Can I move to another State and File for Divorce?


NC has a ONE YEAR waiting period before I can get a Divorce.
In my simply way of thinking why can’t I move “next door” to another State, and then file a Divorice and NOT have to wait a year ?


You can file a divorce in the state where you reside, and some states do grant divorces before the parties have been living separate and apart for a year. There are however residency requirements that may end up making the time frame the same.


Residency requirements vary from state to state, and there is nothing preventing you from moving to another state (with a significantly shorter residency period and a shorter waiting period) and once residency is established, filing for divorce there. (None of the states that I know of with shorter residency requirements are exactly next door, however.)

HOWEVER, the power of the other state’s court will be limited as to what they can do, unless your spouse has contacts of their own (such as owning real property within that state, doing significant business with that state, actually residing in that state, or being served in that state. No, a marriage license, on its own, doesn’t count.). For example, if you move to… let’s say, Kansas, which has a 60 day residency period, and no separation requirement, the Kansas courts will be able to grant you a divorce. They won’t be able to do much else, though.

They will not (at least not w/o your spouse’s consent), however, be able to divide any property within NC, or force your STBX to pay alimony/PSS to you. (You might be able to get an order, but if your STBX fights the order w/o screwing up, said order will be unenforceable.) If your STBX consents, that’s one thing, but by moving to another state, you are essentially giving your STBX (assuming they are thinking things through) the choice of law that will apply, and they are perfectly within their rights to pick whichever is more favorable to them.

You can end up with some interesting (for some very expensive values of interesting) legal discussions when proceedings go interstate.

And what’s the rush?