• March 5, 2024

North Carolina Divorce Laws 2023: How to File 2023

If you choose to file for divorce in North Carolina, you must be familiar with the procedure. You must fulfill particular standards, file documentation with the appropriate court, and make (or allow the court to make) decisions about property distribution, spousal support, child custody, and other issues.

This tutorial describes how to file for divorce in North Carolina and what you should know about dissolving your marriage in the state.

Who is Eligible to Apply for Divorce in North Carolina?


Anybody who has resided in North Carolina for at least six months prior to filing for divorce may do so regardless of where they were married.

In North Carolina, what are the grounds for divorce?


The term grounds refers to the reasons for a divorce. When you file a petition for divorce with the court, you must describe the cause for the dissolution of your marriage.

The state of North Carolina recognizes no-fault divorce, which means neither spouse is held responsible for the divorce. The two reasons for dissolving a marriage in the state are:

Being separated for at least a year
At least three years of incurable insanity of one spouse before filing, in addition to at least three years of living separately.


How to Start the Divorce Process in North Carolina


To file for divorce in North Carolina, you must submit the necessary court documents to the clerk of court in the county in which you or your spouse resides. Using Judicial District Maps for North Carolina, the right court may be located.

Depending on whether you are seeking a contentious or uncontested divorce, the documents you must provide may vary. In general, the following papers, among others, must be submitted:

  • A Petition for Absolute Divorce
  • Verification
  • A cover page for a domestic civil action
  • Legal Summons

The North Carolina Judicial Branch provides a Divorce Package with all the necessary court forms.

In North Carolina, divorce paperwork is served.


While filing for divorce, you must provide your spouse with adequate notice. The term for this is service of process. It can be accomplished in a variety of methods, including by the sheriff, via certified mail with a return receipt, or by delivery courier.

If your spouse consents, you can have them sign an Acceptance of Service form and file it with the court in lieu of serving them. Instead, if you do not know where your husband is, you might choose service by publication, which involves publishing a notice in a newspaper.

Controversial or Uncontentious Divorce


In North Carolina, you can choose between a disputed or uncontested divorce.

A divorce in which both parties agree on all matters is uncontested. A disputed divorce happens when the parties are unable to reach an agreement and the court must schedule a hearing to determine issues such as property and child custody distribution and child support.

When feasible, most couples are better off with an uncontested divorce because they save money by avoiding litigation and make family-best decisions jointly. Yet, not every divorcing couple can reach an agreement, therefore contentious divorces are occasionally necessary.

What Is the Waiting Time for a Divorce in North Carolina?


In North Carolina, you must be legally separated for one year before you may proceed with a divorce and dissolve your marriage.

Obtaining Legal Assistance for a Divorce in North Carolina
A North Carolina divorce attorney can help you through the process of dissolving your marriage in order to prevent excessive delays caused by filing incorrect paperwork or failing to comply with the state’s standards.

A qualified family law attorney can assist you in negotiating an out-of-court divorce settlement so that you can proceed with an uncontested divorce, or they can represent you in court to fight for your desired custody, support, and property distribution results.

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