How Long Will an Uncontested Divorce Take in North Carolina?

2-1-1024x1024How Long Will an Uncontested Divorce Take in North Carolina?

When you make the decision to end your marriage, you and your spouse will begin the divorce process. In North Carolina, absolute divorce is the name given to divorce that ends your marriage. You may be hoping to dissolve your union as quickly as possible, and you might wonder how long it will take to complete an uncontested divorce in North Carolina. The length of time can vary greatly from couple to couple, and there are various factors that will contribute to the time it takes to get a divorce.


Uncontested Divorce in North Carolina

An uncontested divorce is a no-fault divorce in which both parties agree to the basic settlement terms. An absolute divorce, otherwise, simply called a divorce, is generally no-fault. North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state, and couples do not need to provide grounds for divorce to end their union. An uncontested divorce means that both parties agree with the basic terms of settlement or have a separation agreement in place. The settlement agreement may also provide for how to resolve disputes.


Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What does uncontested divorce mean?”


One-Year Separation Requirement

North Carolina is one of only a handful of states that requires a separation period prior to divorce. Couples must live apart for at least one year before they can seek a divorce. Couples should utilize this time to resolve settlement and custody matters to ensure a smooth and easy divorce once they meet the one-year separation requirement. Couples must be aware that if they resume living together during the separation period, they must begin the separation period again if they ultimately decide to divorce.


Separation Agreementstressed-out-businesswoman-at-computer-1947084-scaled

A separation agreement should address matters of division of property, child support, and alimony. A divorce is uncontested when a couple agrees to the issues in their separation agreement. It is important to note that a separation agreement needs to be fair to both parties. In addition, if the agreement includes matters regarding the children, the details must be in their best interests. Couples will need to work through the major settlement issues to come to a fair agreement. If parties cannot agree, they may need to seek help through divorce mediation. A mediator is a neutral party who has training and experience to guide couples through dispute resolution.


How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take?

Divorcing couples must live apart for at least one year before they can complete the divorce process. Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, a party may file for divorce immediately after the one-year separation period. The time frame to complete the process depends on the court schedule. As long as you have already negotiated a separation agreement, the divorce could be complete in just a few months after filing as long as you have met the requirements. It is best to resolve potential disagreements during the one-year separation period.

If you are ready to divorce, you will want to discuss the details with an experienced divorce attorney. Contact us at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to schedule an initial consultation.





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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Separation and Divorce | North Carolina Judicial Branch (


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