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Absolute Divorce

Our entire practice is devoted to divorce and family law. Our Raleigh family lawyers are dedicated to advocating for you so you can have the life you want and deserve.

We have had several calls during this international crisis concerning separation and divorce.  If you are considering divorce or dealing with a legal problem involving your family, we understand the stress and uncertainty you are facing, especially in the sheltering of Covid-19.  It may be hard to envision a future life in which you will be happy, involved in healthy relationships and ready to move forward with calm and hope. Sound legal counsel from a friendly, caring Raleigh family law attorney can make all the difference.

Absolute divorce is the legal termination of your marriage. This is a court-ordered judgment granted by the courts and does not include terms about property division, child custody, child support, or alimony. It simply dissolves your marriage and you and your spouse are now “single”. The divorce judgment does NOT resolve issues like child custody or child support. Once a judgement is entered, any claims for spousal support or property division terminate unless those claims were pending prior to the entry of the divorce judgment. Divorce also cuts off inheritance rights you are entitled to by law.

To obtain a divorce in North Carolina there are a few requirements. 

  • You and your spouse must have lived apart for at least one year. . 
  • One party has lived in North Carolina for at least 6 months.
  • One party intended the separation to be permanent when they separated.
  • Neither party is incompetent or a member of armed forces. (Special rules apply)

If all those criteria are met, there are a few steps

  • File the summons, complaint and necessary forms. Properly serve the other party notification of the divorce lawsuit.
  • You then wait 30 days after the other party receives service because the other party has the right to file an answer.
  • Contact the courthouse at least 33 days after service to see if an answer was filed and ask for a court date. Generally, your case will be heard within 30 days of your request. Obtain the notice for the divorce hearing and mail to the opposing party with the hearing information.    
  • The divorce judgement will be signed at the divorce hearing.

The process usually takes around 60-90 days.  You can file for divorce without an attorney, however, we suggest you speak to an attorney first to make sure that ALL your rights are being protected.


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