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Attorneys at Raleigh Divorce Law Firm

What if we don’t live in the same state? Can we still divorce?

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2023 | Divorce |

According to North Carolina rules, spouses must live separately for at least one year and one day before they can file for divorce. During this time, one spouse might move to a neighboring state for work or perhaps to move closer to their family.

However, how can you move forward with ending your marriage in North Carolina, if your spouse no longer lives there? Here are some important details to know in these cases.

Is there a residency requirement?

In most divorce cases, in most states, there is a residency requirement. North Carolina does indeed have one of these requirements. However, it can apply to one spouse – not necessarily both. The rules indicate that one spouse must:

  • Live in North Carolina currently
  • Lived in the state for at least six months before the divorce

This, in addition to the separation requirement, is essential to file for divorce in North Carolina. It is helpful to understand these rules and requirements if you plan to divorce.

You can still get a divorce

Since the residency requirement can apply to one person, you can still get a divorce even if your spouse moved to a different state. However, one critical thing to be aware of in these cases is that the rules can be different.

For example, if your ex-spouse relocated north to Virginia, you may have to adhere to local or state rules when you officially file for divorce or serve your spouse with divorce papers. Knowing the local rules may be up to the spouse who lives in the new location – however, it can help to know the basics of these rules as you move forward to avoid any mistakes.

Divorce can be complicated enough, regardless of state borders. It can often be beneficial to seek counsel when navigating divorce in or out of state.