Divorce residency requirements for active duty military

mens divorce lawyer William BackerQuestion:

My son is an active duty military member stationed overseas. His base was previously in Kentucky. His wife has moved to Missouri since his deployment and now wants a divorce.

Which state has jurisdiction? Will he have to file the divorce in Missouri or can he file in Kentucky where they lived immediately prior to his deployment? Will he have to re-establish residency in Kentucky since his wife has lived in Missouri during his deployment?


I practice in the State of Missouri, but I do not practice in the State of Kentucky. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of Kentucky. Cordell & Cordell has attorneys who are licensed in Kentucky and Missouri who would be willing to discuss the specific facts of your case with you.

Your question raises the issue of where the divorce and custody proceedings will take place.  Generally speaking, the state where one or both of the parties resides is the state where the action would take place.

Most states have jurisdiction requirements that a person must meet in order to file a dissolution of marriage action. In most states, in order to establish residency to file for a dissolution of marriage a person must have lived there for six (6) months preceding the filing for dissolution.

The purpose of such a residency requirement is to prevent spouses fleeing to states that had more favorable dissolution of marriage laws and filing in that jurisdiction. Your son should consult with an attorney about the specific time periods applicable to his case.

Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers in 17 states, including Missouri and Kentucky.


William F. Backer is an Associate Attorney in the Arnold, Missouri office of Cordell & Cordell where he practices domestic relations exclusively. Mr. Backer is licensed in the State of Missouri. Mr. Backer received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with emphasis in Accounting, from the University of Missouri – St. Louis. He then went on to receive his Juris Doctor from Saint Louis University School of Law in 1999.

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