I want a divorce

I live in Jacksonville NC and I have been married two and half years to my husband. I have one child with him. I have been a stay at home mother for two years due to the cost of daycare and my husband insisting we not put our daughter in daycare. We do not get along and he is very controlling. I have no friends, no family, and he monitors a camera in our home. I want to leave him but all of my family is out of state. What would be the steps to take to start a divorce? I dont know where to turn or which way to start. He screams and cusses in front of our daughter daily all hours of the day. He threatens to kill himself if I leave but I am so tired of living this way. Can I leave the state with my daughter to get support and getting away from him to start divorce?

You may qualify for a domestic violence protective order if he continually harasses you and it rises to the level of causing you severe emotional distress. If granted, you could get temporary possession of the marital residence, temporary custody of your child, and it will force your husband to stay away from you. Oftentimes a domestic violence protective order will initiate the separation process (which is required before an absolute divorce can be granted).

You can also file a court action for divorce from bed and board. While this cause of action does not end the marriage, it does grant a court ordered separation. There must be fault grounds present in order to file for this action. Check out our detailed article What is a Divorce from Bed and Board? for more information.

It is not advisable that you leave the state with your child at this time. Your husband could file for an ex parte (“emergency”) custody order on the basis that you left the jurisdiction of the State of North Carolina. If granted, a judge would require that you return your child to North Carolina and could order temporary custody of your child to your husband.