Divorce in North Carolina is the easiest part of ending a marriage, perhaps in every sense of the phrase. From a legal perspective, all a divorce does is officially end the marriage. The divorce itself does not involve the issues of money or children. Divorce is, in North Carolina, merely a status change which does not directly impact other issues. Despite this, you’ll find many divorce law firms discussing issues like custody and property more than they discuss actually getting divorced. Our firm, for example, sponsors monthly seminars which address the multitude of issues found in most divorce disputes. With that in mind, do you actually need an attorney to get a divorce?
There are only two ways to get a divorce in North Carolina
The first and most common way to obtain a North Carolina divorce is to prove a one year separation.
The other way to obtain a North Carolina divorce is to prove incurable insanity, requiring a minimum three year separation.
That’s it. There is no need to have an attorney involved. Once you have completed one of the above pre-requisites, you can file for absolute divorce. In North Carolina, this is typically granted within about 60 days of the date of filing. We have provided some illustrative forms that give you a sense of how the divorce documents will look when finalized.
So why do so many couples hire an attorney to handle their divorce? In reality, it’s not the “divorce” itself that an attorney focuses on – it’s all of the other issues surrounding it. If you have children, are fighting about splitting property, or are concerned about receiving or paying alimony, this is where having an attorney can make all the difference by laying out the law and helping you reach an agreement with your spouse.
Although it is not recommended, some people choose not to use attorneys to handle their divorce, meaning these couples decide all of the issues listed above on their own. If you have any issues relating to property distribution or claims to alimony, do not complete a divorce without consulting an attorney. You may choose to complete a Do-It-Yourself Divorce, but if you have any questions, please contact an attorney.