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Quite a question. My suggestion would be this: One of them files for legal separation in NC and the separation agreement is also filed with the court. Once one of them has established residency in CA, have the NC orders registered in CA and convert the separation into a petition for dissolution. I believe this would achieve all of their objectives while facilitating their moves.
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They'd like to keep it simple. A "legal separation" in NC requires establishing grounds, testifying, ... - not a simple thing. It's not the route that "friendly divorces" take. And then having the court order registered in CA, etc., More steps to take.
When do they lose NC residency?
If they end up filing in CA, might the court question the terms of their divorce (ED, parenting, ch sup, sp sup)?
If the separation agreement is entered in NC, the CA court must recognize the order in NC as valid under the good faith and credit clause of the U.S. Consitution.
The would lose residency in NC as soon as they establish residency in another state. For the purposes of divorce, this would be 6 months in CA.
I'm still here to help you figure this out if you have further questions.
Yep, sounds like CA is worse than NJ, where I recently moved from. In NC, I'm finding attorneys under $200 -- $350 would be well over the max.
Anyway, thanks for the help.