What is the Waiting Period in North Carolina Divorce?

Waiting period refers to the time period between the commencement of the divorce proceedings (or filing of divorce papers in court) and the court decree granting the final divorce. This waiting period in North Carolina divorce is a minimum 30 days for a simple uncontested divorce.

When Does the Waiting Period Commence?

The waiting period commences from the date on which the divorce summons and complaint have been served on the other (defendant) spouse and not from the date of filing for divorce on part of the plaintiff.

The defendant spouse has 30 days to respond to the divorce complaint after he or she has been served. If the parties agree and want to speed up the process, the defendant can simply sign waive the right to answer.

If the defendant does not agree with the allegations in the divorce complaint, he /she can file an answer and/or counterclaim. In such a situation, the divorce turns into a contested divorce and may take longer to reach its conclusion.

The third scenario is when the defendant does not respond to the petition within 30 days. In this case, it is assumed that the defendant is in agreement with all points in the petition and the plaintiff can proceed with the divorce as if it were an uncontested one.

The Divorce Hearing After the Waiting Period

The divorce hearing is usually scheduled within one-two weeks after the waiting period of 30 days, since the receipt of summons by the defendant has elapsed and either the defendant has returned the papers duly signed or has not made any response to the petition. An uncontested divorce hearing does not take long. After a few questions, judge will sign the divorce judgment in triplicate. One copy is filed in the court. The other copies are for the plaintiff and the defendant.

We at McIlveen Law Firm have helped numerous clients in obtaining their divorces. We will work to get your spouse quickly served and make sure that a hearing date is obtained as soon as possible after the expiration of the waiting period. Our experienced attorneys will take care of all associated legal paperwork during the process of your divorce.