An amicable divorce is the fastest and least expensive type of divorce. If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse can come to an agreement on the terms of your divorce, an amicable divorce will be the best for everyone involved.
What is an Amicable Divorce?
An amicable divorce, sometimes called a civil or uncontested divorce, is one where both parties agree on all terms of the divorce, including property division, debt division, child custody arrangements, spousal support, and child support.
This does not mean that you cannot argue over these issues. In fact, it’s perfectly normal to argue about them and you will likely have many discussions as you try to reach agreements. In an amicable divorce, your goal is to reach an agreement outside of court to avoid taking your case before a judge. Whether you come to an agreement on your own or via mediation, keeping your case out of the courtroom will save time, money, and stress for your entire family.
Do You Need an Amicable Divorce Lawyer?
Many people think hiring an attorney is unnecessary in an amicable divorce. This could not be further from the truth. It is always recommended to have legal counsel during a divorce, even if you will not be taking your case to court.
If you or your spouse decide that you no longer agree with the terms of the divorce, you could be looking at litigation. It is not uncommon for a divorce to start as amicable and then become contested. If it happens and your case gets taken to court, you will need to have a lawyer.
Hiring an amicable divorce attorney is important because the terms of your divorce must be put into a legally binding agreement. Once your agreement is submitted, you will not be able to make revisions or correct mistakes. Having an experienced amicable divorce lawyer draw up your agreement and review paperwork will give you peace of mind during a stressful time.
Filing for Amicable Divorce in Raleigh
The amicable divorce process is relatively simple.
The state of North Carolina has two requirements for divorce: separation of one year and at least one partner has to have lived in North Carolina for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. North Carolina recognizes a separation you and your spouse live separately with no intent to reconcile for at least one year prior to filing. In most cases, you do not need to file a formal separation with the state.
Once you have met those requirements, the procedure is as follows:
- The initiator of the divorce (the plaintiff) will complete a divorce complaint and file it with the clerk of courts.
- The other party (the defendant) will be served the complaint, notifying them that their spouse has begun divorce proceedings. You cannot serve these papers yourself and you cannot have someone you know serve them. You can contact the clerk of courts to arrange for a sheriff’s deputy to serve your spouses.
- After the divorce petition has been served, you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse must wait 30 days before your initial hearing.
- During this time, you will come to an agreement with your spouse about the terms of the divorce. This should be done via mediation and the final agreement should be drawn up by an attorney. Contact us at (919) 301-8843 or fill out our contact form below to schedule your consultation.
- After 30 days, you will have your first hearing during which, if you have come to an agreement about all outstanding issues, you may submit your final documents to the court. The final documents are the judgment for absolute divorce, certificate for absolute divorce, separation agreement & property settlement contract, and, if applicable, a parenting plan.
An amicable divorce moves quickly. Depending on how soon you are able to reach agreements, you could be officially divorced in as little as two months from your initial filing.
Consult With a Raleigh Amicable Divorce Lawyer
Divorce is stressful even when you get along with your former spouse. We can help streamline the process and alleviate some of the stress. The Doyle Law Group has helped Raleigh couples through divorce for over 18 years, so whether you need mediation or someone to draft your agreement, our amicable divorce attorneys in Raleigh are here. Call us at 919-301-8843 or fill out the form below to schedule your consultation.