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Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1805
Experience:  California lawyer since 1976.
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I left my husband and moved to california 3 weeks ago with

Customer Question

I left my husband and moved to california 3 weeks ago with our 3 year old son. He is still in arkansas. Can I get a divorse in California right away and apply for child support. Some friends said I might have to wait 6 months.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 7 years ago.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am one of JustAnswer's attorneys. I'll be helping you resolve your matter today.

You do, sorry. Jurisdiction in a divorce is only gained once you live in a state for 6 months, and in the county for 90 days. THEN you may file a divorce. You can always file a divorce back in AK right now, until the CA 6 months kick in.

Best of luck in your matter. I'm here if you need any more clarification or follow up info.

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Expert:  Jim Reilly replied 7 years ago.
HelloCustomerand welcome to JustAnswer.

The code section which applies in California is Family Code section 2320, which provides:

A judgment of dissolution of marriage may not be entered unless one of the parties to the marriage has been a resident of this state for six months and of the county in which the proceeding is filed for three months next preceding the filing of the petition.

There is, however, no residency requirement at all for the filing of a petition for legal separation. Therefore, the court in your current county of residence already has jurisdiction to entertain a petition for legal separation and you could file for one immediately. Then, once you have been a resident of that county for three months, and of the state for six months, you could amend the petition to request a dissolution.

Filing immediately for a legal separation would allow you to immediately request both custodial and support orders for yourself and your son, rather than waiting six months.

Once you have been a resident of California for six months and amend the petition to request a dissolution, the court would have jurisdiction to grant the dissolution, divide property as necessary and continue both the custodial and support orders.

Thanks for asking your question on JustAnswer and good luck with your new life. If you have any other questions, please let me know.