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North Carolina Divorce



To begin a divorce proceeding in North Carolina, at least one spouse must have been a North Carolina resident for six months.

Grounds for Divorce

In North Carolina, divorce is permitted if a couple has been separated (living apart) for at least one year. Couples can also divorce if one spouse has suffered from incurable insanity or mental illness for at least 3 years.

Property Division and Spousal Maintenance

In North Carolina, all marital property and divisible property, which includes assets and debts acquired during the marriage, is divided "equitably" (but not necessarily equally). Separate property, which includes property acquired before the marriage and property obtained during the marriage via gift or inheritance to strictly one spouse, is not subject to equitable distribution.

Under certain conditions, the court will order alimony to be paid from one spouse to the other. The length and amount of support awarded depends on several factors, including the length of the marriage and each spouse's financial situation and earning capacity.

Child Custody and Support

If parents in North Carolina are unable to reach a custody agreement on their own, the courts will make custody decisions based on what is in the best interests of the child. North Carolina courts will make custody decisions that allow both parents to be fully involved in a child's physical, mental, moral, and emotional well-being unless there is reason to believe that one parent could cause harm to the child.

In North Carolina, child support is calculated based on the combined gross income of both parents and the number of children being supported. If necessary, the court will set aside part of a couple's joint or separate assets in a trust or fund used to support the child.

North Carolina Divorce Additional Resources

North Carolina Courts for information about the courts in your area

The North Carolina Vital Records for copies of marriage and divorce records

The North Carolina Child Support Enforcement Program for information about collecting child support payments