Divorce: An Overview of Family Law in North Carolina

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In North Carolina there is a residency requirement in the state to file for divorce, where one or both spouses must be a resident of North Carolina for 6 months or longer prior to filing for divorce.

Divorce: An Overview of Family Law in North Carolina

The plaintiff (spouse) may file for one or two divorce types, and order to file for divorce, the couple must meet the legally acceptable grounds for divorce (listed below).

Although both are divorces, only an absolute divorce gives both parties the right to remarry as a divorce from bed-and-board is only a legal separation.

  • Absolute Divorce (standard) grounds
    • The couple must be living separately and apart for one year or longer.
    • The couple is living separately and apart for three years due to one spouse being incurably insane (with expert testimony provided by 2 doctors).
  • Divorce from Bed-and-Board (legal separation) grounds
    • The other spouse (respondent) has abandoned his/her family.
    • The respondent has forced the plaintiff out of the family home with malicious intent.
    • The plaintiff’s life has been cruelly or barbarously endangered.
    • The plaintiff has experienced shame, humiliation, or other indignities by the respondent OR the respondent is an excessive drug user or alcoholic.
    • The respondent has committed adultery.

Emotions can run high in a divorce, which is why having an experienced family law attorney to navigate the challenges, negotiate and resolve challenging issues is important.

If you have a family law case and require legal assistance, our knowledgeable team at the Law Office of Janice V. Coulter will work with you to navigate these laws and protect your best interests.