Many couples want to end their marriage fast and for a reasonable price when dealing with divorce. However, it is not always an option. If the spouses seek an uncontested divorce, they can save their time, money, and nerves. But for some couples, it may be challenging to reach an agreement regarding all divorce-related issues.
This article will guide you through the differences between contested and uncontested divorce in North Carolina. Keep up!
Grounds for a Divorce in North Carolina
According to North Carolina law, the state is a hybrid-fault divorce state, meaning that spouses may seek either a fault-based or a no-fault divorce.
To seek a fault-based divorce in North Carolina, the petitioner must use one of the grounds mentioned below:
- Cruel treatment
- Drug abuse
By choosing a fault-based divorce, the filing spouse may influence several factors in the divorce process. For example, adultery of a spouse at fault may impact alimony.
In addition, the petitioner must provide evidence of the respondent’s misconduct.
No-Fault Divorce Requirements
Generally, there are two requirements for a no-fault divorce in North Carolina.
- The divorcing spouses must live separately and apart for no less than one year.
- One of the spouses must be a resident of North Carolina for no less than six months before filing the divorce papers.
Note: Another no-fault ground for a divorce in North Carolina is incurable insanity. To use this ground when filing for a divorce, the plaintiff has to show that the other spouse’s illness caused them to live separately and apart for three consecutive years before divorce proceedings.
Contested Divorce in North Carolina
Divorcing spouses unable to reach a Settlement Agreement must seek a contested divorce. Below you will find the answers to the most common questions asked about the contested divorce process.
When is a contested divorce applied in North Carolina?
Case #1. One reason for a contested divorce is that one spouse challenges the grounds the other spouse uses to end the marriage.
Case #2. One spouse objects to getting a divorce in the first place.
Case #3. A couple can’t agree on at least one thing when ending their marriage.
In each of these cases, the couple will have to proceed with a contested divorce. In a contested divorce, the spouses usually use legal help to handle divorce matters and finalize the process.
Which divorce-related issues must be agreed on in North Carolina?
In a contested divorce, the spouses typically need to agree on the following matters:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Alimony (also known as spousal support)
- Marital property division
- Division of assets
However, not all spouses manage to reach a consensus.
Why is a contested divorce in North Carolina more expensive than an uncontested one?
When partners can’t settle all their disputes amicably, they have to use legal assistance, meaning divorce mediation or hiring a divorce attorney. Legal assistance is never cheap; thus, long hours of consultations with lawyers in some cases may cost an arm and a leg.
In addition to costly consultations, contested divorce paperwork preparation is usually also handled by a lawyer.
Uncontested Divorce in North Carolina
An uncontested divorce is the best option for divorcing spouses able to settle their divorce-related matters. It allows for a more straightforward procedure.
When is an uncontested divorce applied in North Carolina?
If the spouses want to end their marriage relatively quickly and for a reasonable price, they should consider an uncontested divorce. To seek such a divorce, they have to agree on every critical aspect of their breakup.
Spouses able to settle their issues amicably out of court can file for an uncontested divorce. They draft a Marital Settlement Agreement outlining all the post-divorce arrangements. The judge reviews it, and if it’s fair and follows local laws, the divorce decree can be granted.
What are the benefits of an uncontested divorce in North Carolina?
An uncontested divorce is beneficial for divorcing spouses in several ways. This type of divorce helps spouses save their time, money, and nerves. But what other benefits does it offer?
In an uncontested divorce, spouses can solve their divorce matters themselves. Thus, they won’t need the services of a lawyer or a law firm to proceed with their divorce, which allows them to save time and money.
Online divorce is possible
An uncontested divorce makes the couple eligible for an online divorce. Online divorce is a way for the petitioner to handle the divorce paperwork quickly and affordably without an attorney.
A DIY divorce is an option
As there is no need to hire legal assistants, an uncontested divorce may be the go-to option for those who want to undergo an inexpensive DIY divorce. In a do-it-yourself divorce, the spouses can handle their divorce process without an attorney.
A DIY divorce is much easier if the spouses prepare their divorce documents over the internet. Online divorce paperwork preparation services help the spouses complete their divorce forms and guarantee 100% court approval. Such a service also provides the couple with a filing guide, making the filing process more straightforward.
If the spouses want to undergo a simple and inexpensive divorce as fast as possible, they should apply for an uncontested divorce. This way, they will be able to resolve their divorce-related issues amicably before going to court, which significantly shortens the overall divorce process.
However, if the spouses can’t settle matters themselves, seeking a contested divorce with legal assistance would be more reasonable. If at least one issue cannot be resolved, divorcing spouses should consider hiring a lawyer or using divorce mediation services. Just keep in mind that such an option makes the overall divorce process longer and results in considerable expenses.