Contested Divorce In North Carolina

Certain criteria must be met for you to have a contested divorce in North Carolina.  It’s not uncommon in North Carolina for one spouse in a marriage to want a divorce, and you or your spouse may want to work things out. It could be that you or your spouse have found someone else or realizes there are irreconcilable  differences.

Is North Carolina A No-fault State?

North Carolina is a no-fault state, which means whoever was at-fault for your divorce doesn’t matter to the court as it pertains to an absolute divorce. However, the fault may come into play in certain aspects of your divorce, such as alimony. However, it doesn’t prohibit you or your spouse from filing for an absolute divorce in North Carolina.

North Carolina will grant an absolute divorce after you and your spouse have had a one-year separation period with no cohabitation.

What Is the One Year Separation Period in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the one-year separation period is the most common means that people use to get a divorce judgment. If you want to use the one-year separation period as a method to get your divorce, you will need to prove several different things, such as:

  • That you and your spouse have resided in North Carolina for at least six months immediately before filing for your divorce.
  • That you and your spouse have lived separately for at least one calendar year with no cohabitation. You both must live at different addresses to satisfy the North Carolina court.
  • You must show that you and your spouse have intended to live separately since you began living in different residences and going forward.

What About Incurable Insanity in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the only other method to obtain an absolute divorce is by proving to the court that your spouse suffers from incurable insanity. You and your spouse must have lived separately for three years because of the clinically proven insanity.

What if I Want to Contest the North Carolina Divorce?

Generally, in North Carolina, if your spouse wants a divorce, they must be able to prove that:

  1. You and your spouse are married
  2. That either you or your spouse lived in North Carolina for at least six months before the complaint for divorce was filed in a North Carolina court; and
  3. That you and your spouse have been separated for a period of at least one year.

If you want to contest your North Carolina divorce, there are certain defenses that the Charlotte, North Carolina family lawyers at Remington & Dixon may be able to raise in court. These include:

  • Marriage: Marriage is a hard thing to object to, as your marriage license will be enough to satisfy a North Carolina judge. However, in North Carolina, the lack of a marriage license isn’t enough to invalidate your marriage. The only void marriages in North Carolina are those that are bigamous in nature.
  • Residency: Proving jurisdiction is improper because neither of you lived in North Carolina for six months preceding the filing of the divorce. The case can be resolved simply by showing proof of residencies, such as the date of your North Carolina driver’s license, or six months of bills.
  • Separation: By far, the most common objection in North Carolina for an absolute divorce is that you and your spouse haven’t been separated for one calendar year. If you can show that you haven’t been separated for one calendar year, this does raise an issue of material fact that could prevent a North Carolina judge from granting your divorce. However, this could also be just putting off the inevitable. Once you and your spouse have been separated for one calendar year, the party that filed for the divorce can bring the action up before the court again, and the divorce will be granted.

If you or your spouse is contesting the North Carolina divorce, you’re going to need the assistance of a Charlotte divorce law lawyer. The skilled and experienced attorneys at the Charlotte, North Carolina firm of Remington & Dixon would be able to meet with you to discuss your individual case and review all of your options.


Are consultations free?

While we offer a free consultation on traffic matters, criminal matters, and most professional license defense cases, we charge a fee for family law consultations to personalize our consultations to your specific needs. To learn about our fee structure, please get in touch.

Where can I get legal advice?

We recommend meeting with an attorney. While there is free legal help available for North Carolina residents from pro bono resources for civil matters, and public defenders for criminal cases, the best way to access tailored advice is to hire a lawyer.

Can I hire you if I’m in another state?

This is done on a case by case basis if you are involved in a family law, criminal, or professional disciplinary matter that involves another jurisdiction.



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