In almost every state, one must prove residency for a specific period of time before filing for a divorce. The only three states where this is not the case are South Dakota, Washington and Alaska, as long as one is a resident at the time of filing. One question that Colorado Springs divorce lawyers often get is, “what if my spouse files for divorce in a different state?”
If you are worried that your spouse will file for divorce in different state, most attorneys will advise you to beat him or her to the punch by filing in your own state first. Considering that most divorces require more than one appearance in court, having a divorce filed in another state can cause you to incur a fair share of travel expenses. Also, keep in mind that any petitions to modify property settlements, child custody or support must be filed in the original state.
Many people ask if out-of-state divorces can be enforced, and unfortunately the answer is “yes”. As long as your spouse meets the residency requirements of the state where the divorce is filed, the courts of each state must recognize it as valid. The only exception to this is if the court in the originating state cannot establish jurisdiction over the non-resident spouse. A court can only have jurisdiction if the non-resident spouse is personally served with divorce papers and signs the affidavit of service, which acknowledges receipt of the documents. Jurisdiction may also be established if a non-resident spouse pays court-ordered child support that is ordered by the originating state.
If you are a Colorado resident worried about a possible divorce filing from another state, avoid signing anything and consult with a Colorado Springs divorce lawyer.