Does California Law Recognize Out-of-State Divorces?

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Explore:  Divorce

When couples marry and divorce in another state prior to moving to California, the divorce remains legally valid within California. However, there can be circumstances when an out-of-state divorce is not considered valid under California law.

California is one of seven states that essentially may prevent residents from leaving the state for the purpose of obtaining a divorce. Under the Uniform Divorce Recognition Act, (UDRA) the state does not recognize an out-of-state divorce “when both parties to the marriage were domiciled in this state at the time the proceeding for the divorce was commenced.” This is determined as follows:

  • When a person pursuing divorce was domiciled in California within 12 months before the proceeding and resumes state residence in California within 18 months after departure; or
  • When the person maintains a California residence during the time he or she files for divorce in another state

However, the recognition of divorce in these situations does not depend solely on residence, however. The U.S. Constitution requires states to give full faith and credit to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of other states; therefore the UDRA is limited by these constitutional requirements. It is important to mention any issues pertaining to residence to an experienced California divorce attorney who can help ensure your divorce is handled within all legal parameters.

When seeking a divorce, it is important to be frank with your attorney, who can recognize any potential challenges. With experience and a reputation dating back to 1939, the lawyers at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP can address a wide range of divorce and other family law issues to provide effective results for their clients.

If you are considering divorce and would like to learn more about your options, contact Certified Family Law Specialist Dawn Bittleston at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP

- See more at: http://www.youngwooldridge.com/blog/does-california-law-recognize-out-of-state-divorces/#sthash.YBLoJYAt.dpuf

When couples marry and divorce in another state prior to moving to California, the divorce remains legally valid within California. However, there can be circumstances when an out-of-state divorce is not considered valid under California law.

California is one of seven states that essentially may prevent residents from leaving the state for the purpose of obtaining a divorce. Under the Uniform Divorce Recognition Act, (UDRA) the state does not recognize an out-of-state divorce “when both parties to the marriage were domiciled in this state at the time the proceeding for the divorce was commenced.” This is determined as follows:

  • When a person pursuing divorce was domiciled in California within 12 months before the proceeding and resumes state residence in California within 18 months after departure; or
  • When the person maintains a California residence during the time he or she files for divorce in another state

However, the recognition of divorce in these situations does not depend solely on residence, however. The U.S. Constitution requires states to give full faith and credit to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of other states; therefore the UDRA is limited by these constitutional requirements. It is important to mention any issues pertaining to residence to an experienced California divorce attorney who can help ensure your divorce is handled within all legal parameters.

When seeking a divorce, it is important to be frank with your attorney, who can recognize any potential challenges. With experience and a reputation dating back to 1939, the lawyers at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP can address a wide range of divorce and other family law issues to provide effective results for their clients.

Topics:  Divorce

Published In: Family Law Updates