The decision to divorce is not an overnight one. There are several issues and factors that build up over a period of time, which ultimately culminate in the desire for divorce. Unfortunately (or fortunately), it is also not possible to obtain a divorce overnight. The state of North Carolina requires certain pre-filing conditions to be fulfilled before the petition for divorce can be filed.
What are the Pre-filing Divorce Requirements in North Carolina?
The pre-filing requirements in North Carolina are two –fold.
- The partners must live separate and apart for a period of one year in order to be eligible to file for divorce
- At least one spouse should have resided in North Carolina for a period of six months prior to filing for divorce.
The Rationale Behind the Pre-filing Requirements
North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state. Hence the first pre-filing condition states that at least one spouse should enter the period of one-year separation intending the separation to be permanent. Any resumption of marital relations during the period can render the separation null and void, restarting the separation clock anew. This condition is in place to make sure that at least one spouse definitely wants ‘out of the marriage’.
The second pre-filing condition is a jurisdictional requirement to ensure that the state of North Carolina has the jurisdiction over the case and hence the power to consider the divorce petition and grant the divorce.
So long as both pre-filing conditions are met and the legal formalities with relation to filing the divorce are correctly carried out, it is possible to obtain a divorce even if the other partner wishes to reconcile.
We at McIlveen Family Law Firm have helped numerous clients with their divorce processes. We can advise on the correct conduct on your part to make sure that you adhere to the pre-filing conditions of the divorce, so that processes of subsequently filing for divorce and obtaining the final divorce judgment proceed smoothly and without any undue stress to you.