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Jurisdiction

I was married in Las Vegas. Does that mean I must file for a Divorce in Las Vegas? Many people believe that in order to dissolve their marriage, they must travel to the state or county where their marital ceremony took place.  This is not true.  In order to file for a divorce in California, one of the parties must have been a resident of the State of California and a resident of the county in which they wish to file for the three  months preceding filing for the divorce.

A party seeking a divorce who may not meet the jurisdictional requirements for a divorce can file for a Legal Separation after residing in the county for three months.  Once the six months jurisdiction time limit has expired, an amended Petition to request a Dissolution can be filed and served upon the Respondent.  This will allow a person who is seeking orders regarding custody and visitation to obtain custody, visitation and support orders now rather than waiting for six months to file.

As a reminder, California is a no-fault state and unless you and your spouse signed a pre-nuptial agreement, all assets and debts acquired during the marriage (period from date of marriage until the date of separation) are considered community property with each party being equally responsible and entitled to one-half of the assets and/or debts.

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