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Can I File For A Divorce In Florida If My Spouse Moved Out Of State?

If your spouse moves out of the state of Florida it is still possible to file your divorce in Florida, but it depends. Florida residents tend to be transient. It is rare to come upon a native-born Floridian. Most of us are from another state or country, and once we plant here, a great many up-root and move back "home." Sometimes the impetus for this move back to the homeland is a trifecta of hurricanes or a longing to be able to sit in grass without incurring painful fire ant bites.

And sometimes the reason for the move is a marriage breakdown.

If your spouse has recently moved out of state and you are contemplating filing for divorce in Florida, there are some important bits of information of which you should be aware.

First, it is possible for a Florida court to obtain personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state resident for the purposes of a Florida divorce. The "long-arm" statute, or Florida Statutes Section 48.193(1)(a)5, provides that if the spouse you intend to divorce resided in the state of Florida "preceding the commencement of the action whether cohabitating during that time or not," the state may have personal jurisdiction over that spouse.

Second, please don't wait to file for a Florida divorce, if you are positive it is the best choice for you. The longer you wait to take action following the departure of your spouse to another state, the greater the risk that your spouse will have a defense to the personal jurisdiction you seek the state of Florida to have over him or her.

For more information on jurisdictional issues please contact the law firm of Schwam-Wilcox & Associates by calling 407-245-7700, e-mailing or visiting our website at Home Offices: Orlando


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