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Divorce is difficult for everyone involved and no one wants to drag out their divorce. If you and your spouse can agree on all aspects of your separation, seeking an uncontested divorce is a great way to expedite the process. Of course, this doesn’t mean that it will be easy, just that you’ll be granted a divorce faster than if you have a contested divorce.
What is an Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce, sometimes called an amicable divorce, means that both parties in the divorce agree on all matters: terms (child/spousal support), distribution of assets, and custody. Nothing is being contested. This type of divorce is typically a “no-fault” divorce, meaning that neither party has to prove that the other caused the breakdown of the marriage.
Who is eligible for an uncontested divorce?
Any couple that agrees on all terms of the divorce, including property division and spousal/child support are eligible for an uncontested divorce. While it’s not required, it is helpful if the couple does not have children or significant assets (which make disagreements more likely). It is possible to have an uncontested divorce with large assets and/or children, though.
Why is this a good option?
For couples that agree on terms of the divorce, going the uncontested route can save you precious time and money.
Since uncontested divorces are not litigated, there is a massive reduction in legal fees and very little time spent in court. They can be settled in as little as a month, letting you both move on with your lives faster than if you had to endure long, drawn-out divorce proceedings. You also retain more control over the outcome of the divorce if you agree and can draw up an agreement that you’re both happy with.
Can You Get an Uncontested Divorce Without a Lawyer?
Now that you know uncontested divorces aren’t litigated, you may be wondering if you can handle it yourself. While you certainly can complete an uncontested divorce without the help of an attorney, it’s not advisable.
When filing for divorce, things must be done in a certain order and paperwork must be completed correctly. Once the paperwork is filed, you will not be able to make revisions or correct mistakes. It’s wise to have an attorney help you draw up an agreement, look over your paperwork to ensure all of your requests are included and make sure you are doing everything the right way. This will give you peace of mind during an extremely stressful time.
The Procedure for Uncontested Divorce in North Carolina
Since North Carolina does not require couples seeking a divorce to formally separate, you do not need to file a formal separation with the state. You do need to have been living separately with no intent to reconcile for at least one year, however. Once you have met that requirement, the procedure is as follows:
- The initiator of the divorce will fill out a divorce complaint and file it with the clerk of courts.
- The complaint will be served to the other party, notifying them that their former spouse has begun divorce proceedings.
- After serving the non-filing party, the couple must wait 30 days before their initial hearing.
- During this time, the couple will draw up an agreement dictating the terms of the divorce. It is extremely beneficial to have a lawyer oversee the drafting of this agreement. Contact us at (919) 234-5513 or send us an email to schedule your consultation.
- After 30 days, the couple will have their first hearing during which, if they have agreed to all outstanding issues in their case, they may submit their final documents to the court to be granted divorce as soon as possible. The final documents are the judgment for absolute divorce, certificate for absolute divorce, separation agreement & property settlement contract, and a parenting plan (if applicable).
Consult with Doyle Law Group for Assistance With Your Uncontested Divorce in Raleigh
While divorce is never easy, we can help alleviate some of the stress. We’ve guided Raleigh couples through a divorce for over 20 years so whether you need guidance in drafting your agreement or completing the forms required by the state of North Carolina, the attorneys at Doyle Law Group are here. Call us at (919) 301-8843 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your consultation.