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Getting divorced in North Carolina can take anywhere from 30 days to numerous months. If you are thinking about filing for divorce, you may be wondering how long a divorce takes typically in North Carolina. There is no single answer to that question given that the timetable for a divorce depends upon many different factors like:
- filing the divorce petition
- give the divorce paperwork to your spouse and wait for their response
- a divorce trial
An experienced Wilmington divorce attorney at our firm can speak with you about the specific facts of your case to give you a better sense of the likely timing of your divorce. In the meantime, we want to provide you with more information about the factors that often impact how long a divorce takes.
Uncontested Versus Contested Divorce
Chapter 50 of the North Carolina General Statutes governs most legal issues concerning divorce in the state. One of the most important factors in determining the length of your divorce case is whether you will have an uncontested or a contested divorce.
In an uncontested divorce, the parties agree to every term of the divorce. This means that the parties agree to all terms of property division, including the division of assets and debts from the marriage. The parties also must agree as to whether spousal support (also known as alimony) will be paid, and what amount will be paid.
If there are minor children from the marriage, the parties also must agree to all child custody terms. If the parties disagree about even one term, then they cannot have an uncontested divorce. In such a scenario, they will need to have a contested divorce in which the court gets involved in deciding one or more legal issues.
How Long Until Finalized
To be eligible for an uncontested “no fault” divorce, the parties must have been living separate and apart for at least one year prior to filing for divorce. Once the file—assuming that they agree to all terms of the divorce—the parties must wait at least 30 days for the divorce to be finalized. For most North Carolina residents, this is the fastest way to get a divorce.
To be clear, it can take as little as 30 days from the date of filing to have the divorce finalized. However, if you count the time required after separation of living separate and apart, then the divorce will take a minimum of 13 months from the date of separation to the date that the divorce becomes final.
Minor Children from the Marriage
Having minor children from the marriage can also make a divorce process lengthier, especially when the parents do not agree about child custody.
Custody battles can extend a divorce by many months when the parents are unwilling to cooperate with one another. The court will need to analyze a variety of factors to determine what kind of custody situation is in the best interests of the child.
Contact a Divorce Attorney in Wilmington
If you have questions about the timing of your divorce, you should discuss your case with a Wilmington family law attorney as soon as possible. A family law advocate at our firm can assess your case and help you to understand how much time likely will pass from filing your petition for divorce to having your divorce granted. Contact Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division to learn more.
Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division
300 N. 3rd St. Suite 310
Wilmington, NC 28401