When Can I File For Divorce?

Anyone who is separating will ultimately ask this question. Stop all the small talk and just tell me when can I file for Divorce?

For some, this may be your primary concern. If there were no children born to the parties and no property, this may be the most important question. For others, you may be much more concerned about whether you will receive custody or survive financially than you are concerned about the exact date you can file for Divorce.

North Carolina law requires that the parties be separated for at least one year at the time the Divorce action is filed. This one year requirement does not apply to the granting of an Annulment. Requirements for an Annulments are completely different and can be found N.C. Gen. Stat. §51-3.

Requirements for filing based upon 1 year’s separation N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-6:

(1) Parties have lived separate and apart for one year

(2) At least one party has lives in North Carolina for at least six months before filing for Divorce

Myths of Divorce

(1) “I must file for Divorce in the State where I was married.”      False        .

There is no requirement under North Carolina law that you file for Divorce in the State in which you married.

(2) “If I have only been married for a few months, I do not need to get a Divorce, I can just get an Annulment.”     False   .

The requirements for an annulment in North Carolina are outlined in N.C. Gen. Stat. §51-3.

(3) “After I separate from my spouse, I need to file separation papers with the court in order for the one-year period to begin to run.”       False     .

There is no requirement that documents be filed with the court in order for the one-year period to begin to run.

Zshakira J. Carthens, Esq.

“But not for lack of knowledge”

Disclaimer: This information is meant to educate our audience and help them make better decisions when faced with complex legal issues. Every individual’s situation will be different and you should always seek the advice of an attorney in order to receive specific advice based on your unique circumstances.