Jurisdiction Question

My wife and I married in July of '10. I am a Marine and have lived in NC since I was 6 and am stationed in NC as well. My wife grew up in CA and only came to NC for about two months before we got married. We were married in NC. Right after the wedding, she returned to CA to return to school. She returned to NC for Christmas and for the week that I deployed to Afghanistan the following February. While deployed it became obvious to me that the marriage was not going to work and we never saw each other again. I have continued to send her some of the BAH. I have a son from a previous relationship and have sole custody and keep 2/3 of the BAH for his support. My intention was to wait until a year after my return from deployment to file for divorce in NC. She served me by mail today with CA divorce papers and wants alimony and me to pay her legal fees. Can she do this? Does the CA court have jurisdiction? Does the CA have jurisdiction for ending the marriage but not order payments? Thank you!

not an attorney

Sounds to me like she never really established residency in NC, so CA would still be her home state for residency purposes and filing. If CA has a shorter waiting time than NC (for example, Florida’s wait is only 6 months before you can file), then she could potentially file there before you could file in NC.

As for alimony, it sounds unlikely to me that she would get alimony based on the fact that it appears that you never really lived together and the length of the marriage.

Again, not an attorney, just my thoughts…

You should consult with a CA attorney for the best answer to answer this question.