Tash & Kurtz - Family Law Attorneys

At the Crossroads Excellent Counsel.
At the Crossroads Excellent Counsel.

FAQs

Divorce FAQs

How is a divorce obtained in North Carolina?
What is the difference between a legal separation and a divorce?
What is an absolute divorce?
What are the mechanics of an Action for Absolute Divorce?
Does it matter who brings the action?
How long does a divorce take?
What if one spouse does not want the divorce?

How is a divorce obtained in North Carolina?
While obtaining a divorce is not a complex process in North Carolina, you must meet the following requirements and follow these steps:

  • You and/or your spouse must live in North Carolina for at least six months before filing the action for divorce.
  • You or your lawyer must file a divorce complaint with the clerk of court in the county of your residence.
  • The divorce complaint must be delivered to your spouse, either by the county sheriff or by certified mail (return receipt requested).
  • After waiting a specified period (usually 40 days after service of the divorce complaint) either you or your attorney can appear in court and obtain a divorce. Once the judge signs the judgment, your divorce is final, and you may remarry if you so desire.

Complexity and issues arise when adding other factors into divorce actions, such as: child custody, child support, alimony, and property division.

Back To Top

What is the difference between a legal separation and a divorce?
The greatest difference between the two is that if you proceed with a divorce you are no longer married. A legal separation only separates the two parties – they remain lawfully married.
Does a spouse have to prove fault on the part of the other spouse to obtain a divorce?
No. North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state whereby either spouse may obtain an absolute divorce based on one year's separation (the only other ground is proving incurable insanity, which is rarely used).

Back To Top

What is an absolute divorce?
Absolute divorce is the termination of a marriage. Either party can obtain an absolute divorce in North Carolina once you and your spouse have lived separate and apart from one another for at least twelve consecutive months. You do not need any written document to show you separated on a given date; you merely need to remember the date on which you separated. You also need to be certain that at least one of you, at the time of the separation, intended for the separation to be permanent.

Back To Top

What are the mechanics of an Action for Absolute Divorce?
The Plaintiff must file a complaint for divorce in District Court. The Defendant has 30 days from the date of service of the summons and complaint to file an answer or request an extension of time. The North Carolina General Statutes state that all material allegations in the Divorce complaint are deemed to be denied by the Defendant. Thus, one of the parties must appear before the Judge for a testimonial divorce, or a summary judgment motion can be filed which allows a party, or usually just an attorney for the party, to appear before the Judge to present the documents and obtain the divorce on behalf of the Plaintiff.

Back To Top

Does it matter who brings the action?
The person who initiates the case gets to talk first. Some lawyers swear that there is an advantage to being first. Others say it doesn't really matter. There is no negative connotation attributable to the spouse who brings the action or to the person who responds to the action.

Back To Top

How long does a divorce take?
A minimum of 40 days from the date your divorce complaint is filed. The North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure require that the answering party have 30 days to file an answer or request an extension of time. Once that time period expires, certain notice rules must be followed which account for the remaining time.

Back To Top

What if one spouse does not want the divorce?
You can obtain a divorce whether or not your spouse wants to be divorced, if you have been separated for one continuous year and the paperwork has been correctly processed.

Back To Top

For more information on Divorce, please see our Divorce page.

For additional questions, contact Tash & Kurtz, PLLC.

< Back to Frequently Asked Questions

Tash & Kurtz - Family Law Attorneys
 
 
SITE MAP   |   RESOURCES   |   DISCLAIMER
copyright - Tash & Kurtz, PLLC - Winston-Salem NC Family Law Attorneys
Family Law, Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce, Alimony, Separation Agreements, Equitable Distribution, Domestic Violence,
Pre-Marital Agreement, Post-Marital Agreement, Post Separation Support, Litigation, Arbitration, Mediation, Appeals
Serving Winston-Salem NC, Forsyth County, North Carolina
Web Design by Consultwebs.com, Inc. - Legal Webs & Marketing for Winston-Salem NC Divorce Lawyers