Where do I file for divorce?

Craig’s Answer:

Whether a spouse is in the military or not, the procedure is the same. You or your spouse must be able to claim California as a legal residence to file in the state (be a California resident for six months and a county resident for three months). If that’s the case, you can file for divorce in the county where you or your spouse reside.

If you reside in California and your spouse files for divorce in another state, depending on the circumstances, you may or may not want to contest it. Divorce laws vary from state to state. Where the divorce has been filed may or may not have laws favorable to you.

The non-filing spouse needs to be served with the divorce complaint, which officially notifies him or her that you’ve begun divorce proceedings.

  • If that spouse lives off-base, the process is the same as a civilian divorce. The papers can be delivered (or “served”) in person or by mail with a Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt.
  • If your spouse resides on a military base, he or she may be served in person by a process server or sheriff.
  • Overseas military personnel may be served by certified mail with return receipt to their Army Post Office or Fleet Post Office address but not all military facilities are set up to receive certified mail or process the required return receipt.

If you or your spouse are in the military and are considering a divorce, call our office at  760-722-7669 so we can discuss the process and how state and federal laws apply to your situation.

Posted in: Divorce, Family Law