North Carolina divorce details
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Uncontested vs Contested Divorce in North Carolina
Uncontested divorce is one of the traditional ways of marriage termination. It lasts approximately 12 months depending on the case and the couple signs a Separation Agreement. The court recognizes the presence of both spouses and grants only one true verdict for the current case. In North California, if the couple has had a separation period for nearly a year and has no claims on each other, such a divorce is also called an absolute divorce. This means that the couple is going to be legally divorced. In a contested divorce procedure, the principal disadvantage is that a couple can’t find an agreement regarding the most significant issues mentioned above. A contested divorce usually takes place when a couple has general business, estate, and shares in various companies. In such cases, it is difficult to divide expensive property fairly. Thus, a third party such as an attorney, can help the spouses reach an agreement. If the situation with the contested divorce is too confusing, the Superior Court appoints several hearings and stipulates the mediation process.
Uncontested Divorce in North Carolina
As we have reviewed above, this type of the divorce process is the most relevant for an amicable separation. There are several grounds for one:
- Cruel behavior towards one of the spouses or children
- Alcohol or drug addiction
- Constant absence of one of the spouses
These and other grounds are examined when the Court stipulates a Final Judgement. As a rule, an uncontested divorce has several steps. Let’s have a more detailed look at them.
First of all, the couple (Petitioner and Defendant) files the court documents concerning all the aspects of the divorce. Then one of the spouses notifies the other that the divorce process has begun and serves them with all the necessary documents for the court. The next step is to stipulate a court hearing and the judge schedules a particular date for your case. Finally, the last is to go to the court hearing and put your mark on the Final Judgement Certificate (Final Decree).
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Residency Requirements to file for divorce in North Carolina
According to the North Carolina legislation, there is only one central residency requirement that must be met to file for divorce:
- One of the spouses should have been living in North Carolina for at least six (6) months before the couple decides to designate the Petition for the divorce. For example, if you lived in North Carolina for 6 months and then moved to another state for some time, you will still be considered a resident of North Carolina. However, if you are anxious to change your location permanently, your residence in North Carolina is, unfortunately, annulled (North Carolina Statutes - Chapter 50 - Sections: 50-8)
How to file for an Uncontested Divorce in North Carolina
You must first sign the Petition to the court for the divorce process. You have to meet the residency requirement of having lived in North Carolina for at least 6 months. You must then file the summons on your spouse. You have to take their allowance for filing the documentation for them. You can deliver all the paperwork to your spouse through the post, email or yourself. After you serve your spouse with all the necessary documents, they have thirty days to write you an answer for your Petition; they can also do it by post or email. Make sure to make 2 - 3 copies of each document for safe measures. Afterwards, you should attend the divorce hearing or mediation session if your case is a contested one. You may take an attorney to represent your interests in court, or you can do it on your own. You should also consider using online services for the preparation of your documents to save time and money. The final step is to attend the divorce hearing and answer all the questions that the Judge asks. At the Final Judgment, if all controversial questions are resolved, you are conferred a Divorce Certificate.
DIY Divorce in North Carolina
Do-it-Yourself Divorce refers to a process where all the steps of the divorce procedures are arranged by the spouses independently. This involves preparing all the documents and representing yourself in court without the help of an attorney. The step of preparing the documents correctly can be quite tricky, so you can request the help of online services. If you are fully prepared and are fully aware of the process, a DIY Divorce can help save you a lot of time and money.
How much does an Uncontested Divorce cost in North Carolina?
The average cost of an uncontested divorce in North Carolina is around $10,000. The final cost depends on the case and factors such as the number of children involved, the number of mediation sessions, and others. Below is a list of potential, additional fees that may be involved:
- Legal fee for the divorce
- Fees of child or spousal support
- Fee for mediation sessions
- Fee for court hearings
- Fee for the preparation of documents (online or with the help of an attorney)
- Additional fees for the Court Friend, witnesses, and any third parties (if required)
All these factors are significant in determining the total price of the divorce procedure.
How Long Does It Take to Get Divorced in North Carolina?
In the State of North Carolina, the average length of an uncontested divorce is approximately 6 months. It involves all the steps and may require additional time for certain issues such as a postponed court hearing. A contested divorce requires much more time, and the issues can vary, depending on your case. It usually lasts for 12-14 months. The court makes a final decision about all the terms regarding the divorce process.
How to serve your spouse in North Carolina
In North Carolina, you are not allowed to deliver your spouse with any of the official paperwork yourself. You must use the service of the Sheriff or send it through certified email. The cost of using the service of the Sheriff is $30, but it is the easiest way. When the Sheriff delivers the documents, they sign the notice that the delivery was successful.
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Documents You Need to Get a Divorce in North Carolina
Below is a list of all the main documents you need to file for divorce in North Carolina. However, you are not required to complete all of them as it depends on your individual case.
- Complaint about Divorce
- Domestic Action Cover Sheet (AOC-CV-750)
- Civil Summons ( AOC-CV-100)
- The Petition to Sue/Appeal as an Indigent (AOC-G-106)
- Notice of Hearing
- Certificate for Absolute Divorce
- Judgment of Divorce
- Affidavit of Service of Process by Registered or Certified Mail (DHHS 2089)
If you choose the online preparation of your documents from us, you can be sure that they will be approved by the court.
Note that you are not allowed to send the documents to the court online; you must print them out and file them physically.
Online Divorce in North Carolina
Online divorce refers to the process of preparing all the necessary documents accurately through an online service. You just need to order the papers, pay the filing fee, print out the documents, and file them at court. Such a process can help you save a lot of money as compared to getting the documents completed with the help of an attorney. For just $149, you can rest assured that the documents are prepared accurately and on time to be approved by the court.
Rules for child support in North Carolina
In North Carolina, the court makes the decision regarding child custody to fit the best interests of the child. There are several factors that are taken into account when dealing with this issue:
- Health state of both parents
- Financial state of both parents
- Future financial outlook of both parents
- Location of both parents
- Number of children
- Age of the children.
There is a notion referred to as physical custody. It refers to whom the child lives with after the divorce procedure. Physical custody includes the majority of the child’s expenses and care. In North Carolina, both parents must support their children until they reach the age of 21. After this age, the child is considered to be an adult, and both parents are not liable to support them financially any more. Grandparents also have rights to visit and support the child as long as they are willing to do it.
Rules for spousal support in North Carolina
Spousal support is an indispensable part of the whole divorce process. After the divorce procedure, the more financial insecure spouse may request spousal support, or alimony, from the other. There are many factors that influence the decision of the court regarding this issue:
- Marital behavior of both spouses
- Income of both spouses
- Age and the physical health of both spouses
- Term of the marriage
- Living standards of both spouses
- Level of education of both spouses
- Debt rate of both spouses
- Tax rate of both spouses
If the spouses have already come to an agreement, the judge will take it into consideration.
Division of property in North Carolina
Division of property is also considered to be an integral part of the divorce process. Sometimes, it can be difficult to distinguish between marital and separate property. Marital property are those that the spouses acquired together during their marriage. Separate property refers to individual property that each spouse inherited, bought, or received prior to the marriage.There are certain factors that affect the decision regarding property division:
- Duration of the legal marriage
- Age and physical state of both spouses
- Income of both spouses
- Each spouse’s financial situation
- Child custody terms
- Current value of the property
- Individual debts of both spouses.
All these factors can be crucial as the court takes into account all the small details when making a decision on how to divide property between the spouses.
Divorce Mediation in North Carolina
Mediation is a process aimed at helping couples negotiate and come to terms with the issues of their ddivorce. If you and your spouse have a contested case, you are required to attend mediation sessions. The third party mediator (lawyer or other legal body) doesn’t order something, but they may provide advice on what decisions are reasonable and express their opinion on what the court would do in certain cases. The court stipulates the date of the mediation process, and you and your spouse attend in order to resolve any differences. This process is truly needed for a fairer and faster agreement between the two spouses.
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How to divorce a missing spouse in North Carolina
You can divorce a spouse in North Carolina even if you are unaware of their location. You must first attempt to serve them with all the necessary paperwork. You can ask their family and friends for their possible whereabouts or request the help of the local police. If your attempts are unsuccessful, you can announce a missing person report in the local newspaper with the approval of the court. Such a process can be more complex than a typical divorce process, but it is still possible to terminate a marriage without your spouse’s participation.
Default Divorce in North Carolina
Default divorce occurs when one of the spouses fails or refuses to sign the Petition and other necessary documents for divorce. The procedure takes place even without the agreement of both parties. A default divorce usually has the same grounds as an uncontested divorce, but will cost you more due to the issues you need to solve. In North Carolina, the waiting period is usually appointed by the court which averages six (6) months. The Final Judgement is the final step of the entire procedure.
Default vs No-Fault Divorce in North Carolina
As we have already pointed out, a No-Fault divorce requires fewer efforts than a default one. Default divorce includes some misunderstandings, and therefore can last longer than a No-Fault one. The fees for both divorces can also vary; the No-Fault divorce is much cheaper than a default one.
How can I get a Default Divorce Hearing in North Carolina?
The Petitioner must first file with the court in the county where they live. Then both spouses should file with court all the valid documents for their case, according to the jurisdiction of the particular county. The Petitioner should then provide the Defendant with copies of all the paperwork. After the preparation of documents, the court either approves or rejects them. After a certain waiting period, the date of the first court hearing is appointed. The following steps vary depending on the court decision.
Annulment of marriage in North Carolina
Annulment is a process the recognizes a marriage as invalid, or as it never existed. The grounds for one in North Carolina include:
- The marriage process was concluded through fraud
- One of the spouses was under the age of 18 at the time of marriage registration
- Illness of one of the spouses
The court will look at every single issue inorder to make a right decision regarding your case.
Legal Separation in North Carolina
In North Carolina, a couple is considered to be legally separated the moment they start to live apart in different houses. If the spouses live in the same house but insist that they live independently, the court will not consider it as legally separated. The spouses must live separately for one year before the legal divorce proceeding starts. You are not required to create a separation agreement or any other document to file for legal separation.
Same-Sex Divorce in North Carolina
Same-sex marriage and divorce were recognized in North Carolina in October 2014. Same-sex couples have the same rights and liabilities as heterosexual couples and theor divorce process is the same as a regular divorce procedure; the grounds, stipulations, and rules are the same as well.
Military Divorce in North Carolina
You and your military spouse must meet all the state requirements just like in any other case to file for divorce. You will need a Sheriff to provide your military spouse with all the necessary paperwork, or deliver them yourself.If you have difficulty reaching your military spouse, you can ask their commander to deliver the documents or claim to the court regarding your spouse’s situation.
How to divorce a spouse in a jail in North Carolina
The spouse in jail must also be served all the necessary documents for divorce through the post or certified email. Note that you may not deliver them personally to your spouse. The rest of the divorce process is the same as in any other case.
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Divorce filing fee
Court filing fees are in addition to the cost of using DivorceFiller.com. This cost may vary by county. Please check with your local courthouse to determine the exact amount.
Can a fee be waived?
The filing fee may be waived for indigent petitioners. You should attach the certificate of your income and complete an Affidavit for the court hearing. The court will examine your case and either approve or deny your request.
How we can help
We understand that the divorce process can be quite difficult and stressful. That is why our services are aimed at helping you get through the process as quickly and easy as possible. We prepare all the required paperwork that need to be filed with the court accurately and on time. You can rest assured that your documents are approved by the court.
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