In Brief: Simple, Uncontested Divorce in North Carolina

Introduction

A fake divorce decree

North Carolina provides a 51-page Divorce Packet with information about simple, uncontested divorces. They also offer a “Guide and File” system that attempts to create your legal documents for you automatically. King @ Law offers its own in-depth guide to simple divorces as well. In contrast to these resources, this post will provide a brief, simple overview.

Divorce Filings

Every divorce is technically a lawsuit, even if there are no disputes. The first step is to prepare three copies of a stack of legal documents. These are filed with the court to start your lawsuit for divorce. You can see a list of the documents needed, with example templates here. The court will also charge $225-$235 in fees.

Service of Process

There are many complex rules about how to properly serve the divorce filings on your spouse, once they’ve been filed with the court. The most common method is to use certified mail with a signature required. If your spouse signs for delivery at their home or work, they’ve been served. Then, wait 30 days. That’s the window your spouse has to respond to the divorce filings.

Motion for Divorce

If your spouse does not respond to the divorce filings, another stack of documents are used to ask the court to sign your divorce decree. You can see a list of the documents needed, with example templates here. The process will vary depending on whether your county requires a hearing before a judge (e.g. Durham) or if it can be done by clerk (e.g. Wake).

Complications

The following things may complicate your divorce:



  • You do not know your spouse’s current address to serve them
  • Your spouse files counterclaims prompting more serious litigation
  • Your spouse is in a different state or country
  • Your spouse is in the military

Additionally, in order to qualify for divorce you have to live in a separate building from your spouse for at least one year. To get North Carolina jurisdiction, at least one spouse needs to have lived in North Carolina for the full six months prior to filing.

More Information

This post offers a brief summary of the process. You can download our in-depth, step-by-step guide for simple divorces in Wake or Durham county.

Attorney David King can be reached at David@kinglawnc.com. If you have questions or complications to discuss, please schedule a consultation. King @ Law charges $700 to handle simple, uncontested divorces. This fee includes court fees and other expenses. You can hire King @ Law for your simple uncontested divorce here.