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Can I file for a divorce in another state?

Clarksville, TN |

I plan on filing for a divorce from my abusive husband..we just moved here to fort campbell n he is military. I have one child from him and plan on taking her with me back to NC (my home) but wondering if I can file for divorce once I get in NC because I dont want to file for divorce here n have to keep my daughter here or within 100 miles..I dont have family here so I dont know what I would do if I couldnt take her outside the state of TN .

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Filed under: Divorce Child custody
Attorney answers 3


You have to file in a state in which you meet the residency requirement or, under some circumstances, in which your spouse is resident.

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Did you just move to TN from NC? If so, then check with a NC attorney to see if you still qualify to file for divorce in NC. Most states require a six month to one year residency before one is allowed to file for a divorce in that state. Furthermore, the state that has jurisdiction over a custody battle is generally the state in which the child lived continuously for the last six months, or if you just moved, then it would likely be the state you just moved from, if you had lived there for a long enough time period to satisfy jurisdictional requirements for the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction And Enforcement Act. This whole issue surrounding jurisdiction can be answered by an attorney in the state where you plan to move (NC) or by an attorney in the state where you currently live (TN).

I am an attorney licensed in MD and CA, not SC or TN. This is general information only, not legal advice.

Office: (410) 381-1656. This is NOT legal advice, is GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY, and does NOT establish an Attorney/Client Relationship with you because you have not yet retained me, and because you have not provided me with a COMPLETE set of all the FACTS in your legal situation. Therefore my answer cannot address your specific legal situation and you should not rely upon my answer in your legal matter. This answer is provided as GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY, and to assist you in beginning your own research or in finding an attorney to represent you. I am an attorney licensed in Maryland and California. If you want me to provide legal advice, then you must call for a Consultation. If you would like me to represent you, then a Retainer and a fully signed and dated Legal Services Agreement (a contract) will be required. Office: (410) 381-1656. David Mahood, Esq.


As previously stated, the jurisdiction for custody would be where the child has resided for 6 months. If that was NC (and this is NOT clear from the way you have written your question), then you may want to go back to NC with the child before TN becomes the proper jurisdiction.

NC requirements for divorce are that you resided in NC for at least 6 months AND that you have been separated/living apart from spouse for 1 year prior to filing a complaint for absolute divorce.

Contrast that with TN requirements of 6 months residency and just living apart/separated.

Since you really want to be in NC, I think you should see if you can't get moved back with the child especially if that is where the child resided just before this transfer to Fort Campbell.

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