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Start your divorce online in North Carolina

Our platform streamlines the divorce process, guiding you to a desired outcome with minimal stress.

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Our platform streamlines the divorce process, guiding you to a desired outcome with minimal stress.

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Why Choose Divorce.com?

Benefits of an online divorce

Divorce.com provides an effective do-it-yourself divorce solution in terms of the preparation of divorce papers. Our platform works if you and your partner have mutually agreed on all divorce-related issues, including child custody, spousal support, property division, and so on.

With the help of Divorce.com, you have the opportunity to get divorce documents applicable for your case in just two business days. To generate ready-to-file legal forms, all you need to do is complete a simple marriage-related questionnaire and follow our further instructions.

Benefits of an online divorce

What's more, you can do it anytime, anywhere, and at your own pace without leaving your home. Simply put, you can prepare necessary divorce papers without incurring the cost of expensive attorneys.

Benefits of an online divorce

North Carolina Divorce Forms

The list of necessary divorce forms usually differs from case to case, which can be explained by unique personal circumstances and special divorce filing procedures in North Carolina.

Therefore, it is recommended to check with the clerk of the court to confirm what's required. However, most couples should be prepared to complete and file the following divorce papers:

  • Civil Summons, AOC-CV-100
  • Notice of Hearing
  • Certificate of Service
  • Divorce Complaint (No Children) and Complaint
  • Verification
  • Acceptance of Service
  • Affidavit of Service by Registered or Certified Mail
  • Judgment for Absolute Divorce and Divorce Judgment
  • Certificate of Absolute Divorce or Annulment
  • Financial Affidavit
  • Separation Agreement
  • Affidavit as to Status of Minor Child
  • Subpoena, AOC-G-100
  • Notice of Service by Publication
  • Affidavit of Publication
  • Affidavit of Service by Publication
  • Petition to Sue/Appeal As an Indigent, AOC-G-106
  • Affidavit of Indigency, AOC-CR-226
  • Child Support Obligation -- Primary Custody, AOC-CV-627
  • Child Support Obligation--Joint or Shared Custody, AOC-CV-628
  • Child Support Obligation--Split Custody, AOC-CV-629

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Steps to Consider

Filing for Divorce in North Carolina

Residency Requirements

Before filing with the General Court of Justice in North Carolina, it is mandatory to fulfill the following residency requirements:

  • At least one of the partners must have been a legal resident of the state for a minimum of six months immediately prior to the filing.
  • Spouses have lived separate and apart for at least 1 year before the divorce case is started.

Otherwise, the court will not have jurisdictional rights to hear the case. In other words, it will eventually be dismissed.

Grounds for Divorce

North Carolina belongs to the list of no-fault states, which means that there's no need to prove the other party was at fault to get a complete termination of a marriage.

In turn, parties can still pursue fault-based divorce based on the other spouse's marital misconduct or serious medical condition, such as incurable insanity. When it comes to marital misconduct, it includes:

  • Abandonment
  • Forced departure from your residence
  • Humiliation
  • Cruel and endangering treatment
  • Substance abuse issues
  • Adultery
Initial Filing

The General Court of Justice and its branches in the respective counties review divorce cases.

Once necessary divorce forms are prepared, the plaintiff (the person initiating the divorce case) should file them with the Clerk of Court in the county of their residence. The clerk will assign a number to this case and issue a summons, thereby making the request official.

Filing Fees

Along with filing divorce papers, the plaintiff is required to pay court filing fees to initiate the marriage dissolution process. As of 2022, the filing fees for a divorce are around $225 in North Carolina.

However, a petitioner might also be charged $30 to have a sheriff serve the divorce paperwork on the partner. Plus, people aiming to restore their former name after the divorce will need to pay another $10.

Serving the Respondent

After filing divorce documents with the court, the plaintiff must inform the other party that legal action is taken against them, by serving appropriate legal forms. Currently, this task can be done in one of the following ways:

  • Service by a sheriff (it is the most straightforward method of service in North Carolina)
  • Service by certified mail with a return receipt requested
  • Service by publication (if the defendant cannot be located).
Waiting Period

In most states, the waiting period can be defined as the time period between the procedure of filing divorce papers in court and the issuance of the divorce decree. In contrast, the waiting period in North Carolina starts from the date on which the divorce documents have been served to the other party (it lasts 30 days).

Also, an additional 30 days can be granted if the spouse files the proper request.

Finalizing a Divorce Case

When the 30-day waiting period (or the 60-day waiting period, if an additional 30 days are granted) is over, the court will schedule a final hearing. During this session, the judge will take into consideration testimony from each partner to make sure the requirements have been met and all legal matters have been settled.

If divorce terms satisfy the expectations of all parties involved, the judge will sign a final divorce judgment.

How to Fill Out Divorce Forms in North Carolina

No matter what type of divorce you are going through, the procedure of filling out divorce forms plays an essential role in all cases. If you've decided to carry out this task on your own, you can save lots of money on attorney's services. At the same time, the preparation of legal documents requires a solid legal background. It is typically recommended for spouses with limited acrimony, good knowledge of Family Law, no children, and or limited assets/debts to divide.

To fill out divorce papers properly, it is important to follow the list of actions outlined below:

  • Review each form carefully to determine the information needed to complete your divorce paperwork. First and foremost, pay attention to details regarding the financial situation, property, and children.
  • Gather the information needed to fill out legal forms. For example, a vast amount of vital information is often included in marriage certificates, as well as prenuptial or postnuptial agreements and all estate planning documents.
  • Fill out all the spaces unless indicated otherwise.
  • Proofread divorce documents for any errors, typos, and inaccuracies.
  • Sign filled-out papers and make at least 2 copies of each form. The original papers must be submitted to a court, while the other copy should be delivered to the other spouse.
Child custody

Getting a Divorce with Children in Divorce.com

Child Custody

In North Carolina, there's a preference for awarding both parents with joint custody, although factors that "promote the interest and welfare of the child" are considered in the first place. If parents fail to determine the proper circumstances of child custody, the judge will make this decision by evaluating the following factors:

  • the child's personal preferences, if sufficiently mature
  • each parent's relationship with the child
  • each parent's physical and mental well-being
  • each parent's ability to provide the child with stability
  • the child's relationship with each parent and other family members, including siblings and relatives
  • the child's special needs, if any
  • any past incidents of neglect, abuse, or violence from any parent, and
  • any other factor relevant to the child's best interests.
Child custody

Also, it is important to note that a parent's gender doesn't impact their child custody situation. Simply put, both mother and father have equal rights and responsibilities in the context of child custody.

Uncontested Divorce in North Carolina

An uncontested divorce is a type of divorce where spouses don't have disputes over divorce-related conditions. First and foremost, the parties have the same view on child custody, child support, alimony, and division of marital assets in this case.

Generally, the benefits of an uncontested divorce include but are not limited to:

  • Affordability.- an uncontested divorce is way less expensive than a contested one
  • Saved time - most uncontested divorce cases are finalized within 45-90 days in the state
  • High level of privacy - disputes are kept out of the public record
  • The amicable route can help avoid divorce-related conflicts and reduce stress
  • High level of control - people filing for an uncontested divorce can make their own decisions regarding assets, childcare, and spousal support.

Child Support

Under North Carolina Family Law, both parents are required to provide child support. However, considering that non-custodial parents spend less time with a child, they are the ones who have to make payments primarily. Most often, payments continue until the child turns 18, or 20 if they have not graduated high school.

Child custody

When it comes to monthly costs that one of the parties should receive, there is no set amount that is "enough child support" in any given case. This payment mainly depends on the number of children who need support, the income of both parents, and the custody arrangement.

Child support money should be spent on monetary support (food, clothing, and shelter), health insurance, and basic education expenses. Plus, monthly financial support can be directed towards child care expenses, extraordinary medical expenses, visitation travel costs, and extracurricular activities.

Child Support

FAQ

How long will it take to get divorced in North Carolina?

The minimum time needed to finalize an uncontested divorce is 45-90 days, although contested cases, on average, last 6-12 months in North Carolina.

Can I get a free divorce in North Carolina?

To get a free divorce in North Carolina, you need to use a do-it-yourself option and ask the court to waive filing fees by requesting a fee waiver called "Petition to Proceed as an Indigent."

How do I file for divorce in North Carolina?

To file for divorce in North Carolina, you need to file completed papers with the Clerk of Court, in the county where either spouse resides, and pay filing fees.

How much does a divorce cost in North Carolina?

The average cost of a traditional divorce with a lawyer varies from $10,000-15,000 in the state. People pursuing an uncontested divorce and choosing Divorce.com to generate their divorce papers can reduce divorce costs and only pay for the paperwork and cover the court fees.