Divorce is the termination of a marriage. As part of the separation process, one spouse may decide to move out of state. If you and your spouse live separately, particularly in different states, you can file for divorce in either state where both spouses are living, so long as you meet the residency requirements. For purposes of separation, it does not matter what state you were married in. It only matters which state either spouse currently resides in. In North Carolina, you can file for a divorce if you and your spouse have been separated for a year with the intent to be apart. However, you or your spouse must also have resided in North Carolina for a period of at least six months or more prior to filing for divorce.
Once the divorce decree is entered, it will be effective regardless of where either spouse is living. If both spouses had filed for divorce at the same time in their respective states, then the state that processes the divorce decree first will take precedent. It is important to not ignore an out-of-state divorce filing for that reason. Each state will have its own set of requirements regarding the ability to get a divorce. For example, it may benefit one spouse to be living in a state with a shorter residency requirement. If you and your spouse live in different states and are planning to get divorced, it is important to speak with an attorney who can assist you through the process.
Contact Hatcher Law Group to consult with an experienced family law attorney to understand your rights and options moving forward.