As a member of the military or the spouse of a member of the military, a divorce can be tricky. You may move often or not live in the area in which you wish to make your home after ending your marriage. This can lead to confusion about where you should file for divorce.
The American Bar Association explains it is essential to file in the right place because a court without jurisdiction cannot finalize your divorce.
One of the most important aspects of determining your jurisdiction is to see if you have enough connection to the area. If you want to file somewhere you and your spouse have never lived or where you have no ties, it is not likely to work. Ideally, you will file where you have your permanent address, driver’s license and voter registration.
Most states will have residency rules. However, they sometimes will not apply to members of the military. You may want to check with the court to see if they have special rules that would allow you to file there.
It may also be possible to seek a divorce in a specific jurisdiction as long as you and your spouse both agree to it. Of course, you would still need some connection. You cannot file in California even though you do not live there and have no connection to the area.
Jurisdiction allows a court to legally handle your divorce. If you file in the wrong place, the court will have to dismiss your case, and you will have wasted time and money.