At Road to Resolution, we focus on helping married couples find an amicable way through separation and divorce. There are indeed ways to avoid conflict and confrontation, and I think many individuals here in North Carolina don’t realize just how simple the process of filing for an uncontested divorce is.
In fact, I’m happy to share that the reality of an uncontested divorce is rarely as difficult or as confrontational as you might think.
If you’ve established six months of residency and already have one year of separation, you can successfully file for a no-fault, uncontested divorce. That’s it!
It is important to note that there are legal implications when filing for divorce, so I strongly encourage you to seek legal guidance before filing.
So, exactly what is an uncontested divorce?
Uncontested divorce defined
The proper term for divorce in North Carolina is "absolute divorce." The word "absolute" has no special significance other than to indicate your marriage has ended permanently. (In the majority of other states, absolute divorce is simply referred to as "divorce.")
Couples who wish to pursue an uncontested divorce can do so by filing "no-fault" grounds. In a no-fault divorce, neither party is required to prove that the other person caused the breakdown of the marriage. This makes the divorce process much faster and less difficult.
In today's society, no-fault divorce makes good sense, considering most marriages don’t break-up for any specific reason. Instead, many couples simply grow apart or discover that they can no longer live happily together.
Before you file for divorce
You may not end up hiring an attorney to handle your divorce, but it is still a good idea to reach out to a licensed professional for some preliminary expert advice. You don’t know what you don’t know—and an expert in this field will be best equipped to prep you for the process ahead.
This is also a good time to think about how you’d like to approach the divorce process. There are several options to consider—we’re happy to guide you through a variety of collaborative options.
Beginning the divorce process
After you’ve spoken with a pro and learned about your divorce options, you or your partner are ready to officially file for an uncontested divorce. As mentioned earlier, the only two prerequisites for filing for divorce in this state are to have lived apart for a year, at least six months residency.
If those two requisites have been met, you can petition for divorce. You’ll need to select one of two grounds. Although couples have two options in this state, most often the first requisite below is the one couples move forward with:
- One year of separation, (in this instance, the filing must occur no sooner than the first day after the full year from the date of your separation. Example: You separated on January 1, 2020; the first day you can file for divorce is January 1, 2021); or
- Incurable insanity and separation for three years
Filing your divorce papers
This is another area in which we can lend a hand. We’ll help you understand the documents you need to collect, fill out, and file, and how best to prepare yourself and your family.
My office has several services that take the guesswork out of what you are putting to paper. We’ll help you pull together the basics needed, such as:
- Complaint (including your request for divorce, grounds for the request, and you and your spouse’s personal information)
- Civil Summons (this must accompany the complaint)
Having a licensed professional walk you through the divorce process and draft your legal documents will let you breathe easy knowing that all you need to do is focus on working things out in a fair and collaborative way.
What happens next?
Please know you’re not alone. We’re here to help! Give us a call today at (980) 260-1600 to learn more about the process of filing for divorce. Our Charlotte-based team is here for you.
The ROAD to RESOLUTION Divorce 101 Series can help you differentiate the fact from the fiction, and guide you towards the support you need during this difficult time. Use our resources and services to find all the info you need—from pre divorce education to drafting essential legal documents. Please contact us today to find out more about how we can help you.
Note: This blog is intended to be informational only and shall not be construed as legal advice. To learn about the legal consequences of separation and filing for divorce, please contact www.ROADtoRESOLUTION.com.