Which county to file in?


#1

I’ve tried to contact the Wake County Clerk of Courts regarding this, but have been unsuccessful in my attempts. As far as I can tell, it seems the only requirement is that either party has been a North Carolina resident for 1 year and a resident of Wake County for 6 months; however, the complaint form I’ve downloaded does not seem to support that. It says “…the Plaintiff is a citizen and resident of Wake County, North Carolina, and has been a citizen and resident of Wake County, North Carolina for more than (6) six months next preceding the commencement of this action.” This leads me to believe that I must be a resident of Wake County for 6 months before I am able to file for divorce, when in fact I believe I should be able to file in Wake County because my spouse (the defendant) has been a resident of Wake County for more than 6 months. Given the fact that my spouse fulfills all of the residency requirements, isn’t it true that I could file for divorce in Wake County, NC even if I were not a resident of North Carolina, much less Wake County? Is there an alternate form to file if the plaintiff is not a resident of the County and/or State where the papers will be filed?


#2

You can file in Wake County.

Lee S. Rosen
Board Certified Family Law Specialist
The Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
NCdivorce.com
(919)787-6668

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#3

You say that this person could file in Wake County, but the forms and the Clerk say that the plantiff must be a resident of Wake County for six months. I know the NCGS only requires NC residency, but do Counties set their own requirements for what constitutes residency? Must I and/or my spouse live in Wake County for six months prior to filing in Wake County or do we simply have to have lived somewhere in NC for six months?


#4

You say that this person could file in Wake County, but the forms and the Clerk say that the plantiff must be a resident of Wake County for six months. I know the NCGS only requires NC residency, but do Counties set their own requirements for what constitutes residency? Must I and/or my spouse live in Wake County for six months prior to filing in Wake County or do we simply have to have lived somewhere in NC for six months?


#5

Dear nbuckner:

You can file for divorce in either the county you live in or in the county the other side has lived in for 6 months prior to the filing of the action. I hope that helps.

No, counties individually do not have the power to determine jurisdiction and venue. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#6

I have a question regarding which county to file in. I lived in Durham county throughout the one year separation period, but have recently moved to Wake county. My wife has lived in Wake county for the last 9 months of our separation. I am preparing to file for divorce. Can I file for divorce in Wake county now, or is there a residency law I need to know about? If I can not file in Wake county now because of residency issues, can I still file in Durham county?

Thanks for the help.