You know that your marriage is over, and you’re just ready to be done so that you can reclaim your freedom.
So, how long is this process going to take? Well, like most answers in the law, the answer is, “That depends.” Here’s what can influence the amount of time that your divorce takes:
Have one of your lived in this state for at least six months?
There’s something called “jurisdiction,” which is the right for a specific court to hear a case and make decisions. This means you can’t simply move here to escape an unhappy marriage and quickly file for divorce.
North Carolina requires at least one party to the divorce to be a resident of the state for six months prior to filing before it will accept jurisdiction.
Have you been living separate and apart from your spouse for at least one year?
North Carolina has a one-year separation requirement before you can file for divorce, so if you haven’t already separated from your spouse, you need to do so right away to get the process moving.
While some states allow couples to live separately while still under the same roof, North Carolina requires you to have a separate residence from your spouse. You must also cease all intimate relations with your spouse, and at least one of you must have no intention of continuing the marriage following the separation.
Have you and your spouse agreed upon all the major issues?
The vast majority of divorces in this state are “no-fault” divorces, but that doesn’t mean they’re uncontested. An uncontested divorce is one where both parties agree on all the major issues, like custody of the children, spousal support and the division of debts and assets.
If you and your spouse can agree on all these things, and you both return all the documents that have to be signed right away, you may be able to get through the process within a couple of months, depending on the court’s schedule.
If you can’t agree, you have a contested divorce – which means litigation. In those situations, you may be struggling to wrap things up for the next year (or longer).
Whatever your situation, you’ll definitely get through your divorce a lot easier when you have experienced legal guidance on your side.