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Jurisdiction can play a major role in a divorce case

Some Colorado couples have lived within the state for many years and have not established residency elsewhere during the course of their marriage. In such cases, a divorce between two Colorado residents is likely to play out within the state's courts. However, there are many cases in which spouses have a choice of jurisdiction when the time comes to file for divorce. Understanding the role that jurisdiction plays can make a world of difference in the eventual outcome of a divorce.

Each state has its own body of divorce laws, which guide the process of dividing marital property, child custody matters, setting out the timeline for divorce and various other issues. Often, conditions in one state would provide a spouse with a distinct advantage versus filing in another jurisdiction. When spouses have a choice between jurisdictions, it is very important to take advantage of the opportunity to set the stage for the divorce case to move forward.

For example, some spouses reside in one state but work in another. Some couples own property in multiple states, and one or more spouses may spend a significant amount of time in the state that is not their primary home. Regardless of the reason that a spouse has a link to a different state, the opportunity exists to file for divorce in the jurisdiction that best suits their particular set of circumstances.

When preparing to file for divorce, Colorado residents should take the time to research divorce law in any state in which they might be able to establish residence. Doing so allows them to select the jurisdiction that is most favorable toward their needs and goals. It is important to note that the spouse who makes the initial filing for divorce is often the one who controls where the case plays out. That means that spouses who have the opportunity to select jurisdiction should do so well in advance of filing for divorce.

Source: thefiscaltimes.com, "6 Money Mistakes to Avoid When You're Getting a Divorce", Kelli B. Grant, Aug. 26, 2016

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