If You Got Married in Another U.S. State, Can You Get a Florida Divorce?

If you are considering getting a Florida divorce, you need to understand the different Florida divorce laws. For example, you need to know whether or not you are required to have a divorce attorney to get a Florida divorce. Generally, in the U.S., you do not need an attorney to get a divorce. However, hiring a divorce attorney is recommended because handling the divorce process without a legal representative can be tricky. If you want to protect your rights and get a favorable outcome from your divorce case, you should retain a divorce attorney who can guide you through the entire divorce process. 

Another thing you need to know is what qualifies one to get a Florida divorce.While trying to determine whether or not you are eligible for a Florida divorce, you might have asked yourself, “Can I get a Florida divorce if I got married in another state?” So, can you? Often, people think that where they got married matters in divorce. But, in Florida, when it comes to divorce, usually, that does not matter. If you were married in another U.S. state under the laws of that particular state, you might still be able to obtain a Florida divorce. Generally, Florida approves the sanctity of a marriage conducted in another state as long as the marriage laws of that other state are not considered offensive in Florida. Even if you got married in another country, Florida would most likely acknowledge your marriage as long as you got married legally in the other country. Generally, if a marriage is considered valid under foreign law, it may be treated as valid in the Sunshine State for the purposes of a dissolution action. 

Florida’s Residency Requirement

One of the most crucial things you need to worry about if you are looking to get a Florida divorce is the residency requirement. According to Florida Statute 61.021, to obtain a Florida divorce, one of the parties to the marriage must live in Florida for at least six months before the filing of the divorce petition. So, if you were legally married in another state and have lived in the Sunshine State for six months before the petition filing, you can obtain a Florida divorce. Generally, living in Florida for six months gives the state jurisdiction or authority over a divorce case. 

It is crucial for you to note that if both parties have not resided in Florida for the six months preceding the divorce petition filing, issues regarding personal jurisdiction may arise. If a Florida court lacks personal jurisdiction, it cannot compel an individual to act. For example, suppose a wife residing in the state of Texas relocates to Florida and lives in the state for six months so they can seek a divorce. In that case, the state of Florida may not compel the husband to pay alimony, or child support, if he has not lived in Florida for the six months preceding the filing of the divorce petition. However, please note that the court does not need to have personal jurisdiction over a non-filing party to grant a divorce.

Contact Tampa Bay Legal Center for Legal Help

If you are considering getting a Florida divorce, contact the experienced divorce attorneys at Tampa Bay Legal Center, P.A., at (813) 341-3333 today. Our team of professional attorneys will guide you through the whole Florida divorce process.


At Tampa Bay Legal Center, P.A., we care about our clients and about helping them resolve the legal issues they face in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Our law firm is led by attorney Carl J. Ohall who, for more than 25 years, has helped people throughout the Tampa area overcome legal challenges that affect their families, finances & health.

Contact Us

611 S Kings Avenue
Brandon, FL 33511

(813) 341-3333

(813) 341-3333