July 9, 2020

Contested vs Uncontested Divorce in North Carolina

The difference between contested and uncontested divorces in North Carolina

A divorce is a difficult event that changes your life forever.

When most people enter into marriage, the last thing on their mind is what will happen if the marriage ends.

And rightfully so.

However, if your marriage has reached a low point that is seemingly “unsavable”, you may want to know some of the general facts regarding divorce laws in the state of North Carolina.

As divorce attorneys in Charlotte, we know all of the confusing terms and laws surrounding filing for a divorce in North Carolina.

We have provided legal services for every kind of divorce and family law matter you can imagine, and we have spoken with clients in every possible situation.

A few general laws regarding divorce in North Carolina:

  • You must separate from your spouse for at least one year before you can finalize your divorce
  • You or your spouse must be residents of North Carolina for at least six months before you can file for divorce
  • North Carolina is a “hybrid” fault state

A “hybrid” fault divorce state means the state’s laws are a mixture of both “fault” and “no-fault” laws. In other words, you can file for divorce if either you or your spouse are guilt of things like marital misconduct, adultery, verbal or physical abuse.

However, you can also file for divorce in North Carolina if you and/or your spouse simply believe the marriage is beyond repair.

Related: How much does a divorce cost in the United States?

How does an uncontested divorce in North Carolina work?

Put simply, an uncontested divorce means neither you nor your spouse has any discrepancies or disagreements regarding the dissolution of marriage, division of property, or custody of children.

All you will have to do is find a local uncontested divorce attorney to begin filing for divorce and they will walk you through the steps required to finalize your divorce.

Uncontested divorces are always the easiest and cheapest types of divorce.

Having said that, North Carolina law still requires you to live apart from your spouse for at least one year before the divorce can be finalized.

Related: An Overview of North Carolina Divorce Laws

How does a contested divorce in North Carolina work?

The second type of divorce is a contested divorce.

A contested divorce is when there is at least one matter regarding the divorce upon which you and your spouse can not come to an agreement.

A contested divorce lawyer will be able to handle any type of discrepancy such as:

  • Who will get custody of your children (child custody)
  • Whether or not child support will be required or the amount that is required to be paid each month (child support)
  • How certain property assets will be divided (home, cars, and other real estate properties)
  • How other assets will be divided (company, possessions, wedding rings, etc.)
  • Whether or not you or your spouse will be paying alimony
  • Who will get to keep ownership of any pets

And the list can go on forever.

Related: North Carolina Spousal & Prenuptial Agreement Laws

Determining if you and your spouse will have a contest or uncontested divorce in North Carolina

If you and your spouse have agreed to file for divorce, the next step would be to open up a line of communication regarding the matters discussed in the uncontested divorce section.

This will give you a good place to start when you contact a local divorce and family law attorney.

Regardless of the discussions you and your spouse have had (or plan to have) you probably have some idea as to how complicated the divorce will be.

Especially if there are children involved.

No matter what stage you are in, or if you have only even begun to consider the possibility of filing for divorce, speaking with an attorney is a great way to clear up any questions you have.

Charlotte’s trusted contested and uncontested divorce lawyers

Waple & Houk’s experience handling divorces in Charlotte, North Carolina and the surrounding areas has allowed us to grow into one of the most trusted divorce and family law firms in the state.

If you have questions or wish to begin your divorce filing process, feel free to contact us to speak with an attorney.