8833 South Redwood Road
Suite C
West Jordan, UT 84088

Call For Free Consultation

(801) 676-5506

Call Us

Where to File for Divorce

You thought the hard decision, whether or not to get a divorce, was done. But there are still so many unanswered questions. One of the first of which is, where do I file my paperwork? We can help with that. Here is a brief guide to finding the right court in your area where you can file for divorce.

Where to File for Divorce

Court Jurisdiction for Divorce Cases

State courts have power (or “jurisdiction”) over divorce proceedings, so the spouse seeking a divorce files an initial document called a divorce “petition” or “complaint” with his or her state court — usually in the county or district branch of the state’s “superior” or “circuit” court. In some states, the superior or circuit court will have a specific family court division where the divorce petition is filed and the case is heard. In other states, no specific family court division is designated, so the divorce petition is filed in the main civil division of the superior or circuit court. In heavily populated areas, the county or district branch of the state court may itself have a number of facilities in different locations.

For example, in California the state’s Superior Court handles divorces, and the California Superior Court has facilities in each county in the state. California requires that one or both divorcing spouses have lived in California for the previous six months AND have lived in one of the state’s counties for the previous three months. So, a couple who has been living in Los Angeles county for the past four years would file a divorce petition in the Superior Court of California – County of Los Angeles. You can check a list of state family courts or contact the local county/district branch of your state’s court to learn more about where to file for divorce. Be aware that courts with jurisdiction for divorce cases may not be the same as courts with jurisdiction over child custody and visitation cases.

In Utah, you have to file in the District Court. Specifically, you have to file in the County District Court where you have resided for the last 3 months.

State and County/District Residency Requirements

Most states have their own residency requirements for people who wish to file for divorce in the state’s court system — rules as to the length of time a spouse must reside in a state before filing for divorce there. For example, as mentioned above, California requires that one or both divorcing spouses have lived in California for the previous six months. Other states require residence within the state for as little as six weeks to as long as one year before filing for divorce.

Before filing for divorce, you will most likely need to comply with not only your state’s residency requirements, but also Local County or district residency requirements. Again, using California as an example, in order to file for divorce in the state you and/or your spouse must have lived in the state for six months AND in one of the state’s counties for the previous three months. Check with the local county/district branch of your state’s court to learn more about residency requirements for filing for divorce.

Have Questions About Where to File for Divorce? Call a Divorce Lawyer

Even the most amicable divorce can be a profoundly stressful experience. Divorces have many procedural requirements, and it can be stressful trying to figure out which forms to file and where to file them. It’s best to contact a local divorce attorney who will have experience with divorce procedures and give you advice based on your specific situation.

Free Consultation with a Utah Divorce Lawyer

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews

Recent Posts

Divorce Attorneys Utah

Exemptions Inside and Outside of Bankruptcy

What is a Copyright?

Marriage Legal Help

Divorce Lawyer in Salt Lake City Utah

Different Types of Adoption

Share this Article

About the Author

People who want a lot of Bull go to a Butcher. People who want results navigating a complex legal field go to a Lawyer that they can trust. That’s where I come in. I am Michael Anderson, an Attorney in the Salt Lake area focusing on the needs of the Average Joe wanting a better life for him and his family. I’m the Lawyer you can trust. I grew up in Utah and love it here. I am a Father to three, a Husband to one, and an Entrepreneur. I understand the feelings of joy each of those roles bring, and I understand the feeling of disappointment, fear, and regret when things go wrong. I attended the University of Utah where I received a B.A. degree in 2010 and a J.D. in 2014. I have focused my practice in Wills, Trusts, Real Estate, and Business Law. I love the thrill of helping clients secure their future, leaving a real legacy to their children. Unfortunately when problems arise with families. I also practice Family Law, with a focus on keeping relationships between the soon to be Ex’s civil for the benefit of their children and allowing both to walk away quickly with their heads held high. Before you worry too much about losing everything that you have worked for, before you permit yourself to be bullied by your soon to be ex, before you shed one more tear in silence, call me. I’m the Lawyer you can trust.