Divorce Timeline

Written by Jonathan Breeden

May 15, 2022

How Long Does it Take to Get Divorced in North Carolina?

Divorce is overwhelming. But if you hope to move on with your life and finalize your divorce settlement promptly, it is essential to understand what to expect from each phase of the divorce process.

Here is a general summary of what you can expect from your divorce timeline when you choose to end your marriage in North Carolina.

Divorce Timeline graphic that shows the 7 steps

Filing of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

Step one of the divorce timeline is filing your petition for the dissolution of your marriage. Here, you will officially file your request to end your marriage. Once you have filed your divorce petition, the divorce timeline will officially begin.

Temporary Orders

When filing your petition for the dissolution of your marriage, you can also seek temporary orders. This might include figuring out how your finances will be shared during the process, your child custody plan, and where each spouse will live during divorce proceedings. This takes up to several months from the date your initial petition is filed.


In this phase, you will begin building your case against your spouse. This involves requesting and collecting information from your spouse, parenting evaluations, mental health evaluations, and other important divorce issues. This can take six months or longer, depending on the other party’s cooperation.

The Settlement

This phase is where you will work with your spouse to agree upon the division of your marital property and assets, child custody plans, alimony, and more. Generally, the settlement phase can last up to two months if your case is brought to court and unable to be resolved through mediation.

Preparing for Trial

When settling the terms of your divorce is not possible, you may need to bring your case before a judge to finalize your divorce. Preparing all evidence collected during the discovery phase and going over your testimony and that of your witnesses will be pertinent during the preparation stage. Preparing for trial can take as much as two months or more.


At trial, you will have the opportunity to present evidence and argue for the most favorable outcome in your case. Trials can last a couple of days or several weeks, depending on the complexities of your divorce settlement.

Mediation and Collaborative Divorce

Mediation and collaborative divorce are great ways to finalize divorce proceedings promptly. However, the timeline for this process relies on the cooperation of both parties. Your petition for the dissolution of your marriage won’t be filed until both parties reach an agreement. Issues can be resolved through litigation if negotiations break down.

Get Help from a Divorce Lawyer in North Carolina

If you have additional questions or concerns surrounding the divorce timeline in your case, make sure you have a trusted legal advocate on your side.

Meet with a reputable North Carolina divorce lawyer at Breeden Law Office to get started on your divorce proceedings. When you are ready to schedule your initial consultation, fill out our quick contact form or give our office a call at 919-661-4970.


Divorce In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

A book by Jonathan Breeden