Spouses were married in California and own a family home in California. Later they moved to another state where both live and reside (more than 2 years). Marriage broke down. California home is rented out. Can one spouse apply for legal separation in California while both continue to reside in another state?
Why would you?
You can file, but the court may not retain jurisdiction. For a dissolution you must be a resident for six months and live in the county for at least three months before you can file your petition. Legal separation does not have a residency requirement.
When someone needs temporary orders they will often file the legal separation to avoid the residency requirement issue. After six months they can amend the petition to dissolution and reserve it.
If you don't live in the state at all I don't see how you can file in California and your property will not qualify you for residency.
Dawn M. Saenz is licensed to practice law in the State of California and the California Supreme Court, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and are not intended to constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or solicit business. No posts or comments on this site are in any way confidential. Each case is unique. Information not contained in these posts may create significant exceptions to the advice provided in any response. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation.
On this facts, I don’t think jurisdiction in CA is proper.
I agree with the first attorney - it doesn't sound like California has jurisdiction over the divorce case. You can file for divorce (or legal separation, although I rarely let my clients to file for legal separation, or if we do it's part of a plan to amend it for a divorce petition once jurisdiction have been attained) in whatever state you reside, and orders can be made there that affect the disposition of the CA property.
Please be advised this response is being provided for informational purposes only. It is not meant or intended to be relied upon as legal advice.
The status for the legal separation is determined by your residence. CA does not have jurisdiction over the status of your marriage. The state you live in might have a quasi-community property type of law that allows the two of you to divide the CA real property and then tht would allow you status to change the title on the CA property. Talk to a family law attorney in your state of residence.
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