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Choice of law in divorce not always an easy decision

A recent Forbes article highlights an important fact for couples who are considering divorce to keep in mind: divorce laws vary, sometimes significantly, from state to state. There are a number of differences that can be tracked from state to state, including:  residency requirements; waiting periods; classification of property as separate or marital; rules surrounding spousal support awards; the method used to divide property; and the requirements for documenting assets and debts, as well as income and expenses.

For many couples, the decision of where to file for divorce is going to be straightforwardly the one in which they are living. For couples who have property in multiple states or who have lived apart prior to filing for divorce, though, it may not be such an easy decision.

Differences in state law can have a dramatic enough impact on the outcome of a divorce case that couples who are in a position to decide which state to file for divorce in should carefully consider the differences before filing. This allows them to have an understanding of the rules that will be applied and to select a forum where they stand a better chance of a favorable outcome.

This is particularly important for married individuals who are at risk of losing a lot in divorce or who are at some sort of financial disadvantage due to the way state law deals with the legal issues surrounding divorce. Of course, in any divorce case, it is imperative to work with experienced legal counsel, and those who aren’t sure what forum they should file for divorce in should be sure to speak to competent local attorneys so they understand their options.