Residency *after* filing

Weird scenario (I guess they all are): my husband and I have nearly been separated for the legally required year + one day, which will be September 10th. He currently lives in Louisiana with our minor children. (He does not have full legal custody, our consent agreement was worded specifically to allow us both 50/50 despite me living in another state for health reasons.) He has indicated that he has zero interest in moving back up here to North Carolina, so my only option (without dragging him and my little children through what would certainly be an ugly legal battle) is to move down to Louisiana to join them.

Louisiana requires a year of residency to file for divorce. He’ll have a year of residency there in January, but he has made it abundantly clear that he didn’t want any of this and is forcing me to be the one to file.

My question is this: If I’m planning to move to Louisiana in the near-ish future (this fall), can I still file here in September? I’m ready to get out of purgatory and waiting another year, while not the end of the world, sounds just brutal.

Yes, you can file for an absolute divorce in North Carolina come September when your one-year of separation is up. The residency requirement for an absolute divorce in North Carolina is that the person filing for the divorce has been a resident of the State of North Carolina for six months preceding the filing of the action.

Typically, if service of the complaint is not delayed, it takes about two months from the time of filing the absolute divorce complaint to the court date. Keep in mind that if you are representing yourself, you would need to appear at that court date.

If he doesn’t contest it, is it still about a 2 month period between filing and a court date?

Yes. Once you file the Complaint, you must serve him with it either by sheriff’s deputy, certified/registered mail, or by him signing an acceptance of service. They can take a couple or days or a few weeks. Once he is served, he has 30 days to file an answer. There cannot be a court date until either the 30 days to answer has passed and he has not filed an answer, or he files an answer. Depending on the county, there may not be an available court date for a few weeks.