Absolute Divorce in North Carolina

Getting divorce in North Carolina can mean differently from other States, and the requirements for it to be completed may also be different. Divorce is legally defined as acknowledging the existence of the marriage and the court simply terminates the marriage, thus ending it. This would erase any ties made between both parties and would make them eligible again to remarry.

In order to for the court to grant an absolute divorce, you have to comply with the preconditions. According to the website of Marshall & Taylor, PLLC, there are two basic grounds for absolute divorce: (1) separation of both parties not less than a year and a day, with one spouse having no intention of continuing the marriage, and (2) terminal insanity. The second option is seldom used, so most divorces in North Carolina use separation are grounds for divorce. The court will not consider a couple as separated if they are still living in the same place regardless of their claim to be estranged.

Absolute divorce based on a one year separation has been much criticized, but there is no sign that it will be changed in the near future. The court deems both partners separated if they (1) have lived apart/separate in an uninterrupted period of time (a year and a day), AND (2) that at least one of the spouses have no intention of resuming their relationship as husband and wife. Either one of the spouses should have resided in North Carolina at least six months, and has physical presence in the State and express intention of making North Carolina their home.

For grounds of incurable insanity, this may be harder to prove in court. The separation period for this ground for divorce needs 3 years, and would require proof that the other spouse has been institutionalized during the three-year period which eventually proved the state of incurable insanity during that period. Furthermore, at least two testimonies from medical professionals should be presented in the trail, with one doctor being a psychiatrist with the testimony containing the incurable description of the insanity. Because of the complexity of this divorce option, it might be better to consult with a divorce lawyer or experienced family lawyer to make sure that the procedure is understood correctly.

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