An absolute divorce simply means terminating the marriage that was created by the parties’ wedding ceremony and marriage certificate. The most common way to obtain a divorce in North Carolina is by husband and wife proving a one-year separation.

The jurisdictional requirement in North Carolina is at least six (6) months, meaning either the husband or the wife must have resided in North Carolina for no less than this period of time prior to filing. Typically, the absolute divorce process takes 60-75 days from the date of filing the complaint.

There need not be any written documentation showing that husband and wife have separated on any given date; instead, the parties just need to know the date that they did actually separate with the intent for it to be permanent. This is not going to be enough for husband and wife to “move” into separate bedrooms in the residence—they must physically live in different homes for the year.

North Carolina is a “no-fault” divorce jurisdiction, so neither party has to prove marital fault in order to obtain a divorce based on a one-year separation. What this means is that so long as the parties have been separated for at least one-year and the paperwork is correctly filed and submitted, they are entitled to get a divorce. This will remain true even if one party does not want to get divorced. It also will remain true regardless of whether or not the parties have resolved any of the other issues that may have arisen from the separation; for example, child custody, child support, or property distribution. However, it is very important to note that certain issues must either have already been resolved or remain pending with the court at the time the absolute divorce process is finalized to ensure that they are not forever waived.

At Rech Law, P.C., we can help you through this difficult time and guide you through the process.