Lengthy Separation, No More Filings


My spouse and I got into a big argument in May 2015, I finally told her I wanted a divorce. A few days later she files a complaint demanding custody of our kids, divorce from bed and board, etc… we then have a temporary custody hearing for the kids and we now live apart. Nothing since. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Since May 2015. She refuses to move the case forward, refuses to settle. It’s been almost two years of this “marriage” and we don’t even live in NC any more but the case is still open there.

What can I do to move this forward and wrap it up??? I’m told I can’t file anything because I’m the responding party, I just have to keep waiting. When will the court drop this for lack of activity??? It’s so frustrating to be “married” like this, and the temporary custody order was full physical custody to her because I’m military and was leaving the country for six months. With this backdoor “temporary” full custody, mandatory spousal support from me due to military regulations, free military healthcare for her, etc… She’s in no rush to divorce. It’s ridiculous.


Since neither you, your wife, nor the children live in NC anymore, NC will likely not have jurisdiction over the case anymore. NC can have jurisdiction when either party is a resident of the State. For custody, NC will have jurisdiction if NC is the home state for the children, generally meaning they have lived in the State for the past 6 months.

See if you can register your custody order in the state in which the children now reside. Usually registering the order will make the order enforceable and modifiable in another state. Once registered in the other state, you may be able to proceed with modifying the order or making the temporary order permanent (subject to the custody laws and procedure of the other state).

As to the other issues, you may be able to file a new court action in the state in which you reside. It’s possible that NC has already placed your case in inactive status. You can find out by calling the clerk’s office in the county in which the action is filed and give them the file number.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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