Online Divorce in North Carolina
For those seeking an inexpensive divorce in the state of North Carolina, online divorce is an easy, affordable and fast solution. Online divorce may be appropriate for couples who have an uncontested case. The step-by-step process of preparing divorce documents at Onlinedivorce.com makes it easy on you. We help prepare all of the necessary divorce forms and provide detailed written instructions on how to file your divorce in North Carolina.
Our divorce documents preparation service can be a perfect solution for those who want to have their divorce papers completed quickly and stress-free. Even though North Carolina has unique divorce forms and filing requirements, our online system can provide you with exactly what you need and provide instructions on how to file. We have helped thousands of people prepare their divorce documents for filing.
If you and your spouse agree on the terms of the divorce and want an amicable dissolution to your marriage, why should the process get drawn out and why should you spend money on lawyers? Online divorce is often cheaper, quicker and easier.
Online divorce can be a perfect option if you want to save money or if you hope to have your divorce quickly finalized so you can get on with your life. Preparing documents for divorce online in North Carolina is quickly becoming very popular because you can complete the documents in the comfort of your home. Even if you think your case is too complex because you have children, own your own home or have other assets, you may still be able to prepare your documents online. Just start with our simple questionnaire, and we’ll provide you instructions for each step of the way.
Finally, you don’t have to worry - our process is 100% secure. We protect your information and nothing is filed until you submit the divorce papers to the courthouse yourself. Filing for divorce in North Carolina with the Onlinedivorce.com system can be a simple solution to a difficult situation.
When you use OnlineDivorce.com, we help you fill out your divorce paperwork using a simple online questionnaire. You can fill it out alone or with the assistance of your spouse. Then, you will need to get a signature from your spouse and you can file the divorce forms with your local court. In North Carolina, you will typically file with the courthouse in the county in which you currently reside. If a petitioner is not currently a resident, but a defendant is, divorce is typically filed in the county where the defendant resides.
The actual filing process is explained in our detailed court-filing instructions that we provide along with your completed divorce forms. You can also obtain assistance from your local courthouse by calling or stopping by.
After the initial filing, you may need to follow up if there are any issues with your documents. When you use OnlineDivorce.com, we allow you to make small adjustments to your forms as requested by the court at no additional charge. Our goal is to help you obtain your divorce with as little hassle and stress as possible using our online divorce documents preparation service.
Every state has specific requirements where divorcing couples must establish residency within the state they are divorcing. North Carolina is no exception.
Before filing for divorce in North Carolina, at least one of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for a minimum of six months.
There are many ways to prove that residency has been established. The easiest way is if one or both spouses have a valid and in-date North Carolina driver’s license, ID card or voter’s registration card which was issued at least six months before filing for divorce. If this is not the case, it may be possible to establish residency, by having someone who knows you or your spouse testify that you have lived in the state for at least six months. Additionally, it may be possible to use an Affidavit of Corroborating Witness form, and it should serve as proof you’ve lived in the state a minimum of six months.
Valid grounds to get divorce in North Carolina
Grounds for an online divorce using OnlineDivorce.com are the same as they would be for any divorce within the State of North Carolina. Grounds are merely the reason for divorce, and the state must approve them.
The No-fault grounds for divorce in North Carolina is living separate and apart without cohabitation for one year. [General Statutes of North Carolina; Chapter 50, Section 50-6].
General reasons for divorce in North Carolina include:
Confinement for incurable insanity for at least three years or
Incurable mental illness based on doctor’s exams for at least three years. [General Statutes of North Carolina; Chapter 50, Sections 50-5.1].
Property division in North Carolina
One of the most challenging aspects of deciding to dissolve a marriage is determining how property (including the family home, if applicable) will be distributed. When a couple divorces in North Carolina, they must distribute wealth in a fair, legally-mandated and agreeable manner. This can be a challenging proposition. When the couple can agree upon how to distribute property on their own, without involving the court, this leads to an uncontested divorce and speeds up matters making for a much smoother divorce.
North Carolina is considered to be an “equitable distribution” state. Separate property, which includes:
- All property acquired before the marriage;
- All gifts and inheritances acquired during the marriage;
- Property which was acquired in exchange for separate property; and
- Any noted increase in the value of separate property, will be retained by the spouse who owns it.
Marital property (this is property acquired by either or both spouses during the marriage and before the separation, including pension or retirement fund benefits) are to be divided equally unless the court finds that this would not be fair. This division is based on the following factors:
- Direct or indirect contributions that one spouse makes to the career or education of the other;
- Intentional depletion or waste of property;
- The overall net value of the property;
- How liquid or non-liquid the property is;
- The contribution of the spouses to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of each spouse as a homemaker;
- The economic circumstances of each spouse when the property is divided;
- Any increase or decrease in the value of this property during the marriage--or the depletion of the separate property for marital purposes;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The current age and health of the spouses;
- The income tax consequences of division of the property;
- Any liabilities of the spouses;
- Any retirement benefits, including social security, civil service, military and railroad retirement benefits;
- Any prior alimony or child support obligations of each spouse;
- The desire of the spouse with custody of the children to continue occupying the marital residence; and
- Other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the spouses. [General Statutes of North Carolina; Chapter 50, Section 50-20].
When you begin the process of filling out your divorce questionnaire using OnlineDivorce.com, you’ll receive more information about property distribution and the steps you can take to make this process easier and less likely to cause conflict between the divorcing spouses. As always, the goal is to have an uncontested divorce so that you can file online and avoid taking your case to court--saving you time, money and stress.
Mediation support in North Carolina
If child custody is contested in the state, the court can sometimes order the parents to submit to mediation for that issue. [General Statutes of North Carolina; Chapter 50, Section 50-13.1]. Mediation is available for other cases when the participants feel it would benefit them.
For those seeking to prepare their divorce papers using OnlineDivorce.com, utilizing divorce mediation can be a great tool to smooth out disagreements and prevent the case from going to court. This can be the simplest way to assure a fast, easy and affordable online divorce.
Filing fees for divorce in North Carolina
When you file your divorce papers, the court will charge filing fees that may vary by county. These costs are in addition to the cost of using OnlineDivorce.com. Please check with your local courthouse to determine the exact amount.
How long will it take
The use of the OnlineDivorce.com service usually takes between 30 minutes and two hours or more depending on the complexity of your case. You’ll start filling out the questionnaire immediately and can either complete it in one sitting, or you can save your progress and complete it at a later date if that is more convenient for you.
Once you’ve gotten the documents complete, you will need to file them and get your spouse’s signature. You’ll have more information regarding the finalization of your divorce case once you complete your paperwork and submit it with the clerk of courts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I really file for divorce in North Carolina without a lawyer?
Like other US states, North Carolina allows proceeding 'Pro Se,' which is the legal term for representing oneself before the court. The same right is also applicable to divorce cases.
Such a do-it-yourself divorce without a lawyer is gaining popularity in North Carolina as an affordable way to terminate the marriage. However, it should be noted that this approach is not suitable for every couple.
For example, if the parties contest the case or have some disputes about the property, finances, children-related issues, etc., the risks associated with divorce are higher than a peaceful uncontested process, and legal assistance would be essential.
Although the desire to save money is reasonable, one should think straight about the situation and assess their ability to arrange the process independently from start to finish.
In an uncontested divorce, where the parties have reached an agreement on the key aspects of their separation, DIY divorce can be a solution.
For these couples, OnlineDivorce.com provides document preparation services, helping them avoid paperwork pitfalls and save not only money but time.
How can I file for divorce in North Carolina without a lawyer?
Though each divorce case is unique, and sometimes additional actions may be required, the common steps in an uncontested divorce process in North Carolina are the following:
- If the couple meets North Carolina residency requirements, the party initiating the case (the plaintiff) should file the divorce petition and other legal forms with the District Court Division of the North Carolina General Court of Justice.
- At the moment of filing, the plaintiff pays a court filing fee, and the divorce case is assigned a number.
- The plaintiff then has to serve the second party with copies of the Divorce Complaint and the Summons. In North Carolina, the serving process can be accomplished with the county sheriff’s help, by certified mail, UPS, etc., but not by the plaintiff directly. The only exception is when the defendant agrees to accept service from the plaintiff. In that case, the defendant shall fill out an Acceptance/Waiver of Service form.
- Once the second spouse (the defendant) receives the papers, he/she has to file an Answer.
- After the expiration of the waiting period, the court can schedule the hearing date. Uncontested divorce hearings are typically brief, but the spouses have to submit the rest of the legal forms and their Settlement Agreement and Parenting Plan (if any) to finalize a divorce.
How much does it cost to get an uncontested divorce in North Carolina?
The cost of divorce in North Carolina is hard to predict without considering the circumstances of a particular divorce case, which may vary significantly.
The total cost typically depends on whether the parties contest the case and seek legal assistance. Legal fees often make up the bulk of the expenses for a dissolution of marriage.
In any case, the cost of any divorce in North Carolina starts with paying a mandatory court filing fee, which is about $225.
The spouses may also pay for divorce mediation, online divorce services, unbounded legal services, counseling, and more. Nevertheless, they do so at their discretion and can manage their expenses according to their specific situation.
How long do you have to live in North Carolina to file for divorce?
A couple must meet the residency requirements of the state to apply for a divorce in North Carolina. Thus, according to the North Carolina General Statutes, either party must be a resident in the state for at least six months before filing a Complaint for Divorce.
Besides, if the spouses would like to file for a no-fault divorce in North Carolina, they must have lived separate and apart for at least one year before the commencement of the action for divorce.
How long do you have to respond to divorce papers in North Carolina?
After being served with divorce papers, the defendant has thirty days to file an answer or counterclaim, and the date of the court hearing can be scheduled after this period passes.
In an uncontested divorce in North Carolina, the spouses may waive the right to answer and somewhat speed up the procedure.
If the defendant does not file an answer within thirty days, but the spouses have not signed a settlement agreement, the plaintiff can seek a default divorce, moving forward as if the defendant agreed with all provisions in the petition.
How do you get a free divorce in North Carolina?
The most affordable way to get divorced in North Carolina is to arrange an agreed DIY divorce without legal representatives, but it still is not free. The only thing the plaintiff has to pay is the mandatory court filing fee to start the divorce procedure unless they qualify to waive it due to indigency.
If a person cannot afford to pay this cost, they may ask the court to file for free by submitting the Petition to proceed as an indigent form. The court then considers whether the request is fair and reasonable and exempts the plaintiff from paying.
What papers do I need to file for a divorce in North Carolina?
Although some documents may vary depending on the circumstances, the initial divorce forms every plaintiff has to file with the court in North Carolina include Complaint For Absolute Divorce, Domestic Civil Action Cover Sheet, and Civil Summons. The rest of the most common divorce forms are Judgment for Absolute Divorce, Certificate for Absolute Divorce, Separation Agreement, Property Settlement Contract, Parenting Plan, Certificate of Service, Acceptance of Service.