Short answer is no, you don't have to file before you leave. The long answer is you may be better off (as long as the environment is not too hostile) to stay there and file. FL Statute 61.08 defines a 17 year marriage as "long term" and permanent alimony could come into play depending on your specific circumstances. F.S. 61.08(8) "Permanent alimony may be awarded to provide for the needs and necessities of life as they were established during the marriage of the parties for a party who...