In our last post, we spoke briefly about choice of law when it comes to filing for divorce. As we noted, couples who have the possibility of filing for divorce in different states should get in contact with competent local attorneys to have their case evaluated and to determine which jurisdiction may be better suited for their case.
In cases where there are options regarding state in which to file for divorce, it isn’t necessarily going to be that one state is better than another in every way. It may only be, for instance, that one state has slightly different rules with regard to property division than another state, and those rules may benefit one party.
In property division, the two primary approaches used by the states are community property and equitable division. An individual who has the ability to file either in a state using the community property approach or in a state using the equitable division approach should carefully consider how the differences could impact the disposition of property. This includes consideration of how each state defines marital and separate property, as well as the specific rules regarding division of marital property. This can be particularly important when it comes to division of business assets.
Property division isn’t the only area to consider. In some cases, it may be that filing requirements are less burdensome in one state than another, or that child support guidelines are more beneficial in one state, or that there are fewer limitations on alimony or spousal support in one state.
In our next post, we’ll continue this discussion and look at the topic of prenuptial agreements and choice of law.