North Carolina Divorce Laws, Attorneys & Family Lawyers NC


Divorce rate in North Carolina is 4.2% per 1,000 of the total population. This rate grades North Carolina above the median. There are both no-fault and fault grounds for divorce in North Carolina. In this State, court does not reward any support to the defendant if divorce is given on any marital misconduct (fault basis).

North Carolina does not encourage granting annulment. Letting the marriage annulled is not the preference of the people. It is usually granted in special circumstances. The requirements for annulment are generally rare and difficult to prove.

You are advised to take help of a qualified divorce lawyer and attorneys who will help you during every stage of the complex process of a divorce.

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Divorce Grounds in North Carolina

Both fault and no-fault divorces are granted in North Carolina. You can file for divorce on the following divorce grounds in North Carolina:

No-Fault Divorce Grounds in North Carolina:

There exists only one no-fault divorce ground in North Carolina, which is:

Living Separate and Apart without Cohabitation for One Year:

Both spouses can file a divorce against each other they have been living separately for a year with mutual consent. To get a divorce on this divorce ground in North Carolina, one of the spouses has to be residing in North Carolina for a period of six months.

Fault Divorce Grounds in North Carolina

Fault divorce grounds in North Carolina are:

Incurable Insanity:

Incurable insanity implies that the defendant spouse has a serious mental illness, and can’t cohabit. This ground for divorce is rarely used for getting a divorce.


Abandonment is when a spouse deserts the other willfully and withdraws all types of support and help. In such a case the court shall grant divorce in favor of the petitioner on this divorce ground in North Carolina. This divorce ground is also a not very common one in North Carolina.

Maliciously Turning the Other Out of Doors:

One spouse’s maliciously turning the other out of doors, is a fault divorce ground in North Carolina. Incompatibility sometimes lead to such a state of affairs that there sprints a fountain of hatred against each other. This miss-conception can also result in abode evacuation.

Cruel or Barbarous Treatment:

Cruelty is a common ground for divorce in North Carolina. Familial misunderstanding takes shape due to aggressions in between spouses.

Offering Indignity to Render Spouses’ Condition Intolerable and Life Burdensome:

Humiliation renders the plaintiff spouse to a state that makes him or her intolerable. Continuous happening of such a conduct leads towards nothing but a separation or a divorce. According to the divorce laws of the State the petitioner is supported in obtaining a legitimate separation on this divorce ground in South Carolina.

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Excessive Use of Alcohol or Drugs:

The adverse spouse will be given divorce on this divorce ground in North Carolina, provided that the continuous use of drug causes a mental insanity or illness in the respondent.


There is no state where adultery is not a ground for divorce. If one spouse voluntarily commits a sexual intercourse with a person other than his or her spouse, the other spouse can claim a divorce under this divorce ground in North Carolina. However to get a divorce on this ground for divorce, concrete evidence is to be put forth infront of the judge.

Contact a professional divorce attorney or divorce lawyer for detailed information regarding divorce grounds in North Carolina.

North Carolina Divorce Laws

North Carolina has following divorce laws:


For the purpose of filing a case for divorce in North Carolina, under North Carolina divorce laws, the residency requirements must be met. If the divorce court discovers it does not have jurisdictional rights to hear the case, the case will not be accepted or it will eventually be dismissed.

Documents Required for Filing Divorce

The essential documents needed to file a case for a divorce according to South Carolina laws are:

  • Complaint for Divorce
  • Decree of Divorce

Property Distribution

North Carolina is an “equitable distribution” state; therefore the marital property is divided in an equitable (fair) fashion. The North Carolina divorce court encourages the parties to reach a settlement on property and debt issues.

Change of Name or Restoration of Name

Any woman whose marriage is dissolved can take up her pre-marriage name under North Carolina divorce laws.

Mediation Counseling

Under North Carolina divorce laws, usually most of the contested divorces, involving issues like custody or visitation issues related to minor children, are set for mediation. Meditation is suggested for the unresolved issues as to custody and visitation before or concurrent with the setting of the matter for hearing unless the court waives mediation.


In North Carolina not all cases are dealt in the same way and not always the support is assigned from one party to the other. The obligation of one party to support the other financially for a temporary or permanent basis is decided on a case-by-case basis.

Child Custody

In North Carolina, as with all other states, the court will always be looking out for the best interests of the children. The North Carolina divorce court will not decide the case upon what the parties say. But, the court considers all relevant factors and makes findings accordingly.

Child Support

North Carolina divorce law’s child support guidelines are based on the Income Shares Model for calculating child support. The monthly support amount determined by applying the guidelines is divided proportionally according to each parent’s income.

Contact a professional divorce attorney or divorce lawyer for comprehensive divorce laws information in your state.

North Carolina Annulment Laws

Annulment is a decree declaring a marriage null and void. North Carolina annulment laws state that both the spouses can remarry after getting annulment. Like other states, to get annulment in North Carolina, you have to prove one of the grounds for annulment set by North Carolina annulment laws:


This is the most common North Carolina annulment ground. Incest is the marital relationship between close blood relations like, father-daughter, uncle-nephew, mother-son, etc. It is a marriage between persons more closely related than first cousins.

Marriage between Double First Cousins

It is a marriage between a set of two brothers and two sisters, or if a brother and a sister marries a sister and a brother and produce children. The children of these marriages are called double first cousins. Marriages between double first cousins are considered void in North Carolina. Therefore, if you and your spouse are first cousins, you can get your marriage annulled under North Carolina annulment laws.

Underage Marriage

North Carolina marriage laws have set 16years as the legal marriageable age. If you or your spouse is younger than 16 years of age, the marriage can be annulled according to North Carolina annulment laws.

Physical Disability

If any kind of physical disability in your spouse is hindering you from having a normal married life, you can obtain annulment under North Carolina annulment laws.

Mental Illness

Partial or complete insanity in a spouse is a valid annulment ground according to North Carolina annulment laws. To get annulment under this annulment ground you have to prove that insanity in your spouse is incurable.

North Carolina Divorce Laws-Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I want to file a divorce, what is the residency requirement of North Carolina?

    According to North Carolina divorce laws, you should be living in North Carolina for at least 6 months to file a divorce.

  2. I want a divorce because my spouse has been cheating on me, what should I do?

    If your spouse has been cheating on you, under North Carolina divorce laws you can file for divorce on fault divorce ground adultery and bail out.

  3. How long should I and my spouse live separately?

    The minimum separation requirement is 1 year. So, both you and your spouse must live separate and distant from each other for one year before you can file for divorce.

  4. What is an absolute divorce?

    An absolute divorce means termination of a marriage. You and your spouse can claim a North Carolina divorce, if both of you are living separately. However, in North Carolina, you do not have to give any legal document to prove your separation.

  5. I want a divorce but my spouse does not, can I still file for divorce?

    North Carolina divorce laws give everyone the right to divorce, whether your spouse agrees or not.

  6. What is the best time to claim an alimony?

    Alimony or spousal support should be claimed during the process of divorce. According to North Carolina divorce laws, “a judgment of absolute divorce obtained by the dependent spouse in an action initiated by him or her eliminates that spouse’s right to alimony unless a claim for alimony has been asserted and left pending prior to the judgment, either in that action or an earlier action.”

  7. Do I have to hire a divorce lawyer to get a divorce?

    It is not a hard and fast rule to hire a divorce lawyer. But it is advised to hire a divorce lawyer or divorce attorney because s/he will provide you professional help.

  8. Who will get the child custody?

    The court gives you a chance to settle down all the issues including child custody. In case there still reamin unresolved issues, then court is the absolute athourity to decide child custody issue.

  9. Me and my spouse have joint child custody, who is liable to pay for support?

    According to North Carolina divorce laws, both the spouses are liable to pay a percentage of his/her income as child support.

  10. Is it necessary to hire two different divorce lawyers?

    Yes, you both cannot hire the same divorce lawyer in North Carolina.

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