More on California Residency Requirements

The filing of a Petition for Legal Separation by Shaquille O’Neal’s wife within a day of landing in Los Angeles got me thinking more about the residency requirements for California. If a party wants to file for dissolution of marriage, at least one of the parties must be a resident of California for 6 months and a resident of the county in which the petition was filed for three months immediately before the filing of the petition. Family Code Section 2320. This residency requirement is mandatory and it cannot be circumvented.

However, for purposes of filing for legal separation, there is no residency requirement. I previously tweeted about this earlier this m onth. I suspect that Shaq’s wife filed the Petition for Legal Separation pending her residency requirement in an effort to seek temporary support orders. Once Shaq’s wife meets the California residency requirements, she can simply amend her Petition for legal separation to a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. For more information, please contact an Orange County Family Law Attorney.