Many North Carolina couples pursue uncontested divorce to save time and money and prevent unnecessary conflict. If you and your spouse have agreed that it’s time to end your marriage and agree on all the significant aspects of your divorce, pursuing an uncontested divorce could benefit everyone involved.
If you want to learn more about the differences between a contested and uncontested divorce, we recommend reaching out to an experienced attorney. The skilled New Bern, North Carolina divorce attorneys at Greene Wilson Crow & Smith are here to help. We can provide you with excellent legal representation and answer your questions regarding the uncontested divorce process and whether it could be the best strategy in your case. Contact Greene Wilson Crow & Smith to schedule a consultation and learn more.
How Is an Uncontested Divorce Different Than a Traditional Divorce?
In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree on all of the major aspects of the divorce, including spousal support, child custody, and division of property and debts. You may have already settled all of these important issues in a legal separation agreement, and you can use the terms of the separation agreement and your divorce settlement.
When a couple doesn’t have shared property or children, and they’ve been married relatively short, there aren’t as many issues to be in conflict about. When spouses can sit down and figure out the terms of their divorce before the divorce, they can save themselves significant time and money. They will only need the court to grant them their divorce and finalize the legal process.
Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce in North Carolina
Under North Carolina law, you must fulfill the residency requirement, undergo a one-year separation, and have no disagreements on major issues to obtain an uncontested divorce. You or your spouse must have been a North Carolina resident for at least six months before filing for divorce. Once you’ve lived separately for one year and one day, you can file a petition for an uncontested divorce. Finally, you’ll need to agree on all of the issues in the divorce and agree that there are irreconcilable differences.
How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in North Carolina?
Every divorce case is unique, and your specific set of facts will determine how long your uncontested divorce will take. Remember, North Carolina requires spouses to be separated for at least one year before they can file for divorce. Two spouses must live separately and apart for one year before they are eligible for divorce. Once that requirement has been met, a contested divorce generally takes at least 30 to 60 days to be finalized. A contested divorce can take several months to years to finalize, depending on the contested issues. If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have already agreed on all the issues in your divorce settlement, you can finalize your contested divorce relatively quickly.
Do I Have to Go to Court?
Yes, even if you and your soon-to-be spouse have already agreed on all of the major issues in your divorce, you will still need to attend a final divorce hearing in court. At the final divorce hearing, the judge will call your name, and you will need to stand up and state that you are present. The judge will briefly ask you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse questions about the marriage. As long as the judge is satisfied with the testimony and the terms of the divorce settlement, he or she will sign the Judgement of Absolute Divorce, which will legally end the marriage.
The Benefits of Working with an Experienced Attorney for Your Uncontested Divorce
It may be tempting to try to pursue an uncontested divorce on your own without the help of an attorney. However, you need multiple legal steps to finalize your divorce through the court system. An attorney can help you gather all the necessary information, complete forms, and avoid hurdles that could slow down your uncontested divorce.
There may be an issue you thought you and your spouse have resolved, but it cannot be resolved as you finalize your divorce settlement. In other cases, your situation could change during your separation. You may have agreed to a specific child custody arrangement until your spouse entered a new romantic relationship. Perhaps you have concerns about the other adult’s influence on your child’s life and would like another child custody agreement. Your attorney can help you negotiate the best outcome if a contentious issue arises.
We Will Handle Every Aspect of Your Divorce
When an experienced attorney is not representing you, you may be unfamiliar with your legal rights and options. It can be easy for your spouse to quickly gain the upper hand, especially if they have already hired an attorney and you are representing yourself. Additionally, a divorce attorney will ensure that you have all the information you need regarding your and your spouse’s marital and separate property. Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon for a soon-to-be ex-spouse to hide assets to receive a more favorable divorce settlement. When you work with Greene Wilson Crow & Smith, we will handle every aspect of your case, including:
- Handle any remaining negotiation
- Draft and review the settlement agreement
- File all of the necessary paperwork
- Serve your soon-to-be ex-spouse
- Appear in court, and speak on your behalf in front of a judge
Contact a New Bern Divorce Attorney Today
The New Bern divorce attorneys at Greene Wilson Crow & Smith are here to help you navigate the uncontested divorce process. Whether you are ready to file for divorce or still have one or more issues that need to be worked out, we can provide you with effective legal representation. We’re here to answer any questions about your specific situation and help you understand how long your uncontested divorce may take and what issues need to be addressed before you file for divorce. Contact Greene Wilson Crow & Smith today to schedule your initial case evaluation and learn more about your legal options.