10 Steps of Divorce
Part 4 What is an Absolute Divorce?
According to the State of North Carolina, an Absolute Divorce is defined as follows:
“An Absolute Divorce is a complete divorce that allows the parties to marry again after their Divorce judgment becomes final, or to legally take action as a single individual, such as purchasing property or filing taxes as single. North Carolina law requires that the parties be separated for more than one(1) year before they file for divorce. The parties do not need an agreement to file for an Absolute Divorce. However, in order for a party to be eligible for an Absolute Divorce in North Carolina, the husband or wife must have been a resident of North Carolina for at least six (6) months prior to the filing. You and your spouse must also have lived continuously separate and apart for at least one(1) year and one (1) day before the divorce can be filed. (See below for more information about North Carolina's separation requirement.) These requirements are set out in North Carolina law (or statutes) at North Carolina General Statute Section 50-6. There are no exceptions to these requirements to get an Absolute Divorce”.
To put it simply an absolute divorce can be described as the completed process of all divorce requirements which would then allow you to withdraw from the contract of marriage with your spouse. In order to obtain an absolute divorce or a final divorce decree, both parties must satisfy the requirements set forth by the state. In North Carolina, the requirement for an absolute divorce is that both parties are separated for one year and one day with the intention of one or more parties for the separation to remain permanent. Once both parties have fulfilled the required separation period and have then been notified of a filing an absolute divorce can be granted by the state. North Carolina makes it very clear that as long as these requirements are met and there are no exceptions to them being fulfilled the divorce can be granted.
The first question that usually comes up then is why does it take so law if the state only requires separation for a year. We will be getting into the different motions of litigation that are oftentimes the reason why an absolute divorce can have a different timeline for different people. An absolute divorce by namesake might seem like it's an alternative option to going to court and getting caught in a legal battle because of the use of the word absolute. It's important to remember that an absolute divorce and the divorce you receive after whatever timeline makes sense for your particular case are the same.
To give you a better understanding make sure to check out one of our other blogs in which we breakdown the timeline and process of a divorce: https://www.jerkinsfamilylaw.com/10-steps-of-divorce-part-1-timelines-and-the-process
I understand that these are only a few answers and that every situation is different so an answer for one person might not apply at all to someone else. If you have any more questions regarding the divorce process, your order, or if you feel your order is being violated make sure to contact your lawyer. If you do not have any current representation and have additional questions please feel free to reach out to me and I will do my best to find you the answer.
Jerkins Law, PLLC