In North Carolina, you must be physically separated (living in different residences) for one year before either of you can file for divorce. Once you have lived separate and apart for a year, either party can file for divorce. The process is fairly straightforward, but there are several hoops to jump through and a minimum of three trips to the courthouse to do it on your own, so you may wish to consider having an attorney handle the absolute divorce for you.
The process involves the filing of a “Complaint for Divorce,” serving the other party by Sheriff or certified mail, filing an Affidavit of Service if the service is by certified mail, scheduling the hearing, sending out notice of the hearing, showing up for the divorce, and preparing the Judgment of divorce for the judge to sign.
The entire process takes about 45 days. If you do not want to make three trips to the courthouse, an attorney can handle the divorce for you without you ever going into the courthouse through a procedure known as a Motion for Summary Judgment. This procedure also takes about 45 days.
The filing fee, which is paid to the Clerk of Court, is currently $225.00. Sheriff’s service costs $30.00. If our collaborative family law attorneys can be of help, please call us or send us an email.