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Where Should I File for Divorce in North Carolina?

When Should I File for Divorce Following the decision of when to get divorced, where to file for divorce can be an important legal issue to resolve.

In part that’s because under the NC divorce laws, there are jurisdiction and residency requirements that must be followed prior to filing for divorce.

Clearly, it’s not unusual for people to change their living circumstances in short order, especially in instances of ending a relationship, separation, and divorce.

“While it’s often a smoother process if you have time to think things out and plan, that isn’t always an option. That’s particularly true if domestic violence is part of the reason for the separation

– Bill Powers, Charlotte Divorce Lawyer

Can I File for Divorce if I Don’t Know Where My Spouse Lives?

Divorce in North Carolina is not necessarily a speedy, expeditious process.

Indeed, the parties must be legally separated for a year before filing for divorce.

Once that one-year period expires, you can move forward with getting divorced even in instances when your do not know where you spouse lives.

As such, you do not have to know his or her current address of residence or mailing address; it certainly helps.

When Should I Hire a Divorce Lawyer?

This is frankly a complicated area of divorce law, fraught with potential pitfalls and problems.

Every reasonable effort should be made to locate your spouse. That may include retaining professional assistance from a private investigator

"They say there are only six degrees of separation between people. Given the nature of marriage and being married, someone likely knows where your spouse lives or how to find them."

- Bill Powers, Charlotte Attorney

Tracking down a spouse may require calls to friends, family, and employers.

In many if not most instances an experienced divorce lawyer in Charlotte can find a last known or current address for Service of Process.

Service by Publication of a divorce lawsuit amounts to a relatively small number of annual filings with the Mecklenburg County Clerk of Court.

When is the Best Time to Get Divorced?

Child support in North Carolina, as well as alimony, may require personal service and the opportunity to be heard.

If you don’t know where your spouse currently resides, whether it’s in North Carolina or some other jurisdiction (or even overseas), we recommend you start gathering information.

Collect contact information of friends, family, and employers such as email addresses, phone numbers, and social media profiles.

Be prepared to provide your divorce lawyer the full name, date of birth, location of birth, names of parents, siblings (brothers and sisters), social security number, and any identifying information about your spouse, including:

  • Places of Education – Colleges, Trade Schools, Advanced Degrees
  • Types of Professional Licensure – Training
  • Last known employer or workplace
  • Prior employers or places of employment
  • Last known mailing address
  • Last know residence
  • Vehicle Information –
    • Registration
    • State of License (NC DMV License Number)
    • Insurance Cards / Policy Numbers
  • Driver’s License
    • NC DMV Information
    • License Number
    • Renewal Information
  • Pilot’s License
    • Airplane Pilot
    • Drone Registration / Licensure
  • Fishing License
  • Hunting License
  • Places of Worship, Faith, and Support
    • Church
    • Support Groups
    • Bible Study Groups
    • AA/NA Meetings, Groups, Locations
  • Hobby Groups
    • SCUBA Diving Certification
    • Sports Car Associations
    • Knitting Circles

"If you think finding your spouse may be an issue, we recommend you start assembling background information early-on. As divorce lawyers we can often help make that process a whole lot easier"

– Bill Powers, Divorce Attorney

I Just Moved to Charlotte. Can I File for Divorce in Mecklenburg County?

Filing for divorce in North Carolina is authorized in the county where either spouse resides.

As such, if you live in Charlotte and your spouse lives in Monroe, in Union County, you may file for divorce in either Mecklenburg County or Union County.

Charlotte Divorce Attorneys Dedicated to Your Individual Needs

Where Should I File for Divorce No two cases, or clients, are exactly the same.

We find clients often have more than just one legal need across more than one type of law or practice group.

For example, cases involving allegations of Domestic Violence may benefit from legal representation in criminal court for DV charges, 50B court in Charlotte for a pending DVPO – Domestic Violence Protective Order, and Chapter 50 divorce, alimony, and child support.

It helps to have a wide range of experience and institutional knowledge. Courtroom experience and trial skills also don’t hurt.

Bill Powers has been practicing law in Mecklenburg County since 1992, assisting clients with many different types of legal issues.

"I’m less concerned about limiting our law firm to a particular type of case or practice group moniker than I am helping the individual. I look at cases from a ‘how can I help’ perspective."

- Bill Powers, Charlotte Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is a very expansive area of law.

What is Collaborative Divorce?

Many lawyers, let alone clients, fail to understand how complicated divorce, alimony, child support, and ED Equitable Distribution it can be.

It helps to have experience in both civil and criminal court.

Understanding insurance law, employee benefits, retirement accounts, wills, estates, powers of attorney, and property transfers is incredibly helpful.

"I’ve been practicing law for a while now. I have a wide range of experience across many different areas of law."

- Bill Powers, Charlotte Lawyer

Since graduating Campbell Law School, Bill Powers has helped people with real estate closings, employment law issues, alienation of affections and criminal conversation, business disputes and valuation, shareholder derivative actions, criminal defense, DV / 50B issues, and DSS Department of Social Services / CPS Child Protective issues.

Understanding how things interact in legal system, real-world courtroom litigation considerations and trial tactics, is a valuable resource.

Bill Powers is a courtroom lawyer.

He is the former President of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ.com), dedicated legal advocate, and award-winning attorney in Charlotte.

We believe that mix of professional experience as a lawyer, courtroom trial skills, and life-experience as a husband and father, may help you and your legal needs.

Call Bill Powers now if you have legal questions about child support and legal custody issues, visitation, alimony, equitable distribution, and complex DV – Domestic Violence legal issues.


Client Reviews
I am so fortunate to have had Bill Powers on my case. Upon our first meeting, Bill insisted that through the emotions of anger, sadness, confusion, and betrayal that I remain resilient. He was available to answer questions with researched, logical, truthful answers throughout our two-year stretch together. I went to any lengths for my case because he won my trust almost immediately. JR
I contacted over 20 attorneys and Bill Powers was the only one that got back to me and was willing to help. He was kind and professional. He helped me get answers that I have been trying to get for years. I am so thankful for all his help and would recommend him easily. Simply FANTASTIC. EP
Bill Powers contacted me very shortly after I submitted an inquiry. He is incredibly knowledgeable about laws and all the requirements in North Carolina. When working with him, he patiently answered any and all questions I had in great detail. I always had the feeling he was looking to help ME, and not all about business. I would HIGHLY recommend Bill Powers and his law firm to anyone needing help in the area. You will be very happy with the result! CL