of the time somewhere else, contact a Boca Raton divorce lawyer.

When Florida Is Home but You Don’t Spend Much Time There

James and Rosa got married in 1995 in the Dominican Republic and moved to Florida in 1999 when James’s employer transferred him there.  The parties lived in Weston with their three children until 2014, although James traveled frequently in the context of his work as a pilot.  In 2014, the family moved to the Dominican Republic to be near Rosa’s elderly father. They rented out their house in Florida and continued to use its address as a billing address to receive mail; James also traveled frequently to South Florida for work.  Rosa acted as a full-time caregiver to her father until his death in 2017, and she had not returned to the workforce by 2018, when she filed for divorce in Florida.  It appears that they also began divorce proceedings in the Dominican Republic after a 2017 incident of alleged domestic violence, because the Dominican Republic court ordered James to pay $900 per month in child support. In the course of the Florida divorce case, the court imputed $2,000 per month in income to Rosa.

During their divorce case, Rosa asked for alimony, claiming that James had canceled her health insurance, dissipated marital assets, and otherwise left her without financial support.  Meanwhile, James argued that the courts of Florida did not have jurisdiction in the parties’ divorce case.  He based his argument on the fact that the parties’ visits to Florida in the past four years had been brief.  He alleged that Rosa only wanted Florida to handle the divorce case because the courts in the Dominican Republic do not award child support, even if the parties were married for more than 20 years, as James and Rosa were.

Contact Schwartz | White About Divorce for Couples Who Only Sometimes Live in Florida

If your family resides in different places at different times, or if you have been living separately from your spouse for a long time, it might not be obvious where you should file for divorce.  A South Florida divorce lawyer can help you persuade the court that Florida is the right place to accomplish your divorce.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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