North Carolina Divorce Statistics

*The following information is a comprehensive list of the most recent North Carolina divorce statistics.

Despite divorce rates falling across the US from 5.1 per 1,000 to 3.8 per 1,000 from 1990 to 2009, North Carolinians marry and divorce at slightly higher rates than most other states according to the most recent U.S. Census Report. There are many states, however that have higher divorce rates that North Carolina.

At the time of the U.S. Census report Diana Elliot, a family demographer at the Census Bureau noted the following:

“Divorce rates tend to be higher in the South because marriage rates are also higher in the South. In contrast, in the Northeast, first marriages tend to be delayed and the marriage rates are lower, meaning there are also fewer divorces.”

In 2010, there were 35,827 divorces and annulments in North Carolina.

Wake County Divorce Rates

In Wake County specifically, 2010 numbers showed that 9.2 percent of all residents were divorced and another 2.5 percent were separated (Out of 708,000 residents).

The highest rate of divorced female residents were between the ages of 45-65 while the highest rate of divorced male residents were between the ages of 45-60.

There were 3,097 divorces and annulments throughout Wake County in 2010.

North Carolina Divorce Laws

Divorce laws vary from state to state. Below are some of the basic North Carolina Divorce Laws. You can find a more comprehensive list HERE.

To file for a divorce, either spouse must have been a resident of the State of North Carolina for at least six months next preceding the filing of the complaint. The divorce proceedings will be in the county where either party resides. [Based on North Carolina General Statutes, Chapter 50, Sections 50-3 and 50-8]

North Carolina allows the following grounds for divorce:

• Living separate and apart for one year.
• Living separate and apart for three consecutive years, without cohabitation, by reason of the incurable insanity of one of them, the court may grant a decree of absolute divorce upon the petition of the sane spouse.

[Based on North Carolina General Statutes, Chapter 50, Sections 50-5.1, and 50-7]

North Carolina recognizes legal separation, provided, that the separation agreement must be in writing and acknowledged by both parties before a certifying officer. [Based on North Carolina General Statutes, Chapter 50, Section 52-10.1]

Questions about a divorce? Contact the Separating Together team to find out about Collaborative Divorce.

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