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My Spouse and I Live in Different States - Where Do We Get Divorced?

Whether because of a job or family commitments, it’s not unheard of for married couples to live in different states. Unfortunately, this can raise some unique questions should the couple decide to file for divorce.

Filing for Divorce When You and Your Spouse Live in Separate States

If you and your spouse live separately (either because you recently separated and one moved away or you lived separately for many years while married), a divorce can be filed in either state that both spouses are living in, regardless of where the marriage was held.

If you live in North Carolina and your spouse lives in another state, you can file for divorce, so long as you meet the residency requirements. In North Carolina, either spouse must have resided in the state for a period of six months or more prior to filing for divorce. Once a final divorce decree has been issued, it will be effective regardless of where you and your spouse were married or are living.

It’s important to note that it’s possible for both spouses to file for divorce in their state at the same time, meaning there would be two divorces proceeding at the same time. However, only one state can issue a divorce decree — once one state issues a final divorce, the other will stop being processed.

Is There a Benefit to Where You File?

Where you file can have a significant impact on the outcome of your divorce. Some states have shorter residency requirements, so a spouse will move to that state in order to speed up the divorce process. Other people move in order to be in a state with the divorce policy they prefer (equitable distribution and community property).

At Blood Law, PLLC, we believe in helping our clients achieve their goals – no matter how complex their divorce or other family law issues. 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.

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