Divorce in North Carolina


Do You Need A Divorce Lawyer?

Deciding to divorce or separate is rarely easy. There are many things to consider, and emotionally it can be debilitating. Issues from asset division to child custody can make things even more complicated, and increase the need for a good divorce attorney.

Our attorneys can help you through the legal process of divorce or separation, and all that can come with it. Understanding what generally happens in divorce or legal separation can ease the stress and anxiety about the future and can help you achieve some peace of mind.

How can I get legally separated in North Carolina?

A separation agreement or other written document is not required to be legally separated in North Carolina. To be considered separated from your spouse, you just need to be living in different homes, and at least one of you needs to intend that the separation be permanent. In general, you are not legally separated if your relationship has ended but you still live in the same home, or if you live in separate homes without the intent to be permanently separated (for example, for work purposes).

What is a Divorce from Bed and Board?

In spite of the confusing name, a Divorce from Bed and Board (a “DBB”) is not a divorce. A DBB is a court-ordered separation. DBB orders are available only under limited circumstances where the spouse requesting the order can prove serious fault, such as adultery or drug abuse. Once you have separated due to a DBB order, you can still resolve issues related to the separation with a separation agreement, as if the separation had been voluntary. You can also file to ask the court to resolve issues such as property division and post-separation support through the DBB case. Once you are separated due to a DBB order, you will still need to wait one year and file for an absolute divorce to legally end the marriage.

What are the requirements for a divorce in North Carolina?

You are eligible to file for divorce, also called an “absolute divorce,” only after being separated for at least a year and a day. This means that you must have been living in different homes and that at least one of you intended that the separation be permanent during that time. To file for a divorce in North Carolina, either you or your spouse must currently live in North Carolina and must have lived in the state for at least six months before the divorce case is filed.

Does my spouse have to agree to the divorce?

No. As long as you are eligible for a divorce, your spouse does not have to agree to the divorce. If you file for divorce, your spouse does not have to complete or sign any paperwork, file anything with the court, or go to court for the divorce hearing. However, your spouse must receive proper legal notice of the divorce case that you file.

Can I get divorced after less than a year if I prove fault?

No. Unlike some other states, North Carolina only allows for no-fault divorce, which requires at least one year of separation.

There are many other questions to be answered, call us now and find out how we can help. The call and consultation is free, and we service all of Harnett County in North Carolina.

Miller and Smith Law

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What Our Clients Say

Marshall has a client for life, he helped me with a custody battle for my daughter, Will be recommending everyone to him that has any issues.

Metal Worx inc
Feb 22, 2018

Service Areas

Service Areas
Harnett County - Lillington, Holly Springs,
Apex, Cary NC

Open Mon-Fri 9:30am - 4pm

About Us

At Miller & Smith Law, we help our clients with divorce, separation, child custody and support, and alimony.
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