Whic State to File Divorce In


Wife lives in NC. I live in MS and have been physically separated for 1yr and 4mths. Papers have been prepared for a MS filing (non contested divorce) that I just received but have not been sent to wife yet. We have a son that will turn 18 on 11/13/2010 (currently living with wife, not in school, not working, involved in drugs and court system). The papers have alot of verbage related to the child and trying to limit my exposure to any child support.

It appears that there are two major differences in state laws:

  1. NC requires a year separation agreement. MS just requires a 60 day waiting period after papers are filed to have a divorce granted.

  2. NC considers a child a minor until the age of 18 whereas MS is 21.

It seems to me that I am taking a pretty big risk (if I file in MS) and if my wife obtains an attorney that I will end up paying child support until 21.

If I file in NC is there away around the 1 year separation agreement since I have been physically separated for over a year?

I would appreciate any thoughts or comments you can give me.


North Carolina is the proper state for the divorce if that is where you and your wife lived during the marriage. If she never lived in MS, the state does not have jurisdiction over her to grant the divorce. You may file for divorce in North Carolina so long as you have been separated from your wife (just physical separation, there is nothing that had to be filed) for one year and one day. If you have not resolved your property division issues you will need to include a claim for equitable distribution to preserve your rights to property distribution.