Different Types of Divorces in North Carolina

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: ” I’m considering separating from my spouse; what actions should I refrain from doing?”


The decision to get a divorce can be difficult to make. Whether there was infidelity in your marriage, irreconcilable differences, or you and your partner simply fell out of love, the divorce process can be taxing and difficult. Couples starting the divorce process might not know that there are different types of divorces they can pursue in North Carolina. Each couple is unique and certain divorces might be better for certain situations. The following are the types of divorces available to couples in North Carolina.


man-woman-heart-break-Charlotte-Monroe-Mooresville-Divorce-Lawyer-300x141Uncontested Divorce


An uncontested divorce is probably the “simplest” of the options. In this type of divorce, both spouses are on board with the divorce and are essentially working together, with their attorneys, to come to an agreement. Usually, this is done without a trial because both individuals are willing to work together to come to a resolution. An uncontested divorce is typically the quickest and least expensive divorce option.


Contested Divorce


Unlike in an uncontested divorce, a contested divorce is usually filled with tension and hostility. Couples are unable to agree on certain issues such as alimony, child support, division of the assets, etc. In these cases, there is usually a trial involved during which a judge makes a determination on the contested issues. Each party is able to present his or her case and evidence as to why certain requests have been made. In addition to trials, there are usually many hearings and even settlement conferences to try and resolve the contested issues.


Default Divorce


A default divorce is when one party files for divorce and the other party fails to respond. These types of divorces are not especially common and normally only occur when one party cannot be found, has fled the country, or otherwise left the area without notice or the next forwarding address.


Summary Divorce


A summary divorce is usually an option for only those couples who have not been married for a long period of time. There is not a set time period for this type of divorce, but it is typically around five years or less of marriage. This divorce option is ideal for those couples with little to divide during the divorce process — little to no debts, assets, or property, and no children.


Collaborative Divorce


Couples can work with collaborative divorce attorneys to reach an agreement outside of the court system. However, if an agreement cannot be made, the attorneys for both sides are required to resign. The process then starts all over again until a settlement can be made or the couple uses a different approach.


The family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are here to help you with your divorce proceedings. Whether you and your spouse are on amicable terms and wish to terminate your marriage with little to no issues, or the process will be a heated battle at every turn, we are here for you. We understand that a divorce is a difficult process to go through and we approach every situation with care and compassion. Contact us today for a consultation. If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter and need the help of experienced family-law attorneys in or around Charlotte, Lake Norman, or our new office in Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.







The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes two Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.







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