A Deep Dive into Simple Divorces: What You Need to Know

We understand that divorce can be an overwhelming and emotional journey. As attorneys at Whitaker & Hamer, your law firm for life, we’re here to provide you with essential information on handling a simple divorce. Let’s dive in and explore the key aspects you should be aware of.

Living Separate and Apart for a Year – The Starting Point The North Carolina statute requires that you and your spouse live separate and apart for a year before filing for divorce. While it may seem like a long time, staying a year and a day is advisable to ensure you meet the requirement. You must genuinely live separately, maintaining separate living arrangements and finances, without any intention of rekindling the marriage.

The Process of Moving Out and Living Apart During the year of separation, you must establish separate living arrangements. This means each spouse needs to pay for their individual housing and living expenses. The court requires clear evidence of physical separation to validate the legal grounds for divorce.

Working Out Agreements During the Separation Period Although the legal divorce cannot happen until after the year of separation, you and your spouse can work on settling property distribution and child-related matters during this time. Coming to mutual agreements can streamline the process once the waiting period is over.

Filing for Divorce – The Court Process On day 366, it’s time to file for divorce! This step involves preparing and filing a complaint with the court. The complaint will then be served to your spouse, who has 30 days to respond. If your spouse does not respond, the process moves forward. If they do, it may take some additional time to address any contested issues.

Court Hearing and Judge’s Decision After serving the complaint and potential responses, we proceed to the court hearing. If you’re represented by an attorney, you may not need to attend personally, as your attorney will represent you. At the hearing, your attorney will present the necessary facts, such as the length of separation and any pending matters. Once the judge is satisfied with the information, they will sign off on the divorce decree.

Timeframe and Considerations The entire process can take around 45 days to several months, depending on the court’s availability and any contested matters. With current challenges due to COVID-19, patience is essential, as the courts may experience delays. However, we are here to support you every step of the way and guide you through the process.

Navigating a simple divorce may seem overwhelming, but armed with the right information and professional support, you can make the journey smoother. If you’re considering a divorce or have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Whitaker & Hamer PLLC. We are here to guide you through the legal process and ensure your rights are protected.

To discuss your specific case or to learn more about how we can assist you, give us a call at 919-772-7000. We are committed to being your trusted legal advisors, standing by your side throughout the divorce process.