Divorce is complicated enough, but for military families, who may hail from one state, got married in a second state, own property in a third state and live in a fourth state, obtaining an Ohio divorce may prove to be especially complex. This is because they must decide where to file and, more importantly, determine if they meet a state’s residency requirements.
According to Section 3105.62 of Ohio Laws and Rules, a couple must live in Ohio for at least six months before the courts will even allow them to file a petition for divorce. Parties must file for divorce in the proper county for commencement of actions in accordance with the rules of civil procedure. Typically, the proper county is the county in which the couple resides.
FindLaw lists the residency requirements for all 50 states. Six months is the standard residency requirement, with only a few states deferring from it. For instance, Alaska and Washington are the only two states that have no residency requirements, while some states, such as Connecticut, Nebraska and Iowa require couples to live in the state for one year before the state will allow them to file for divorce. South Dakota merely requires parties to be residents when they file.
It is important that parties check the language of the law prior to filing, as some states require at least one party to be “domiciled” in the state. Domiciled means that the party must have a fixed, permanent home in that state and the intention to remain living there. Residency, on the other hand, merely requires an individual to be present in a state for a certain length of time.