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Filing for same-sex divorce as a nonresident

For many same-sex couples, their uphill battle for equality hit a plateau in August 2015 when a federal court ruling made same-sex marriages legal in all 50 states. Prior to this ruling not only was marriage difficult, but divorce was equally difficult. Not only were same-sex couples restricted from getting divorced in states that did not recognize their marriage, but they were also held to residency requirements that heterosexual couples were not. Fortunately, the great state of California recognized the struggle and offered couples a way to get a divorce that did not require residency.

In California, only one spouse needs to be a resident for a period of six months or more prior to filing for divorce. For same-sex couples, this residency requirement is slightly different. For them, the state of California will grant a divorce regardless of residency, if they were married in the state. The only requirement necessary is that the same-sex couple files for divorce in the county that they were married.

Unfortunately, for same-sex couples that have entered into a civil union prior to the 2015 ruling, their eligibility for divorce may be slightly more difficult. Several states do not recognize this type of union and, therefore, are unable to grant a separation. Same-sex civil union couples are now experiencing the same struggle that same-sex married couples experienced prior to the federal court ruling.

Even though same-sex marriage is recognized and legal in all 50 states, divorce is an entirely separate matter. While marriage can be obtained through a simple license, many divorces are much more complex and require the help of an attorney.

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Victoria S. Linder Law Office
5303 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819

Phone: 916-905-4805
Fax: 916-498-0127
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