Getting a Divorce in North Carolina

Getting a Divorce in North Carolina

Getting a divorce in NC means you’re legally seeking to end your marriage with your spouse. Because divorce is one of the most common legal issues throughout the country, many people have different versions or opinions about North Carolina divorce laws and how the legal process works. Many people even claim that they’re knowledgeable about family law. The fact is that family law varies widely from state to state, which means that one state handles the divorce process differently from another state. Therefore, one person’s familiarity with a certain divorce law may only be applicable to another state and not be applicable in the state of North Carolina. Also, the knowledge an average person has about say a certain divorce law may no longer be in effect due to frequent changes in the North Carolina family law statutes. The bottom line is getting advice regarding the divorce process from non-lawyers or from attorneys that do not solely practice divorce or family law often leads to misinformation.

North Carolina Divorce Process

The legal process of getting a divorce or absolute divorce in North Carolina involves filing a complaint with the court by the petitioning spouse. The other spouse needs to be served with the complaint. In case of failure of the other spouse to respond to the served complaint, the petitioning spouse may get the divorce within 60 days. In NC, filing for a divorce may waive some of the petitioner’s rights. These rights cannot be taken back once they are waived.

Going through a divorce is an extremely stressful process, especially when you have to appear in court due to the failure of reaching an agreement. Because we understand the difficulties people typically experience when going through a divorce, we will consider all cost-effective alternatives to settle your case. Reaching an agreement with your spouse will reduce your legal expenditures and allows you to actively finalize your case. This also excludes the possibility of going to trial and facing the uncertainty of a judge’s verdict.

North Carolina Divorce Mediation

In North Carolina, you will have to attend mediation if equitable distribution of property or child custody is involved in your divorce case. You and your spouse will then negotiate the settlement of your case at mediation. If an agreement with your spouse is not reached and litigation is the only option left, an experienced NC divorce attorney can help prepare you for your hearings and help you focus on the most important factors to help you succeed in your case.

If you have questions, you can contact the McIlveen Family Law Firm at (704) 865-9011

North Carolina Absolute Divorce

Absolute divorce is simply the term used for a divorce in North Carolina. Since N.C. is a No-fault state, the plaintiff doesn’t need to prove any wrongdoing of the other spouse to file for absolute divorce. Either of the spouses can obtain an absolute divorce by filing a complaint with any court in North Carolina, and not necessarily in the court of the county where you or your spouse lived during the marriage. While a court case needs to be filed to obtain judgment for absolute divorce, you may not need to go to court if you hire the legal services of an NC divorce attorney.

In order to get a divorce in North Carolina, the court only requires that the couple has lived apart for at least 12 months without the need to show proof of the separation. The only information needed is the date when the couple started living apart and that at least one party in the marriage intends the separation to be permanent.

The marriage must have not resumed during the 12-month separation period. If the court finds out that the marriage has resumed within the separation period, the time will be reset to another 12 months in order to obtain a divorce. The complaint for divorce is usually granted in less than 60 days depending on the county where the divorce is filed.

Immediate filing for divorce is not a requirement in North Carolina, and you may want to remain married while being separated due to beneficial reasons such as social security and health insurance. Our team of experienced attorneys can help you determine the proper timing for filing the divorce in such a way that your rights are protected.

Requirements for Absolute Divorce

To get an absolute divorce, one of the parties only needs to prove the following: (1) The plaintiff or defendant have resided in North Carolina for six months preceding the filing of the complaint for absolute divorce; (2) The parties are married; (3) The parties have been living separate and apart for one year preceding the filing of the complaint for absolute divorce; and (4) The parties do not intend to resume marital relations. For filing an absolute divorce in N.C. on your own, we have available forms in our forms bank for you to view. You may file for a divorce yourself but if you want to make sure you won’t waive any of your rights, it’s best to consult with an NC divorce lawyer. If a complaint for divorce has already been filed and you’re concerned about whether your rights are protected or waived, contact us right away to schedule a consultation.

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