Constitutional Law – Due Process- Residence Substituted for Domicile as Basis for Divorce Jurisdiction

Plaintiff husband brought a divorce action under an Arkansas statute, which granted state courts divorce jurisdiction on the basis of residence of one of the parties within Arkansas for three months, to terminate a marriage performed in another jurisdiction. Defendant wife, domiciled in California, filed a cross complaint for separate maintenance and attacked the court’s jurisdiction to grant the divorce. The lower court held the act unconstitutional in eliminating domicile of one of the parties as a jurisdictional requirement in a divorce action, and, finding that the plaintiff was not domiciled in Arkansas, dismissed the suit. On appeal, held, reversed, two judges dissenting. The due process clause of the Federal Constitution does not require domicile as a requisite to divorce jurisdiction. Wheat v. Wheat, (Ark. 1958) 318 S.W. (2d) 793.