Divorce in North Carolina

Divorce in North Carolina

Many people have heard the statistics with regard to what percentage of marriages end in divorce in the United States.  Something else that is often talked about the process of getting a divorce and how long that can take. Getting a divorce is a legal proceeding that has some specific legal requirements and is not simply a matter of two people going their separate ways.

Divorce, like most family law topics is very state specific. In this blog we will talk about what is required in order to get a divorce in the state of North Carolina.  Specifically, we will talk about what an absolute divorce is and how someone can obtain one.

Types of divorce

North Carolina has two types of divorce; a divorce from bed and board and an absolute divorce.

  • Divorce from bed and board is a form of legal separation in North Carolina. It fault based and provides for the legal separation of two parties and some post separation support and equitable distribution, when appropriate.  A divorce from bed and board is not a true divorce in that the parties are not free to marry other people.  We discuss the requirements for divorce from bed and board in another Blog.

What is an absolute divorce?

An absolute divorce is what most people are thinking about when they use the term divorce.  In North Carolina, if you have obtained a decree from the court granting and absolute divorce, the bounds of matrimony are officially severed and you are free to marry someone else.

How do I get an absolute divorce?

There are only two grounds to get an absolute divorce in the State of North Carolina. 1. Incurable insanity, and 2. Separation for more than one year.

  • Incurable insanity requires that at least one of the parties be found to be incurably insane by North Carolina doctors, and that because of this insanity the parties have been separate for at least three years.
  • More than one-year separation requires that the parties have been living separate and apart in different households for at least one year and one day, with the intent to remain separate and apart and with no reconciliation.

By far, the vast majority of divorces are due to the separations of the parties.  In order to get a divorce for this, of one the parties must file a complaint after they have been separated for at least one year and a date.

Divorce, as well as other family law issues, can be extremely complicated for those who are not trained to deal with them.  At Gilles Law, we handle North Carolina family law issues including divorce, child custody, child support, and alimony.  If you need a family law attorney in Charlotte or the surround areas, Contact us.