If you don’t have a lot of marital assets, or minor kids, ending your marriage doesn’t have to complicated. North Carolina allows for no-fault divorce, but encourages couples and co-parents to sort their issues amicably outside of court. To protect your interests and rights, seeking legal help is advisable. An accomplished Charlotte family law attorney can guide you at every turn, so that your divorce is finalized sooner. Below is an overview of divorce in North Carolina. 

The requirements

There are two basic requirements to file for divorce in North Carolina- 

  1. You, or your spouse, must have lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing. 
  2. Spouses must be living apart and separately for at least one year. 

The separation requirement is mandatory, and this doesn’t just refer to sleeping separately in the same house. You and your spouse must have lived in two different residences for the separation period. 

Divorce from bed and board

In North Carolina, divorce is also known as absolute divorce, and this is different from divorce from bed and board. Despite the name, divorce from bed and board is not an absolute divorce. In this case, a spouse can ask for divorce on fault-based grounds, such as adultery, abandonment, or cruelty. The court will pass a separation order, which allows the seeking spouse to live separately. Once a year has passed, the spouse can seek an absolute divorce, provided they were living separately and apart from their spouse. In case of divorce from bed and board, the spouses cannot remarry and are still legally married. 

Hiring a family law attorney

You don’t need to hire an attorney by law for your divorce, but this would be the ideal thing to do. NC family law attorneys specialize in all matters related to the divorce, including child custody, child support, alimony, and division of assets. Even when you seem to be on friendly terms with your husband/wife, talking to a family law attorney will help. An experienced attorney can help with decisions, and as needed, they will help with negotiation and mediation, to come to an acceptable agreement related to all aspects.

If you have decided to file for divorce, do check all relevant North Carolina laws in depth. In case you don’t have the time or want to minimize your stress, hire an attorney, who will handle the formalities and paperwork. The first meeting with an attorney is usually complementary.