How to File for Divorce in Another State

Can I Get a Divorce in Another State?

While it’s easiest to file for divorce in the state you currently reside in, that isn’t always possible. If one or both spouses are military members, one gets a job in another state, or one needs to move home for support during the separation and divorce, they may need to file for divorce in another state.

However, not all circumstances allow for filing a divorce out-of-state. To learn whether you qualify, contact the New Jersey Family Law firm of Lyons & Associates, P.C. today.

You don’t need to be physically present to file for divorce, meaning you can do so from anywhere in the world. However, to get divorced in New Jersey, at least one spouse must meet the state residency requirements. This is as easy as registering your car in New Jersey. At least one of you must have been a resident in New Jersey for a year or more to file.

Filing for divorce in separate states works in much the same way as filing a standard divorce. However, if one spouse cannot be present physically, they need to name someone as their legal representative.

What Circumstances Qualify?

Several specific circumstances qualify you for filing for divorce in another state. If you aren’t sure whether you are eligible, ask your experienced family law lawyer.

Military Member

Members of the military have no say in when, where, or for how long they deploy. As long as New Jersey is your state of residency and where you intend to return after your deployment ends, you can file for divorce here. Even if the non-military spouse moves away from New Jersey, the divorce can still occur in the state.

However, handling divorce with a service member is complex, so it’s best to work with a divorce lawyer who has experience with these types of cases.


If you end your marriage because of cheating, New Jersey waives the one-year residency requirement.

International Residency

If one spouse still resides in New Jersey but the other has moved abroad, you can still file for divorce. The entire divorce could take place without the internationally-based spouse’s physical presence. They need to appoint a lawyer as their representative, such as the lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C.

One Spouse Lives in NJ

Only one spouse needs to live or have residency in NJ to file divorce here. However, if you want the divorce to take place in NJ, you must file first. If there are two states involved, most will defer to whoever filed first.

Start Your Divorce in Another State Today

Going through a divorce is never easy, as it may take several months or years to reach a decision. If you include children or alimony in the equation, the process could become contentious quickly.

If one spouse lives in a different state or country, the process becomes even more complex. Working with an experienced and reliable family law firm is essential to ensure your divorce settlement is fair and acceptable to both parties.

At Lyons & Associates, P.C., we have supported clients through military divorces, divorces caused by domestic violence, divorces or separations between same-sex couples, and more. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation and learn how to get started on your divorce in another state.