If I got married in Vegas, can I file for divorce in another state?

Yes. Just because a couple gets married in Nevada does not mean they would need a Nevada divorce in order to split up.

Couples who wed in Nevada are free to pursue the dissolution of their marriage in any other U.S. state or Washington, D.C. as long as the person filing for divorce (the plaintiff) meets the residency requirement:

Length of Residency Requirement to Divorce

 State

None (no waiting period)

  • Alaska
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • South Dakota
  • Washington

6 weeks

  • Idaho
  • Nevada

60 days

  • Arkansas
  • Kansas
  • Wyoming

90 days

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Missouri
  • Montana

3 months

  • Utah

180 days

  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota

6 months

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont (6 months to 1 year)
  • Virginia
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Wisconsin

12 months (1 year)

  • Connecticut
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York (1 to 2 years)
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • West Virginia

Note that each state has its own separate divorce laws and grounds for divorce. Nevada is a no-fault divorce state, which puts it in the minority. No-fault divorce states typically do not allow the plaintiff to blame the other spouse for reprehensible behavior. Instead most no-fault states let the plaintiff claim a neutral reason to split up such as:

  • irreconcilable differences
  • incompatibility
  • irretrievable breakdown of the marriage
  • the spouses have been living apart for a certain time period, such as a 1 year

The following is the full list of no-fault divorce states in the U.S.:

  1. California
  2. Colorado
  3. Florida
  4. Hawaii
  5. Indiana
  6. Iowa
  7. Kansas
  8. Kentucky
  9. Michigan
  10. Minnesota
  11. Missouri
  12. Montana
  13. Nebraska
  14. Nevada
  15. Oregon
  16. Washington
  17. Washington, D.C.
  18. Wisconsin

Note that some of these no-fault states do permit plaintiffs to allege that their spouse is insane. However, the plaintiff would need to back this allegation up with proof.

The other 33 states permit divorce plaintiffs to use no-fault grounds as well. But if they wish, they are allowed to cast blame on the party they are divorcing. Common "fault" grounds include:

  • Abuse (mental or physical)
  • Addiction to alcohol or drugs
  • Adultery (cheating)
  • Bigamy
  • Criminal convictions and/or being in jail
  • Desertion
  • Fraud or force to obtain the marriage
  • Impotence when the parties wed
  • Marriage between close relatives
  • Mental incapacity when the parties wed
  • Mental illness

People considering divorce are encouraged to have legal consultations with attorneys in various states. Since each state has its own laws and property rules, some may be far better to divorce in than others. Even if it means moving temporarily, the benefits can long outlast the inconvenience.

In any state, divorcing couples are generally advised to seek out counseling before deciding on divorce. And if a split is inevitable, they may be able to save a lot of time and money by negotiating a settlement through mediation and then filing for a contested divorce.

Most importantly, each spouse should have a skilled and experienced divorce attorney advocated for his/her best interests. Divorce is a very emotional issue, and a trained lawyer will fight for the spouse's rights when the spouse him/herself just wants to give up.

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The attorneys at Shouse Law Group bring more than 100 years collective experience fighting for individuals. We're ready to fight for you. Call us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 855-LAW-FIRM for a free case evaluation.

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Shouse Law Group has multiple locations all across California, Nevada, and Colorado. Click Office Locations to find out which office is right for you.

Call us 24/7 (855) 396-0370