What is the Waiting Period for Divorce in North Carolina?
Making the decision to divorce is likely one of the most difficult things you will ever do. Once you realize that you cannot make your marriage work, the next step is to begin the divorce process. In North Carolina, divorce is called absolute divorce. North Carolina requires couples to live separately for a period of one year before they can seek a no-fault divorce. The one-year period is required to ensure that you are ready to end your marriage. One partner will then file a petition for absolute divorce.
Waiting Period in North Carolina
To seek an absolute divorce in North Carolina, couples must wait for 30 days after they file a divorce petition with the court. This 30-day waiting period is in place to allow couples to come to an agreement about the terms of their divorce settlement. The time also allows both parties to make certain that they want to end their marriage. The 30-day period begins once you serve your partner with divorce. Your spouse then has 30 days to respond to the divorce. If partners agree to the divorce, they can speed up the process with a 30-day waiver.
Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “How long does getting a divorce take?”
What is a 30-Day Waiver?
When a spouse is served with divorce papers, they generally have 30 days to respond. If the party agrees to the divorce, they may sign a waiver. This essentially gives up the requirement to wait 30 days to respond to the divorce. Instead, the divorce can proceed immediately. You can sign a 30-day waiver if you and your partner agree to the divorce and agree to settlement terms. Settlement terms include such things as the distribution of property, child custody, and more.
The first divorce hearing is usually held about one to two weeks after the end of the 30-day waiting period. It may be held sooner if you sign a waiver. The divorce process can be fast and easy if you both agree to the settlement terms. If a couple does not agree to the terms, the judge may require you to seek mediation before a hearing. Mediation is a meeting with a professional third party who helps facilitate dispute resolution in divorce. Complicated disagreements can stall a divorce. When couples can’t agree to the settlement terms, the divorce can go on for months until they reach a resolution.
When Can I Remarry After Divorce?
Some states require a waiting period for remarriage after divorce. North Carolina does not require any type of waiting period to remarry. However, you must have a complete and final absolute divorce prior to getting married again. If you wish to obtain a marriage license less than 30 days after your divorce is final, you will typically need to provide a certified copy of your signed divorce decree. You should check with your local county to verify the documents you must provide to obtain a marriage license.
Divorce is easier and less stressful with guidance from a compassionate attorney. Call us at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to discuss your divorce with our legal team.
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.
Everything You Need to Know About Divorce Mediation (brides.com)
Separation and Divorce | North Carolina Judicial Branch (nccourts.gov)
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