NORTH CAROLINA DIVORCE
When the defendant is a nonresident, then you must have been a bona fide resident of this state for six months prior to the filing of the complaint, which must be stated in the complaint and proved at the final hearing (Drivers License, etc.). If both parties currently reside in the state, then there is no time period required.
If you have minor children living with your spouse in another state for over six months then you should consider filing in that state as that court has jurisdiction over the children. You spouse can waive that jurisdiction in writing.
County of Filing:
You should file the divorce in the county your spouse lives in, or in the county that you both lived in when you separated, or in your county if your spouse lives out of state. You or your spouse must have a North Carolina address in the county of filing. North Carolina civilian residents living overseas may file in North Carolina if they have maintained their residency in North Carolina.
Active duty members of the military (or their spouses) may file in North Carolina if they have been stationed in North Carolina for six months or were residents of North Carolina when they entered active duty. Smart Divorce.com staff includes former active duty officers and enlisted personnel and are completely knowledgeable on the special military requirements and the “Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act”. Our staff prides themselves on the service they provide our military members.
GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE: NO-FAULT or FAULT ?
No-Fault Based Grounds: (1) Living separate and apart for one year.
Grounds for divorce from bed and board (legal separation):
(2) Maliciously turns the other out of doors.
(3) By cruel or barbarous treatment endangers the life of the other.
(4) Offers such indignities to the person of the other as to render his or her condition intolerable and life burdensome.
(5) Alcohol and drug abuse.
WAITING PERIOD:North Carolina law requires that when utilizing the simplified divorce procedure, thirty (30) days must elapse from the commencement of the action instituting the divorce proceeding before the court will grant a judgment of dissolution of marriage.
PROPERTY OF THE MARRIAGE:
In a divorce, the property (land, house, buildings, and items of personal property) owned (and debts owed) by the couple is divided between the parties. In an uncontested divorce, this division is accomplished by means of a Marital Separation Agreement (MSA). You and your spouse must agree to the property and debt division and memorialize your agreement in the Marital Separation Agreement, which will be incorporated by reference into the Decree of Divorce that ultimately ends your marriage. You may agree to divide the property any way you like, as long as a basic fairness is maintained. You do not need to list items already divided or not an important issue in the divorce. You may revise the MSA after receipt of the documents from us by sending an email with your changes. There is never a charge for revisions at any time up to one year.
If you cannot agree on any item of this division, the dissolution of marriage transforms into a contested divorce. If at the final hearing the divorce is still contested we do not provide advice for that hearing. You may need to consult an attorney or be prepared to tell the judge why you feel your requested division of property is fair.
Spousal Support is either agreed upon by the parties or determined by the judge in a contested hearing. We cannot give legal advice regarding spousal support but will include your request in the documents.
The questionnaire you fill out will outline the custody, visitation and support for the children. We will prepare the documents accordingly, and we will also prepare a Marital Separation Agreement (at no additional cost) which outlines in specific detail all the provisions regarding the children. Both parties must attend the parenting class or get a waiver. A list of the places in North Carolina to attend may be obtained from the court.
The child support will either be an amount you and your spouse agree upon, or it will be determined for you by the court, according to the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. If you wish the court to calculate the amount then you will need to file the standardized Child Support Guidelines form and Child Support Income Statement/Affidavit which we provide. See “North Carolina Child Support Calculator” on any search engine such as Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.
You may have Joint Legal Custody or Sole Legal Custody. This determines how the decisions are made regarding the raising of the child(ren).
Physical custody may be with one residential parent or “SPLIT CUSTODY” where the child(ren) live a substantial time with each parent.
This can be any program agreed upon by the parties and may change from time to time. If the parties cannot agree then the state guidelines are in effect. State guidelines are outlined in the MSA provided with your documents. You do not need to list your present visitation agreement as it will change from time to time but you may if you wish. “No Visitation” or “Restricted Visitation” may be requested by supplying the reason on the questionnaire.
You must file the divorce documents in the Circuit Court in the county that you are filing in. Some court addresses for larger counties are as follows:
Wake County District Court: 316 Fayetteville St Mall, Raleigh, NC 27601 Phone: (919) 755-4105
Durham County District Court: 201 East Main St., Durham, NC 27701 Phone: (919) 564-7070
Durham County Family Court: 201 N. Roxboro St., 1st Floor, Durham, NC 27701 Phone: 919-564-7220 Fax: 919-564-7089
Guilford County District Court: 201 South Eugene St., Greensboro, NC 27401 Phone: (336) 574-4302
Forsyth County District Court: 200 N Main St., Winston Salem, NC 27120 Phone: (336) 761-2250
Mecklenburg County District Court: 832 East Fourth St., Charlotte, NC 28202 Phone: (704) 686-0400
Cumberland County District Court: 117 Dick St., Fayetteville, NC 28301 Phone: (910) 678-2902
Cumberland County Family Court: Cumberland County Courthouse, Suite 211 (Second floor) 117 Dick Street P.O. Box 363, Fayetteville, N.C. 28302
Phone: (910) 678-2929 Fax: (910) 486-8555
Gaston County District Court: 325 North Marietta St., Gastonia, NC 28052-2331 Phone: (704) 852-3100
Buncombe County District Court: 60 Court Plaza, Asheville, NC 28801 Phone: (828) 232-2605
Buncombe County Family Court: 60 Court Plaza, Asheville, NC 28801 Phone: (828) 232-2605
The court filing fees for a divorce in North Carolina is approximately $144.
If your spouse won't sign and must be served, then the sheriff may charge a fee of around $15 to serve your spouse.
If you don't know the whereabouts of your spouse, then your spouse will need to be served by publication. The average publication fee is approximately $75.
You may call the Clerk of the Court in your county to determine the exact fees in your county.
METHODS OF SERVICE:
1. The most common way is to have your spouse sign the documents AFTER you have filed the complaint with the court. You can hand deliver the documents , mail them or have a third party deliver them to your spouse. This method is available even though your spouse is incarcerated.
2. If your spouse will not sign or you not not sure if your spouse will sign then you can get service by having the sheriff in spouse’s county serve a copy of the filed documents along with other documents requiring spouse’s signature. You can contact the sheriff in any state to serve your spouse. You can also get service by Certified Mail, (Return Receipt Requested) if your spouse lives out of state. If your spouse is incarcerated then you can get service by having the prison/jail officials serve your spouse.
3. Service by publication. If you cannot find your spouse after a diligent search then you can publish. The publication fee for the newspaper is approximately $65 but varies for different counties. Upon the filing of the Affidavit the clerk shall direct that service of notice be made by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the complaint is filed. We provide all the required documents for service by publication.
Go to our questionnaire and get started today.