Thank you for the additional information:
When I file my income taxes, I claim North Carolina as my state of residence. Additionally, when my GA driver's license expired this year, I got a North Carolina driver's license rather than renewing my Georgia license
Your initial post: My wife and I both currently reside in South Korea. We have been here for 3 years and anticipate being here for much longer. We have been separated for 20 months and I want a divorce. We are both American citizens and were were married in Georgia. Our previous residence was in Georgia, but we currently receive our mail in the states in North Carolina. She says she won't sign anything and refuses to participate. I'm not even sure which state to begin looking in to determine what my next step is? Do I start at my present address of record even though we don't really live there? Or do I go to where we were married?
Response: You need to start with North Carolina, your state of residence. In order to file for a divorce in North Carolina, you or your spouse must be a resident of North Carolina for at least six months before the filing of the divorce case. The divorce case would be filed in the County where you or your spouse officially resides. See North Carolina General Statutes, Chapter 50, Sections 50-8 and 50-3.
50‑8. Contents of complaint; verification; venue and service in action by nonresident; certain divorces validated.
In all actions for divorce the complaint shall be verified in accordance with the provisions of Rule 11 of the Rules of Civil Procedure and G.S. 1‑148. The plaintiff shall set forth in his or her complaint that the complainant or defendant has been a resident of the State of North Carolina for at least six months next preceding the filing of the complaint, and that the facts set forth therein as grounds for divorce, except in actions for divorce from bed and board, have existed to his or her knowledge for at least six months prior to the filing of the complaint: Provided, however, that if the cause for divorce is one‑year separation, then it shall not be necessary to allege in the complaint that the grounds for divorce have existed for at least six months prior to the filing of the complaint; it being the purpose of this proviso to permit a divorce after such separation of one year without awaiting an additional six months for filing the complaint: Provided, further, that if the complainant is a nonresident of the State action shall be brought in the county of the defendant's residence, and summons served upon the defendant personally or service of summons accepted by the defendant personally in the manner provided in G.S. 1A‑1, Rule 4(j)(1). Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, any suit or action for divorce heretofore instituted by a nonresident of this State in which the defendant was personally served with summons or in which the defendant personally accepted service of the summons and the case was tried and final judgment entered in a court of this State in a county other than the county of the defendant's residence, is hereby validated and declared to be legal and proper, the same as if the suit or action for divorce had been brought in the county of the defendant's residence.
§ 50‑3. Venue; removal of action.
In all proceedings for divorce, the summons shall be returnable to the court of the county in which either the plaintiff or defendant resides.
[In] any action brought under Chapter 50 for alimony or divorce filed in a county where the plaintiff resides but the defendant does not reside, where both parties are residents of the State of North Carolina, and where the plaintiff removes from the State and ceases to be a resident, the action may be removed upon motion of the defendant, for trial or for any motion in the cause, either before or after judgment, to the county in which the defendant resides. The judge, upon such motion, shall order the removal of the action, and the procedures of G.S. 1‑87 shall be followed.
In order to file for a divorce in Georgia, you or your spouse must be a resident of Georgia for at least six months before the filing of the divorce complaint. See Official Code of Georgia Section: 19-5-2:
“No court shall grant a divorce to any person who has not been a bona fide resident of this state for six months before the filing of the petition for divorce, provided that any person who has been a resident of any United States army post or military reservation within this state for one year next preceding the filing of the petition may bring an action for divorce in any county adjacent to the United States army post or military reservation; and provided, further, that a nonresident of this state may file a petition for divorce, in the county of residence of the respondent, against any person who has been a resident of this state and of the county in which the action is brought for a period of six months prior to the filing of the petition.”
It is suggested that you retain a local counsel to handle the case for you. You can use the following to locate Divorce Attorneys:
The divorce forms and instructions can be obtained from the Court’s web site: