No-fault Divorce in North Carolina

What is no-fault divorce in North Carolina?

North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state. This means that neither spouse has to prove fault of the other party to obtain a divorce.

Implications of No-fault Divorce Law

The no-fault divorce law implies that it is easier to obtain a divorce, as there is no need to prove the other party’s fault. Because most often, a marriage breaks down not because of a specific fault (of either spouse) but rather due to couple drifting apart, incompatibility and other such reasons. And no-fault divorce is granted even if the other spouse does not want the divorce.

What the Court Requires

To apply for a no-fault divorce, the two spouses have to be separated for a period of at least one year. They must live in different houses and not different rooms of the same house. And at least one (or both parties) should live separately with intention of permanently ending the marriage. There must be no resumption of marital relations during one year, though isolated incidents of sexual relations will not affect divorce proceedings. At least one of the spouses should have lived in North Carolina six months prior to filing the divorce papers.

Is a no-fault divorce quick?

At the end of the separation, either spouse may file for a no-fault divorce. If it is uncontested, divorce will be granted within two months. In case of contested divorce, the case goes to trial and may take longer.

Points to Consider in a No-fault Divorce

A no-fault divorce can be easily obtained in North Carolina, but it is recommended that individuals pay attention to important post divorce issues prior to filing for divorce. It is necessary to draft a legal separation agreement that looks into important issues like property division, child support and custody, spousal support etc. Seek professional legal help to draft the agreement as the terms are legally binding once the no-fault divorce has been finalized.

We at McIlveen Family Law Firm can help you file for the no-fault divorce and ensure speedy finalization of an uncontested divorce. We can also help you in drafting legal separation agreements that keep your interests secure now and in the future.