An aerial view of Chapel Hill, North Carolina

After I File for Divorce in North Carolina, Do I Have to Stay in the State?

From how long it takes to get divorced to how your assets are divided, where you live can have a big impact on the outcome of your divorce.

Residency Requirements in North Carolina

From zero to 365, residency requirements vary widely from state to state. In order to file for divorce in North Carolina, either spouse must have resided in the state for at least six months. Spouses must have also been separated for at least one year. This means both spouses were living in different homes and at least one intended for the separation to be permanent. Because North Carolina doesn’t require divorcing couples to file for separation, a truthful testimony under oath is all that’s required to prove your separation.

What if My Spouse Doesn’t Live in NC?

Regardless of where your spouse lives, you can get a “simple” absolute divorce, as long as you meet North Carolina’s residency requirements. However, your spouse must be served with divorce papers that follow the rules and guidelines of the state they’re currently living in.

Relocating After a Divorce

Whether because they got a new job opportunity, want to be closer to friends and family, or simply for a fresh start, many people choose to move out of state following their divorce. If you and your spouse do not have children, you’ll typically be able to move anytime after filing. However, relocating can be complicated for people with children who will now be co-parenting.

If the custodial parent wishes to move out of state with their child, they may be required to get permission from their former spouse. If the spouse objects, the family court may step in to determine what’s in the best interest of the child. When determining if a custodial parent can move out of state with their child, the courts typically consider the reason for the relocation (a new job opportunity, to be closer to family, etc.) and how the move will affect the child’s wellbeing.

At Blood Law, PLLC, we believe in helping our clients achieve their goals – no matter how complex their divorce or other family law issue. Our experienced attorneys provide tailored legal services with a unique, team-based approach to do our best to achieve these results.


To learn more about our legal services, contact our Charlotte divorce lawyers online or give us a call at (704) 286-0570.

Categories