Under North Carolina law, there are two types of divorce, the first being Absolute Divorce and the second being Divorce from Bed and Board (with Divorce from Bed and Board being extremely rare). An Absolute Divorce completely and finally ends the marriage between two people. North Carolina is a “no-fault” divorce state.
Separation for over a year – also known as a “no-fault” divorce
An absolute divorce may be filed for and granted if a couple has lived separately (separate addresses, not just separate bedrooms) for more than one year, providing at least one of the spouses has been a resident of North Carolina for at least six months prior to filing. Some states acknowledge that living in separate parts of the house could be considered living separately; however, in North Carolina, the spouses must live in different places altogether, and at least one of the spouses must intend for the separation to be permanent (so temporary separations like military deployments or time away to care for a sick relative “don’t count” as valid reasons for filing for divorce).
Make sure all of your other legal issues are addressed BEFORE you get divorced.
The entry of a judgment for divorce will prevent either spouse from filing for equitable distribution (property division) or alimony, so those issues MUST be addressed prior to filing for divorce through either a separation agreement, a consent order, or a trial. If your ex-spouse has filed for divorce, and you are not satisfied with your property division or alimony terms OR if you don’t have those agreements in a signed written document like a separation agreement, see an attorney right away!
If you have questions or need some advice about divorce in North Carolina, the attorneys at Haas & Associates, PA are ready to help. Contact us today to see what we can do for you.