What is an Absolute Divorce?
In North Carolina, an “absolute divorce” simply means you are divorced. An absolute divorce can be obtained by either party filing a complaint with the court. You can file the complaint in any county in North Carolina. It does not have to be the county you or your spouse lived in during the marriage. While a court case must be filed in order to get a judgment for absolute divorce, if you hire an attorney you may not have to go to court to get your divorce.
The only requirement in N.C. for obtaining an absolute divorce is that the couple have lived apart for at least 12 months. You don’t need any kind of proof that you were living apart. You only need to have the date that you started living apart and at least one person in the marriage intended that the separation be permanent. Depending on the county you file for divorce in, you could have your divorce in less than 60 days. During the twelve-month separation period, you cannot resume your marriage. Should a court find that you have resumed your marriage, the twelve-month clock will be reset and you will have to wait another year to get divorced.
There is no requirement that you file for divorce immediately. There are many reasons including social security and health insurance that might make it attractive for you to remain married even though you are living apart. At McIlveen Family Law, we can help you make an informed decision regarding the timing of your divorce, so that you can protect your rights.
North Carolina is a “No-Fault” divorce state. To obtain an absolute divorce, the plaintiff must allege and prove the following:
(1) the plaintiff or defendant have resided in North Carolina for six months preceding the filing of the complaint for absolute divorce;
(2) the parties are married;
(3) the parties have been living separate and apart for one year preceding the filing of the complaint for absolute divorce; and
(4) the parties do not intend to resume marital relations.
You can view our forms bank to find the absolute divorce forms you will need to file your own absolute divorce in NC. While you can file a complaint for divorce yourself, it is often wise to consult with an attorney so that you don’t waive any of your rights. If you have already filed for divorce and you are concerned that you may have waived your rights or you are planning to file for divorce and you want to make sure that your rights are protected contact
our office to schedule a consultation.