Long Distance Divorce: How A Divorce Lawyer Can Help

Posted on: 28 July 2021

Just as maintaining a relationship over long distances can be difficult, so can ending one. However, it is not uncommon for individuals to move to a new city or state in search of a fresh start after separating from their spouse. Unfortunately, when the time comes to take the next step and file for divorce, these individuals will find themselves dealing with some additional issues that don't typically arise during a divorce case. Thankfully, no matter how far apart you and your ex-spouse may live, a divorce lawyer can help you to deal with any hurdles that arise as a result of distance. Continue reading to learn about some of the problems you may face during a long-distance divorce and how a divorce lawyer can help you overcome these issues. 

Establishing Jurisdiction

Before a judge is able to legally issue a divorce decree, the court must first establish jurisdiction in the case. If you and your spouse live in the county, establishing jurisdiction is easy since the court automatically has jurisdiction over matters that occur in that county, as well as having jurisdiction over all residents of that county. However, if you and your spouse live in different states or even different cities, the court will only have jurisdiction over the spouse that lives in the county where the divorce petition was filed.

In order for the court to be able to hear your divorce case, the non-resident spouse will need to sign a waiver of jurisdiction. If your spouse is unwilling to sign this waiver, you will be forced to file the petition in the jurisdiction where they currently reside. A divorce attorney can help with this particular issue by determining what court has legal jurisdiction and filing a divorce petition on your behalf with that court so that you do not need to physically travel to your spouse's location in order to file the necessary documents. 

Court Appearances

Depending upon you and your spouse's ability to agree upon the terms of your divorce settlement, you may have to appear in court several times before your divorce is finalized. If your spouse lives a significant distance from you, this could mean taking time off of work and incurring some rather steep travel expenses. With the help of a divorce lawyer, you can often avoid the need to personally appear in court. In many cases, your attorney will be able to represent you in the courtroom while allowing you to attend the proceedings either via telephone or video conference. Contact a divorce lawyer for more information.