In order to file for divorce in California, you or your spouse must have resided in California for at least six months immediately before the divorce petition is filed. If you can’t meet the six month residency requirement, then take a look at the section on this website entitled, “Divorce vs. Legal Separation”. A legal separation does not require six months of residency. You can file a petition for a legal separation even if you have just moved to California. You can later convert your legal separation case to a divorce case after you satisfy the six month residency requirement.