How Long Does a Divorce Take?

All parties going through a divorce hope that the process is quick and easy. The state of North Carolina has specific laws concerning divorce and the amount of time it takes to get a divorce. There are statutory timeframes and waiting periods that have to be satisfied in order to obtain a divorce.

Divorce is challenging and that’s why a divorce attorney in Monroe, NC can help streamline the process. Our team of result-oriented attorneys will save you time by providing you with the best legal options for your specific situation.

Various Timeframes and Required Waiting Periods in Monroe, NC

  • Spouses are required to be separated for a period of one year before filing for divorce.
  • At least one party must have resided in North Carolina for six months before the filing.
  • When one spouse serves divorce papers on the ‘defendant spouse’, the ‘defendant spouse’ should respond within 30 days by filing an answer with the court. An extra 30 days can be granted to the defendant upon a proper request to the Court for additional time.
  • If the defendant fails to answer within the time frame, the plaintiff spouse may file a Motion for Summary Judgement. 
  • Then a court date may be set, which is dependant upon the court schedule and whether there is time available for a hearing. 

This is the minimum time frame for a divorce. A contested divorce will take much longer and require more steps.  

Speeding-up the Divorce Process

In North Carolina, spouses are required to be separated for one year prior to filing for divorce. Within that one-year separation, you and your spouse may attempt to settle any or all of the divorce issues such as child support, custody, equitable distribution or alimony.

If you and your spouse successfully reach a separation agreement or a consent order controlling these issues, the process of obtaining a divorce may be much quicker than dealing with all the issues of the divorce in court. If a separation agreement cannot be reached, filing a lawsuit will be necessary. If you cannot thereafter enter into a consent order, your divorce case will likely take much longer if litigating those disputed issues becomes necessary.

Factors Extending a Divorce

Some divorce cases can be completed within 45-90 days after a complaint is filed. Other cases may take much longer. Below are some factors that extend a divorce case:

  • Not knowing how to locate the other party (your spouse)
  • Your spouse is a member of the U.S military and has actively been deployed
  • Your spouse is contesting the divorce
  • Lack of agreement on issues such as property division, child support, and spousal support.

While an attorney cannot guarantee that your divorce will be resolved in a set amount of time, an experienced family law attorney can help reduce and resolve delays. A faster and more efficient ending to your divorce case not only allows you to move on with your life but can also save you money and stress. An experienced divorce attorney in Monroe, NC can help you efficiently navigate the divorce process through skill and strategy.

Contact a Divorce Attorney in Monroe, NC

Our attorneys are committed to helping our clients navigate through the divorce process. Call us at (704) 289-2519 to schedule your affordable initial consultation.

Go to Scholarship

As many of you are probably aware, the Governor has issued a stay at home order beginning today at 5 pm. As an essential business, we will remain open to serve our clients. During this time, many people will face legal challenges and be in need of services regarding issues such as divorce and child custody, estate planning, business law and real estate matters. We are here to help. In order to follow social distancing protocols, we are offering phone and video conferences and innovative solutions to sign your essential documents in a safe manner. We are all going through a difficult time and things are rapidly changing, but Perry, Bundy, Plyler & Long remains here for you.