North Carolina requires folks to be legally separated for one year before divorce proceedings can even begin. We do not need to live together for a year prior to marriage. We do not even need to have dated for a year prior to getting married. If it only takes one trip to the courthouse to file a marriage certificate to be legally married, then it should also take very little effort to get a divorce.
For the one requesting the divorce:
1. Someone wants a divorce. There are no children in the marriage. There is no abuse to be reported (therefore no alimony to request – this is not to say the spouse cannot offer alimony. If offered, it is up to the requester to accept alimony or not.).
2. The person who wants to start the divorce proceedings files a Notice of Pending Divorce with the county Clerk of Court where they last resided with their spouse. They can do this in person or online. They include a flat fee in order to fill out this form. There is no refund if they change their mind.
3. They now wait.
For the Clerk of Court:
1. They receive the new Notice of Pending Divorce.
2. For walk-ins, they help the requester fill out all of the pertinent information directly into the database.
The requester will immediately receive a receipt and a “Thank you for filing your NPD with Mecklenburg County” letter. “Your information has been processed. Mrs. Jones will be yours and your spouse’s case worker during this interim period. If you provided an address, your spouse has been sent a copy of their own NPD to fill out. They will not receive a copy of yours. They will also pay the same one-time, nonrefundable clerk fee that you paid. They have up to 10 business days to respond. If you did not provide an address of record for your spouse, please find more information in Section C of this document. There is no need to call us in 10 days. You will be sent a notice if we received word from your spouse or not. If you do not hear back from us within 15 business days of this notice, please call us at xxx-xxx-xxxx. Thank you for your patience.”
On day 11 (if not before but no later than):
A) Once both NPD’s are received, Mrs. Jones will research the information provided by both parties: banking, assets, employment, income from all sources, etc.
A1) If she finds any discrepancies between what either claimed and between the two NPD’s themselves, she will contact both filers for clarification and request additional documentation if necessary. Each party will receive automated letters informing of the process along the way. This initial research process should not take more than 10 business days to complete on the part of Mrs. Jones. Once there are no discrepancies, each party receives an Invoice Agreement based on a sliding scale of earnings (agreed to on the NPD) and an “Agreement to Divorce Request” letter to sign separately in front of a notary. They each have up to 10 business days to sign. If unavailable, these letters are also sent to the Power of Attorney’s on record who will be able to sign as well and who will also be given 10 days to sign if signatures are not returned by the initial parties. The invoices can be paid immediately upon receipt or a payment plan implemented.
A2) If Mrs. Jones finds no discrepancies, she will submit her findings and the signed Invoice Agreements and Agreement to Divorce Requests to the next judge in the que to request a divorce.
A3) The judge works the cases on a first come, first serve basis. If the Judge has no questions or additional thoughts to consider, both parties will receive a “Notice of Divorce” and, if not paid in full, an Invoice Agreement at the addresses (email and physical) they both provided as well as to each parties Power of Attorney.
A4) If one or both of the persons getting a divorce do not adhere to the Invoice Agreement or the Agreement to Divorce Request, they will immediately be held in contempt of court. It is up to the COURT to find the skipper – NOT the divorced spouse.
B) If the spouse responds with a counteroffer, Mrs. Jones will send the requester a copy of the counteroffer. The requester has up to 10 days to respond. This back and forth continues until there is either an agreement or a deadlock. Each party has up to three times to make a counteroffer. If an agreement is made, A2 happens. If there is a deadlock, A2 happens. It will be up to the judge (based on NC law) to decide what is “fair” and “equitable”.
C) If there is no response from the spouse, A2 will happen. The request will be considered by the judge who will determine if the requester gets everything they want by default, or if more time needs to be granted to find the spouse. If the requester indicates they do not know where the spouse is, the court hires a PI to track the spouse down and submit the NPD to him/her. The PI has one month. If after one month and the spouse cannot be found, and based on evidence of thorough investigative work, it is up to the judge to decide if more time is needed to locate the spouse or if the divorce will be granted et al at that time.
If you have any questions or new information, please call Mrs. Jones to leave a message or to schedule or confirm your appointment. If an appointment, make sure to bring any additional documentation that she may require. Her direct number is xxx-xxx-xxxx.
Mrs. Jones works for the county at the courthouse as a clerk. There are many such clerks who are given these assignments on a first come, first serve basis as their case load allows. If there is a backlog to begin with, hire more clerks.
The private investigators can be employees of the court or private consultants. Courthouse employees are given first consideration.
Hi! I’m MJ! And I’m a survivor of Domestic Violence. It has taken me four years to get to the point that I can now share my heart with you and not freak out about what someone might think of me.
With all the help I’ve received from family, new friends, and professionals in the spiritual and mental health arenas, I know had I NOT gotten the help I needed, I’d still be struggling.
What I hope to do is help other survivors get a grip faster than it has taken me. Through VictoryLife House, I have developed a platform for survivors to meet the professionals they need at a reduced rate. Just for them! Just for VictoryLife House! Just because I believe survivors are worth it!
Life without abuse IS an option. Choose life!
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