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What is an Ex Parte Divorce?

by Steve Fritsch on April 2, 2014

ex parte divorceIf you or your spouse are thinking about filing for divorce and only one of you lives in California, the divorce is called an “ex parte” divorce. You or your spouse can file for an ex parte divorce if:

  • The filing spouse is a resident of the filing jurisdiction. The other spouse should be a resident of a different jurisdiction and…
  • You provide your spouse with notice that you will be initiating an ex parte divorce action. This must be done in a manner consistent with the law of the relevant state.

Establishing Residency

The first criterion, for initiating an ex parte divorce, is that you establish residence in a different state than your spouse. Only one of the spouses should live in the filing jurisdiction. The filing spouse must be resident in the state in which they file.

Different states require you to spend different amounts of time in a state, to acquire residence. There may be other requirements you need to meet to gain residence. To ensure that you are on a path to acquiring resident status, you should consult an attorney.

Providing Your Spouse with Notice

You will need to provide your spouse with written notice of your intention to initiate divorce proceedings. Written notice usually requires a process server. A process server is a bailiff or some other kind of official, authorized by the state, to provide notice. Usually, no one else can do so. An attorney will ensure that notice is provided by the proper official, in the proper manner.

Once the divorce is completed in a state, it must be honored anywhere in the United States. So long as you have met the residence and notice requirements, your divorce will be valid. If your divorce is invalid in the state of filing, it will not be valid anywhere in the United States. To avoid this common problem, hire an experienced family attorney.

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