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out of County Divorce Filing faq

Which county should I file for divorce in, since I've moved? (Spouse still in this county)

You or your spouse must live in a county for 3 months and in California for 6 months before you can file for a divorce in that county. If you or they don't meet residency requirements in your county, you can file for legal separation, then file an amended petition for divorce in the county in which you live once there residency requirements are met.

Can our Self-Help Center help with cases in another county? The Self-Help Center can usually help you to file in any county in California. If we can't, we'll let you know. You'll need to research the "local rules of court" for the other county in question.

Processing legal forms can be very complicated. In order to best help you, we need for you to visit our Self-Help Center (in downtown San Jose) personally.

If you are not able to visit our Center, you could:

  • contact a private attorney in this county or your own county (low cost consultations in Santa Clara County can be scheduled by calling the Santa Clara County Bar Association at 408-971-6822 )
  • visit the legal aid websites listed on our Free & Low-Cost Legal Help page
  • purchase a self-help book from a local bookstore or on the internet.


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