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Online Divorce in California

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Home / Residency Requirements for Divorce

California Residency Requirements for Divorce

Certain residency requirements must be met to file for divorce in California. These requirements ensure that the California courts have jurisdiction over the divorce case.

Residency Requirements

To file your divorce in a California court, you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months and in the county where you wish to file for at least three months.

It is not necessary that both parties live in California. If one spouse lives outside the state, filing in the county where the petitioner lives will only make sense. However, if both parties live in the state, you will have a choice of filing in the county where either party lives

Important Points

  • Filing Location: The divorce petition can be filed in the Superior Court of the county where either spouse meets the residency requirements.
  • Waiting Period: There is a mandatory six-month waiting period in California from the time the divorce petition is served on the non-filing spouse or the non-filing spouse files a response, whichever comes first, before the divorce can be finalized. This is separate from the residency requirement but is an important timeline in the divorce process.
  • Non-Residents: If neither spouse meets the residency requirements, they may need to wait to file for divorce or consider filing in another state where they do meet the residency requirements.


Meeting the residency requirements is a crucial first step in filing for divorce in California. These requirements are designed to ensure that the state and county courts have appropriate jurisdiction over the divorce case.

It's important for individuals considering divorce in California to plan accordingly, especially if they have recently moved to the state or are considdering moving in the near future.

Divorce Process

How Online Divorce in California Works?

Step 1

Qualify for divorce

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Step 2

Provide your case details

Provide the information required through our easy to use questionnaire

Step 3

Get your papers

Review forms and make unlimited changes before finalizing documents

Step 4

File for divorce

Papers come with comprehensive filing instructions

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