If you are a North Carolina resident considering divorce, it is important to understand the steps required and how long the process typically takes. While every divorce is different, there is a general timeline that most divorces in North Carolina follow. This blog will provide an overview of the key steps in the North Carolina divorce process and how long each step typically takes.
1. Filing for Divorce
The first step in the North Carolina divorce process is filing a complaint with the clerk of court in the county where either spouse lives. Once the complaint is filed, it must be served on the other spouse. Depending on the circumstances of your case, service can be accomplished by sheriff’s deputies or professional process servers. Once service is complete, the clock starts ticking on the 60-day waiting period required by North Carolina law.
After the complaint is filed and served, many couples choose to participate in mediation in an effort to resolve their differences without going to trial. Mediation is a voluntary process conducted by a trained mediator who helps couples reach agreements on issues such as child custody, child support, property division, and alimony. In North Carolina, mediation may be required in some instances.
The next step is discovery if mediation does not result in a settlement. During discovery, each party has an opportunity to request information and documents from the other party that may be relevant to the case. The discovery process can be relatively quick or quite lengthy depending on the complexity of the case and the willingness of each party to fully cooperate.
If discovery fails to result in a settlement, your case will ultimately go to trial before a judge who will make all final decisions regarding your divorce. Trials can take anywhere from one day to several weeks, depending on how many witnesses need to testify and how complex your case is.
5. Final Decree
Once all testimony has been presented and closing arguments have been made, the judge will issue a final decree resolving all outstanding issues in your divorce. A final decree is generally issued within 30 days of the conclusion of trial.
Legal Assistance for Every Step in the Process
The divorce process in North Carolina can be complicated and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be completely devastating. By understanding the key steps involved and what to expect at each stage of the process, you can make informed decisions that are in your best interests—and those of your family. Contact Rech Law, P.C. when you are ready to begin your own timeline.
The steps to a divorce can feel overwhelming when facing them alone. Rech Law is here to provide you with guidance during this challenging time. You can contact us at (704) 659-0007 for assistance.