Florida requires that one of the parties must have been a resident of Florida for at least 6 months prior to filing the divorce. A non-resident (resident of another state) party may file for divorce based on the other party’s residency (if one of you is a Florida resident). Residency means an actual presence in Florida combined with the intention of residing in Florida indefinitely. For that reason, maintaining a vacation home, a temporary home, or visiting for 6 months do not establish residency.
Residency must be proven; the most common way residency is proven is by a valid Florida driver’s license. Other ways to prove residency are by a Florida voter registration card or the testimony or affidavit of a corroborating third party.
1. Establish Florida residency for the 6 month period previously mentioned (this step would not require you to wait in order to begin the process of gathering your financial documents and otherwise getting ready to file for divorce).
2. Have the spouse who is a resident of Florida start the filing procedure if she or he meets the residency requirement.
3. Choose another state in which you or your spouse may meet the residency requirements (state residency laws are unique to each state, be sure to check the state in which you were married or last lived together as a married couple as potential options). Our Duval County office can answer questions about Florida law and Florida requirements, but we do not offer divorce representation in other states.
4. Try counseling in an attempt to save the marriage and put your divorce plans on hold.