Ryan Addison

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Divorce in North Carolina


What are the qualifications for divorce in North Carolina?

  • To file a divorce in North Carolina, you and your spouse must have lived separate and apart for a least a year, and one spouse must have resided in North Carolina for a least six months before the filing of the divorce.


Can I afford a divorce?

  • There isn’t a sure way to tell how much a divorce is going to cost. You should also factor in the prices that are involved with filing other documents with the court, as well as the additional cost that is associated with a name change.


Should I hire an attorney?

  • Hiring a lawyer is not essential, but it is recommended. The self-serve center has forms that individuals can fill out and apply for a divorce. You should see a lawyer before filing for divorce to make sure that there are no other claims you wish to pursue. If you are granted a divorce in North Carolina, then your claims for alimony and equitable distribution are barred. You need to consult a lawyer to make sure you understand your rights.


Does North Carolina grant divorces based on marital fault?

  • North Carolina is considered a no-fault divorce state. This means that neither spouse is forced to prove that the other caused the divorce.


When can I change my name?

  • You are allowed to change your name at the time of the divorce. The fee for a name change is $10.


Can I get an annulment in North Carolina?

  • In North Carolina, certain limited circumstances would enable a spouse to obtain an annulment. If the parties are more closely related than first cousins or between double cousins, you may petition the court for an annulment. If one of the spouses is fewer than 16 years of age, then an annulment can be considered only if there isn't a child, or if the female isn't pregnant.

  • If either party is already married or if either party is impotent at the time of marriage, an annulment can be considered. If one of the spouses to the marriage were incapable of agreeing to marry, then an annulment may be obtained.

  • If a female lured the male into marriage by stating that she was pregnant, the male could obtain an annulment if the spouses separated within 45 days of marriage and have been separated for one year. And if the child has not been born within ten lunar months of the date of separation.

  • If you think that you qualify for an annulment, it is essential to speak to an attorney about the specifics of your case.


When will the case be over?

  • There isn’t any way to tell when the case is going to be over. Once you file the complaint, the other party has 30 days to respond, and they can be granted an additional 30 days if necessary. After that time you can schedule a hearing in front of judges to hear the case. If it is uncontested, it can be obtained relatively quickly. However, contested divorces can take longer.


Do I have to go to court?

  • This depends on the county where you reside. Some counties in North Carolina allow the opportunity to get divorced without going to court. Often, if the proper procedures have been met (i.e., one-year separation, six-month residency and no marital disputes) you are not required to go to court. However, individual counties the court takes the testimony of at least one spouse to determine if Absolute Divorce is appropriate.


When can I start dating/remarry?

  • You will not be allowed to remarry until the judge signs the Divorce Judgement. Once the parties are separated, you are free to date, but dating before separation could later be used against you (i.e., accusations of adultery).


Do issues such as child support, child custody, alimony, and property have to be decided before the divorce is final?

  • In North Carolina, issues such as child support, alimony, and property do not have to be decided before the divorce is final. However, if you want to preserve your claim to alimony and equitable distribution, you need to file these claims with the court before when the Judgement of Divorce is granted. If the judge signs the divorce preceding you asserting these claims, you will be barred from later bringing these claims before a judge.


What if I’m in the military and out of state?

  • In North Carolina, you will still be able to file for divorce. Only one spouse is required to reside in North Carolina for six months. You have to submit the divorce in the county where your spouse lives. North Carolina can still retain jurisdiction even if you’re stationed out of state.


Can I change my child’s last name without the permission of the other spouse?

  • In North Carolina, a spouse cannot change the name of a child without the permission of the other parent. However, there are some limited circumstances. If the other parent is deceased, then the parent can change the minor child’s last name. Also, if the child is 16 then consent from the other parent isn’t required. Additionally, if you can prove to the Clerk of Court that the other parent has abandoned the child, it is possible to change the name without their consent.

Practice Area Categories: 

Family Law

Your family is going through a very rough transition, so you need a lawyer that understands your situation. Attorney Ryan B. Addison has the compassion experience you've been searching for.


Criminal Law

If you've been arrested and accused of a crime, you need to hire a good lawyer right away. You're going to need help maneuvering through the legal system and Ryan B. Addison is here to assist.


Wills/Estate

You want to be prepared for it all and Attorney Ryan B. Addison is here to assist you. You'll really be able to feel comfortable moving forward with all of your estate planning with his help.


Contact Ryan

Davie County

157 N. Main Street Mocksville, NC 27028

336-936-9067

Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm


Rowan County

315 N. Main Street Salisbury, NC 28144

704-603-4275

Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm