Can My Spouse Refuse a Divorce?refuse a divorce

Can a spouse refuse a divorce in North Carolina? You may have seen a few courtroom dramas on television and may be under the impression that if your spouse doesn’t “sign the papers,” that your divorce cannot be granted. This is simply untrue and is common misconception about the divorce process in North Carolina.

What Does North Carolina Require for a Divorce to Happen?

As we have discussed in one of our earlier entries, a divorce in North Carolina may be granted if the spouses have lived separate and apart for a year and one day. Only one spouse needs to intend that the separation be permanent.

What if My Spouse Won’t Sign the Paperwork?

North Carolina allows either spouse to begin the divorce process. This is done by filing a complaint for divorce. The complaint must be served on the other spouse and they will then have thirty days to file their response to the complaint.

If a spouse refuses to cooperate or respond to the divorce complaint, the process can still proceed without having their input. This is known as an uncontested divorce or a default divorce. The party who filed for the divorce simply needs to show the court that they made every attempt at trying to serve the papers on their spouse and that proper service was conducted.

What Does a Default Divorce Do?

A default (or uncontested) divorce has the same exact legal effect as a normal divorce. The only difference is that the spouse who refused to cooperate does not get a chance to have the court hear their side of the argument, if any.

Consider setting up a consultation with a family law lawyer at Gilles Law, PLLC. You can reach us at 980-272-8438 at our office in Uptown Charlotte. We are here to assist with your inquiries.

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