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What exactly do you have to do to divorce in North Carolina?

When a person decides to move ahead with a divorce, they often want to get the process started without delay so that they can make a clean break and put the marriage in their rearview mirror as soon as possible.

While this mentality is certainly understandable, it’s important to realize that these types of decisions are sometimes made in the heat of the moment, such that rashness and spite prevail over reflection and deliberation. In other words, it’s possible that a person might later regret — and even want to recant — the decision to divorce once their anger subsides.

The good news is that the law here in North Carolina recognizes this reality and, as such, has measures in place designed to make divorce accessible while at the same providing people with sufficient time to ensure that this is a step they really want to take.

Specifically, the law provides that a divorce can be secured in the Tarheel State once the following two conditions are met:

  • One spouse has resided in the state for a minimum of six months
  • The spouses have been separated for a minimum of 12 months

While the first of these conditions is straightforward enough, confusion can sometimes arise concerning the second.

In general, the mandated period of legal separation commences once the spouses start living separate and apart with the intention of this separation becoming permanent. This means that even if the spouses are not yet to the point where they can’t stand being under the same roof and/or are anxious to save money by continuing to live together, they must nevertheless call different places home for an entire year if they want to divorce.

If you would like to learn more about divorce or have questions about a divorce-related issue, please consider speaking with an experienced legal professional who can outline the process and answer your questions.