By Jennifer M. Paine
There are two concepts that interplay when choosing where to file for divorce.
The first is subject matter jurisdiction. Subject matter jurisdiction refers to the court’s reach/jurisdiction over the topic/subject of your case. In other words, you must file your case in a court that handles divorces and not, for example, in probate or small claims court.
The second, and more important for you, is personal jurisdiction. Personal jurisdiction refers to the court’s jurisdiction over the litigants (you and your wife).
Generally, only one of you must reside in the state for the court to have personal jurisdiction.
If you and your wife reside in separate states or even separate counties, depending on your state’s laws, where you file can make or break your case.
Given options for filing, what should you do? Ask these five questions: