My previous marriage was started in California, 2002. Unfortunately, in 2004, I was the respondent in that marriage as divorce case. Due to being active duty military I was transferred to the state of North Carolina with that case still pending but orders were established to support my daughter, visitation and so on. After a number of years here in NC, establishing residency, I petitioned for an absolute divorce in NC by providing the court all of my court documents from the CA court and I was granted as an absolute divorce in 2007. My ex-wife was duly and properly served in CA and the NC judge granted the absolute divorce. About 2 weeks ago I was informed that CA still has me and my ex-wife noted as dissolution of marriage “pending” in their system. Basically, the CA statue of limitations to complete the divorce is up after 5 years of inactivity and they wish to close the case. There is a note in their system in CA that states, “OSC failure to file Dismissal”, since the case has been inactive for so long, 2004. I contacted the court in CA directly by telephone and they advised me that I need to physically appear at a Trial Court Short- Cause hearing scheduled for the end of October to hash this out before the judge. I realize that this is a lot of information but before I buy a plane ticket to appear in 2 months in CA, I wanted to consult an NC attorney for any guidance that may be rendered. I have since then remarried in the state of NC since 2007. Where do I stand with this and the divorce that I was granted from NC? Is there a recommendation for this situation?
You need to consult with a CA attorney to ensure that your ex was properly served in CA with the NC divorce. If she was, and she did not contest the jurisdiction the is divorce is valid and should be recognized there.
Thank you for the feedback. She was properly served in CA and I had a Process Server/PI do the service on her at her place of work in 2007. When I recently contacted the court in CA, the clerk informed me that I need to bring a copy of the NC court’s divorce order. Would you advise that this be a simple photo copy or something more official and/or certified from the courthouse here? where would I be able to obtain a copy of the Proof-of-Service slip or form that was accepted by NC as Proof of Service on her so that I may show that to the CA court as well? The clerk also recommened that I file for a “Nunc Pro Tunc” to have the CA case dismissed. I am not familiar with this at all but he explained that it is Latin “Now for Then” regarding my NC divorce date and may be applied to the old case in CA. My Ex has basically taken no further action nor expressed any desire to complete this case and time ran out (5 year) in CA. I do maintain and abide by the temporary order that was given regarding providing support for our daughter and so on. I am trying to ensure that I provide all necessary documents for this trip so that I am not making frequent and repeated trips between the coasts.
You will need a certified true copy of the decree. You can get it at the courthouse, along with proof of service, assuming that was properly filed.
Nothing should need to be filed in CA- the NC divorce is valid everywhere.
I was able to obtain a certified true copy of the absolute divorce and proof of service yesterday. I had her served by a bonded process server in CA. There were multiple documents in the case file but I did obtain what you recommended.
What would constitute her contesting the divorce here in NC since the judge in NC granted the divorce and I have since then been remarried? Furthermore, regarding the “Nunc Pro Tunc” or “Now for Then” recommendation from the clerk of courts in CA as it pertains to the divorce date from NC being applied to the CA case, are you familiar with such a motion and/or is it something I should do on my own or retain a CA attorney to file?
As I prepare to make my appearance before the CA judge in October, I would like to have everything in order prior to getting there.
Thank you for your valuable time.
Honestly, from the facts you presented, it appears that your divorce in NC is solid and you don’t have to worry about it being invalidated. Sorry, I cannot give advice about CA law or anything about Nun Pro Tunc, as I am not familiar with that motion in NC.