Divorce is a prevalent, yet complicated, legal issue in North Carolina. Like most states, North Carolina has specific legal requirements that must be met in order for a divorce to be granted by the state. This post will explore a few of those requirements as an informative resource for our clients. Because each divorce involves unique and complex circumstances, however, it is important that you consult with a lawyer to discuss a potential divorce. Only a lawyer can advise you on the proper steps to take before and during a divorce in order to achieve the best results for you and your family.
North Carolina, like most states, has specific residency requirements in order to obtain a divorce. To meet that requirement, one spouse must have lived in North Carolina for the previous 6 months at the very least. That does not mean that you have to live in North Carolina for the previous 6 months, as well. If your spouse has lived within the state for the last 6 months or more, you may be entitled to seek a divorce in North Carolina courts even if you do not live in the state.
Grounds for Divorce
Courts in North Carolina will not just grant a divorce because it is requested, even if both parties agree to the divorce. Rather, specific prerequisites must be met, and those prerequisites differ based on the type of divorce sought.
No Fault Divorce
A “no fault” divorce is one that is based on the mutual separation of two spouses. Either party can apply for this type of divorce. Simply separating from your spouse is not enough to obtain this type of divorce, however. Rather, if a divorce is based solely on separation, that separation must extend for a year or more, without a resumption of marital relations. That means that the spouses must live separate and apart, with no actions by the spouses that objectively show a spousal relationship was reignited during the period.
North Carolina also recognizes divorce on the grounds of one spouse’s incurable insanity. This type of divorce is rare, as its requirements are restrictive. To qualify for this type of divorce, the couple must have lived separate and apart for three consecutive years preceding the divorce action. Moreover, evidence must show that one spouse is suffering from incurable insanity and has been for three years prior to the action for divorce. The law specifies the manner in which this must be proved.
Consent to Divorce
It is not necessary that both spouses consent to a divorce. If the requirements for one of the above types of divorce are met, then the consent of your spouse is not necessary to obtain a divorce.
Divorce is a complex legal matter. In North Carolina, an individual is able to file for divorce without the assistance of a lawyer. However, it is often advantageous to communicate with a lawyer prior to filing for a divorce on your own. Our experienced divorce lawyers at Remington & Dixon, PLLC can give you advice on the common pitfalls of seeking a divorce, and help guide you through the process. Call today for a consultation: 704-817-9050.