Florida continues to be a popular place to move. According to the 2020 Census, the state’s population grew 14.6 percent over the previous decade to more than 21.5 million residents.
People move to Florida for various reasons, such as to retire, live near family or pursue a better life. Divorce is rarely a reason to move to a different state. But sometimes, couples in troubled marriages move to the Tampa area from out of state or another country. Whether the move failed to save the marriage or made things worse, the spouses could find themselves ready for a divorce soon after moving to the Sunshine State.
Florida’s minimum residency requirement
If you are in that situation, you might not be able to file just yet. Florida law requires that someone establishes residency in the state for at least six months before they can file for divorce here. One reason for this is to help the family courts avoid dealing with divorce cases where all the marital property is out of state. But for short-term residents, this complication might be unavoidable.
Someone who has only lived in Florida for six months might not have acquired much property here. This can also be the case for a couple who retired here while still retaining much of their marital assets in other states. Complex property division matters like this may require creative and sophisticated solutions to ensure that you receive an equitable share of the assets.
Incidentally, Florida’s minimum waiting period between filing and finalizing your divorce is 20 days — shorter than most divorce cases take, so not a serious inconvenience for most couples.