North Carolina Divorce Requirements
Before individuals are allowed to file for divorce in the state of
North Carolina, they first must meet the residency requirements.
Residency requirement vary with each state. North Carolina requires
individuals to be state residents for a minimum of six months before a
divorce can be petitioned.
Both individuals are not required to be North Carolina residents to
have a North Carolina divorce, but one spouse is required to be a state
resident. If both individuals live within the state boundaries but in
different counties, either may file for divorce in his or her county or
the county of the other individual. All divorce petitions are to be
handled by the county court systems.
In order for a divorce petition to be granted, the petition must state
the reasoning for wanting a divorce. This reasoning is called the
grounds for divorce. Simply because one state claims divorcing grounds
are legal in its boundaries, does not mean those grounds are legal in
the state of North Carolina.
When deciding on grounds for divorce, the individuals involved may
agree upon the required grounds or one individual may present the
grounds but will need to prove them before the court.
North Carolina breaks its grounds for divorce into two different
sections: No-Fault grounds and Fault grounds. Under No-Fault grounds no
individual is cited as responsible for the divorce petitioning, and
often the individuals filing have attended couples counseling.
No-Fault grounds state that the reasoning for divorce is separation
where both individuals have agreed to live at separate residency for a
minimum of one year. Under these circumstances either individual may
petition for a divorce but often do together.
Fault grounds often cite one individual responsible for the divorce
petition and the other individual is the petitioner. Grounds under
Fault circumstances include malicious behavior where one individual put
the other outdoors; abandonment of one individual and their family;
cruel treatment of one individual by the other where a life is
endangered; excessive use of drugs or alcohol where the circumstances
become intolerable and a burden; and indignities of one individual that
make cohabitation intolerable and a burden.
Each divorce case has different required documents and can vary
depending on the case's circumstances. For instance more documents will
be necessary if children are involved and if the marriage was lengthy.
In some cases at least twenty different documents are necessary.
Some of these include a Complaint for Divorce and Decree of Divorce
form, a Declaration Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act
form, a Verification form, a Domestic Civil Action Cover Sheet, a
Marital Settlement Agreement, and a Civil Summons form.
North Carolina is considered to be an equitable distribution state
where all the property acquired during the marriage is to be divided
fairly between the two, rather than equally. If the individuals cannot
agree on who shall keep which kind of property, the court will award
The court will consider each individual's employment, custody of any
children, economic status, contribution the home, the length of the
marriage, and others before awarding property.