North Carolina Divorce Law
A divorce tends to rival marriage in how much planning, time and stress is invested into the significant life event. Just as there are plenty of laws and formalities involved in getting married, North Carolina has many laws which you’ll need to learn and abide by for your divorce.
LawInfo’s North Carolina Divorce Law articles can help relieve some of the stress of the process. You’ll learn about the state’s divorce prerequisites, how property is divided and many other divorce topics. Whether you need assistance in Charlotte, Greensboro or Raleigh, LawInfo can help connect you with a North Carolina divorce attorney.
North Carolina Alimony
If one spouse was dependent upon the other for support, a North Carolina court may consider awarding the dependent spouse alimony. Alimony is financial support paid by the supporting spouse over a specific amount of time or indefinitely until the dependent spouse’s death.
There is no specific formula used to calculate how much alimony the supporting spouse is required to pay. Courts determine the amount of alimony and its payment schedule after considering a number of factors about the marriage. These factors include:
- Marital misconduct.
- Each spouse’s age and health.
- How long the marriage lasted.
- Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage and their partner.
In the case of adultery, North Carolina’s alimony law states that a court may or may not award alimony depending on which party committed the adulterous act. If the dependent spouse committed adultery, alimony will not be awarded. If the supporting spouse committed adultery, the court can order alimony to be paid. If both parties committed adultery, the decision to award alimony may be made at the court’s discretion.
North Carolina Divorce Timeline
How long does it take to get a divorce in North Carolina? While there is no definite answer, you can likely expect to wait a longer period of time before you’re able to file for divorce than you’ll spend in the actual divorce process from start to finish.
North Carolina has two preliminary waiting periods before you’re allowed to file for divorce. First, you and your partner must have been living separately (not in the same residence) for at least one year. Then, regardless of whether you or your partner serve in the armed forces, one party must have resided or been stationed in North Carolina for at least six months during the one-year period before an action for divorce can be commenced.
Once these separation and residency requirements have been met, you can file for divorce. However, there is an additional 30-day waiting period between filing and the court hearing. This waiting period is meant to give your partner time to respond to your divorce complaint and to possibly work with them on the divorce’s details.
After the 30-day period, your divorce can be finalized within the month or longer depending on many factors, including whether the divorce is contested. Some divorces are finalized as soon as 45 days from the initial filing. The court may grant a 30-day extension if your spouse fails to respond to the complaint.