What Happens If My Spouse Will Not Agree to a Divorce?

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Your spouse does not have to agree to a divorce. North Carolina is a “no-fault” divorce state. This means that both parties do not have to agree to get a divorce. Once you and your spouse have been living apart (in different residences) for at least one year and at least one of you has been living in North Carolina for at least six months, you can file for divorce in NC.

Once you file the divorce petition with the court, you must serve your spouse with a copy of the complaint. Usually this is accomplished by having the sheriff deliver a copy to your spouse in person. Your spouse will then have 30 days to file a response. If no response is received after 30 days, you can then petition the court to grant a final divorce decree. Your spouse does not need to do or sign anything.

The only response that will hold up a divorce petition is if your spouse files an answer alleging that you have not really been separated for at least a year. This will cause the court to set a hearing to determine whether you have met the statutory separation time required for a divorce in North Carolina.

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