How long does it take to get a divorce? It depends. In North Carolina, a divorce could take anywhere from 45 to 90 days or more. This is without counting the 12-month separation period required before you can file for an official divorce decree.
The duration of a divorce often depends on several factors. For instance, specific issues such as child support, alimony, and property division, could lengthen the process.
The type of divorce may also come into play. Overall, military and contested divorces may take longer to settle than collaborative and uncontested divorces.
The best way to determine what to expect from your divorce proceedings is to discuss your situation with an expert Divorce Attorney Monroe, NC.
North Carolina Divorce Requirements
For couples to file for a divorce action in North Carolina, they have to have been physically separated for 12 months and a day. Remember, you need to have been living in different residences, not bedrooms, for it to be considered a separation.
After 366 days of separation, your divorce will follow the following stages:
- Serving the Complaint for Divorce
After fulfilling the separation requirement, you can file and serve your spouse with a Complaint for Divorce. This should be accompanied by a copy of the Summons and other necessary forms.
You will need to have the documents served by the Sheriff’s office or certified mail with the return receipt requested. You could also serve it by your spouse signing and filing an Acceptance of Service.
If you cannot reach your spouse, you can turn to publication or Federal Express. These processes, however, are very complex and should be a last resort.
- Spouse’s Response
After being served, your spouse could file an answer admitting or denying the allegations. They could also file for a 30-day extension to answer or file a counterclaim. They could also choose not to answer.
- Setting The Divorce Hearing
You are free to move forward with setting the hearing when your spouse files an answer joining in the divorce request or fails to respond within 30 days of service. You must notify your spouse at least 10 days before the intended hearing date.
In case your spouse filed a denial, you should schedule the hearing and prepare to present evidence of the following:
- The date of separation
- The intention for the separation to be permanent by you.
- That the marital relationship was not resumed at any point after the separation
You can also provide a change of address form or a lease as some evidence of your separation.
Along the way, you may encounter delays that could lengthen the divorce process. These roadblocks could include:
- Disputes over the date of separation
- Failing to locate and serve your spouse
- Contested divorce
- Disagreements concerning alimony, child support, or property distribution. These issues usually do not hold up your divorce, but can continue after the divorce. A divorce will bar property distribution and alimony if those claims have not been raised in the complaint or answer prior to the grant of divorce.
You need to tackle these delays to carry on with the divorce process.
Contact Perry, Bundy, Plyler & Long, LLP Today
At Perry, Bundy, Plyler & Long, LLP, we are dedicated to supporting our clients through divorce. We can help you set and obtain your expectations as well as protect your interests. We are also available to address any concerns you may have about how long it takes to get a divorce.
If you are ready to move forward with your divorce, contact us to speak to an expert Divorce Attorney Monroe, NC.