Can We Use an Online Divorce Site If We Live in Different States?

When using an online divorce, many people are puzzled as to where to file when they live in different states.

First, let's clear up a commonly misunderstood fact.  You file in your county of the state/province of current residence, not of the marriage.  (If one had to file in the state of the marriage, many divorcing couples would have to return to Las Vegas to get their divorce!)

Each state has a residency requirement and a waiting period - the time period between the date of filing and the date the divorce can become final. Waiting periods vary widely - from 18 months in New Jersey to no waiting period in New Hampshire and Nevada.

For your information and convenience, here is a link that includes the residency requirements and waiting period information for most US states:

If the waiting period is close to the same in both states, we usually suggest that the spouse who is the most motivated to get the divorce be the one who files.  This will ensure that the paperwork is filed promptly and that any follow-up is done in a timely manner.

If there is any question about your ability to file, we suggest you contact the clerk of your county divorce court that you want to file in and they should be able to tell you if you meet the state's requirements.

With some online divorce sites, such as, you can both go online at the same time to work on the site.  You can work also on the documents at different times. (Check our faq once you login for details.) Or you can create a draft agreement and present it to the other spouse and once it is agreeable, one spouse can go online, print out everything, sign them and send them to the other to file.

Once you complete your paperwork, you then file them with the clerk of the divorce court in your county.  You will pay filing fees to the court at that time.  Filing fees vary by jurisdiction.  The clerk should be able to tell you what they are for your jurisdiction.  Some courts insist that you appear before a judge in a hearing and some simply allow you to file the completed forms with the clerk.  Again, the clerk in your jurisdiction should be able to tell you the procedure.

If your court requires a hearing, it will be brief and usually only the one who is filing must appear.  The judge will ask a few questions to make sure the wife is not now pregnant and that both of you truly agree to the terms of your divorce Agreement.

If you are not required in your court to appear before the judge, the court will send you confirmation that your divorce has been finalized.

(The information presented in this article is general and informational and is not intended and should not be intrepreted as legal advice.  There is no substitute for sound legal advice specific to your exact situation and locale.)


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