Divorce laws vary from state to state. The criteria and requirements for divorce are based on the state laws of North Carolina. North Carolina allows for a no-fault divorce, but it comes with a specific requirement that you and your spouse must be separated for one year. This means that before you can get a divorce, you and your spouse have to reside in different places for at least one year. Additionally, at least one of the parties must intend to end the marriage. You must be able to prove that you and your spouse were indeed living in separate residences in order to comply with the law.
Divorce Laws in North Carolina
North Carolina law states that individuals seeking an absolute divorce must both have lived separately for a period of one year. One of the other parties may apply for divorce, but at least one of you must have lived in North Carolina for at least six months before filing. You must live in separate residences. For example, you cannot both live in the same house, in different rooms. This would not qualify as living separately. Couples do not need to have a legal separation in order to file for divorce. However, you must be able to prove that you indeed lived apart for a year.
Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What is an Absolute Divorce?”
Resumption of Marital Relations
It can happen that some couples get back together again before they finally decide to end their unions. Couples may end up trying to save the marriage, only to decide that it really is over. When this happens, the one-year separation clock may need to be reset. Generally, the resumption of marital relations does not refer to random incidences of sexual contact. Instead, it is meant to refer to a “renewal of the husband-and-wife relationship.” However, if you and your spouse were staying together in a marital relationship, you will need to begin the separation from the start. This means you will need to separate for a year from the time you decide again to end the marriage.
It is one thing to say that you are separated, but another to prove it. You will need to provide proof that you and your spouse are not living under the same roof and that you have been living separately for at least one year. Some ways to prove your separate living arrangements include such things as a copy of your lease or mortgage, utility bills for each residence, bank statements, driver’s licenses, voter registration cards, and employment pay stubs, among others. You will want to gather information to show that you and your spouse each had their own residence in a separate place. The dates will be critical in proving that you fulfilled the year requirement. Things such as your bank statements will further show that you are leading separate lives and are no longer sharing funds.
To learn more about separation requirements and to start the divorce process, contact our experienced attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to schedule a consultation 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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