How to File for Divorce in North Carolina

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The NC divorce process can be complicated. Once you decide to end your marriage, you need to act quickly. You don’t want your spouse to retaliate against you, such as unnecessarily destroying property or spending assets.

You don’t have to go through the divorce process alone. A North Carolina divorce lawyer can represent your best interests and help you get a positive outcome.

Call Breeden Law Office at (919) 661-4970 or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation of your case.

Separate from Your Spouse

First, you must ensure you meet the requirements for divorce in North Carolina. North Carolina recognizes no-fault divorce as an absolute form of divorce. In a no-fault divorce, you do not have to claim grounds for separation.

To get an absolute divorce in North Carolina:

  • At least one party must be an NC resident for at least six months
  • You must live separate and apart for at least one year consecutively

If you don’t meet these requirements, you might consider another type of legal separation that involves a separation agreement to settle essential issues like support and custody until you qualify for an absolute divorce.

Divorce From Bed and Board

One option you may have if you don’t meet all the requirements of absolute divorce in North Carolina is Divorce from Bed and Board. This is a fault-based separation where people remain legally married but can get a court order to make one spouse move out of the marital home and start the one year separation for a divorce.   Some of the fault reasons that you can get a divorce from bed and board include:

  • Abandonment
  • Malicious kicking out of the family home
  • Cruel treatment or life endangerment
  • Rendering life intolerable
  • Addictive behavior
  • Adultery

Grounds for Divorce in NC

While grounds for divorce aren’t necessary for North Carolina, they can be used for other purposes. For example, if your spouse mistreated or cheated on you, you may have a better chance of getting spousal support or alimony.

Some grounds that courts will consider when establishing support include:

  • Illicit sexual behavior (such as adultery)
  • Long term imprisonment
  • Abandonment
  • Maliciously turning out from the family home
  • Cruel or endangering treatment
  • Indignities that make life intolerable
  • Reckless spending
  • Destruction of assets
  • Drug or alcohol addiction
  • Willful failure to provide necessities

The more severe the marital misconduct, the more likely alimony or support will be awarded. In fact, in some cases, the amount will be increased for profound misconduct.

File Your Divorce Complaint with the Clerk of Court in Your County

Once you determine that you meet the requirements for a divorce in North Carolina, you will need to draft a divorce complaint and file it with the clerk of courts. The North Carolina Judicial Branch does not provide a template for a complaint but some local Clerks of Court do provide them. You need to include a statement stating you are seeking a no-fault divorce and what you want. That would consist of details about spousal support, alimony, child support, child custody, and property division.

You should also include a summons form that will need to be served upon your spouse, along with all other filed documents. A Domestic Civil Action Cover Sheet and affidavit must accompany your divorce filings. You must either pay a court fee to file your divorce or submit a document as an indigent individual.

Negotiate Your Divorce

The best way to end a divorce is through an agreement between spouses. This ensures that you get input into the outcome of your property, child custody, and more. A skilled divorce lawyer can help you negotiate your divorce issues to ensure you get what you need going forward.

Your spouse will likely have an attorney on their side. You need to have an advocate on your side to ensure the other side doesn’t take advantage of you.

Finalize Your Separation Agreement

When you and your spouse make decisions about separation, you can determine how to handle the following:

Testimony in Front of a Judge

You will have to appear before a judge to finalize your divorce unless you have an attorney to appear on your behalf. If you are representing yourself you will need to bring a proposed divorce judgment to the divorce hearing.

Call Breeden Law Office for Help

If you are ready to file for a divorce in North Carolina, you should reach out to an attorney who can help guide you through the process. Attorney Jonathan Breeden has helped countless clients achieve the best outcomes possible in their cases. He will listen to your needs and ensure you achieve your goals as a team.

Call Breeden Law Office today at (919) 661-4970 or contact him online to schedule a consultation of your case.

Filing For Divorce in NC? Get Help from the Breeden Law Office

Properly filing for divorce is one way to protect yourself in a potentially tumultuous situation. You could be worried about your physical safety, or the wellbeing of your children or family.

Hiring an experienced family lawyer who’s willing to go the extra mile with you is critical to getting the best footing for an equitable outcome. Attorney Jonathan Breeden with the Breeden Law Office is ready to hear your story and help you.

Call (919) 661-4970 to schedule your consultation.

Call Breeden Law Office today:

Call (919) 661-4970

Divorce In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

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