While all citizens are subject to a set of federal laws, we are also subject to state and local laws. Whether we’re following the traffic laws while driving down the road or filing for divorce, there are facts you need to be aware of. The more you know, the more apt you’ll be to follow the right course and experience less hassles. Today, we will discuss what you should know if you’re facing divorce proceedings in North Carolina.
Grounds for Divorce in North Carolina
The first step in the divorce process is figuring out if you have grounds. Each state has requirements when it comes to filing for divorce. Those specific to North Carolina include:
- Separation for a year or more – A couple who separate for one year with the intent of dissolving their marriage may file. However, if there has been any cohabitation within the year, the law doesn’t consider this as living separate and apart.
- Incurable insanity – If the marriage mates have been living apart for three years or more due to incurable insanity, the court can grant a divorce at the request of the sane spouse.
- Malicious actions – Malicious actions, such as forcing a spouse to leave the home, can be cause for divorce in North Carolina.
- Unbearable conditions – If a spouse is making living together unbearable, the other spouse has grounds to file. The court will take all circumstances into account.
- Life endangerment
- Drug or alcohol abuse
North Carolina law requires that a person must be a resident of the state for at least six months. Proceedings will happen in the county where the party filing for divorce is currently living. If the spouse has been a resident for less than six months, they will either have to wait to file or file with their previous state of residence.
Is Mediation or Counseling Required?
There are certain situations in which mediation is required by the court. Most often those situations involve disputes regarding child custody or any issues pertaining to minor children that resulted from the union of the couple. Under fairly rare circumstances, North Carolina courts may waive the mediation proceedings.
How Long Will Divorce Proceedings Take?
The length of proceedings can vary depending on the cooperation of both spouses. It will take at least a year due to the fact that the couple needs to be separated for at least a year before proceedings can begin to permanently end the marriage. Another factor is how backlogged the courts are with these kinds of cases.
If you’re interested in speeding up the process, the best thing you can do is fully cooperate and do all you can to meet your ex halfway. The smoother the mediation and decision making processes go regarding child custody and visitation, division of the assets, and alimony, the quicker your marriage will be dissolved.
When facing divorce, the best thing you can do is get advice from a professional. Contact the law office of John C. Fitzpatrick for a consultation. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and help you get through your divorce quickly and smoothly.