After making the difficult decision to divorce your spouse, it is important to know what the legal requirements are for obtaining a divorce in North Carolina. Because most people are not lawyers, this is not common knowledge and can be quite confusing.
Obtaining A Divorce
Typically, getting the law to recognize your divorce is one of the easier parts of the entire divorce process. In North Carolina, as long as you file the correct paperwork and meet the requirements imposed by statute, your divorce will be processed. As such, in North Carolina, the law only allows a married couple to get divorced on two grounds: absolute divorce and divorce by incurable insanity. Additionally, a spouse can get a Divorce from Bed and Board, a legal action that creates legal separation, but not an actual divorce.
An absolute divorce is the most common way to get divorced in North Carolina. Under the laws governing divorce, a married couple can dissolve their marriage when two requirements are met:
- The couple has been separated from each other for one year; and
- At the time the suit for divorce has been filed, one of the parties has been a resident of North Carolina for six months;
Divorce by Incurable Insanity
The other form of divorce that North Carolina recognizes is divorce by incurable insanity. As the name implies, this divorce only applies if one spouse is considered to have become insane. Typically, this type of divorce only occurs in rare circumstances. The requirements for this divorce are:
- The couple has been separated from each other for three years;
- One spouse has been deemed insane; and
- At the time the suit for divorce has been filed, one of the parties has been a resistant of North Carolina for six months;
Divorce from Bed and Board
A Divorce from Bed and Board is a type of legal action that is based on fault by one spouse. Although it is called a divorce, it does not legally divorce a couple. Instead, it is an order from a court that creates legal separation, while still keeping the marriage bonds intact. Under North Carolina law, a person can get a Divorce from Bed and Board if the other party:
- Abandons his or her family;
- Maliciously turns the other out of doors;
- Uses cruel or barbarous treatment to endanger the life of the other;
- Offers such indignities to the person of the other as to render his or her condition intolerable and life burdensome;
- Becomes an excessive user of alcohol or drugs so as to render the condition of the other spouse intolerable and the life of that spouse burdensome; or
- Commits adultery;
Although obtaining a divorce is the actual legal process required for dissolving a marriage, it is not the only thing that needs to be done. Typically, obtaining the divorce is the easy part, while distributing assets and liabilities, determining child custody, and setting child support and alimony, are very difficult and contentious. As such, you should consider consulting and hiring a Divorce Attorney to help you with your divorce.
Contact Us at Minick Law Firm to set up a personalized consultation with one of our Divorce lawyers. After speaking with one of our attorneys, you will know the legal standing of your situation and what is best for you.
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