A Do It Yourself Divorce in North Carolina Guide
A divorce in the state of North Carolina does have its requirements and process. Knowing what to expect will be necessary.
A Divorce Petition
The first thing to expect is what’s called a ‘divorce petition.’ That’s pretty much the most common document in a do it yourself divorce in NC. A divorce petition is a document typically found in a legal aid service department for anyone who’s considering divorce. Simply fill the document out and then deliver a copy to the other spouse and a copy to the court in the residing county.
What Is Included in a Divorce Petition?
The spouse filling the petition out, first of all, is considered the Petitioner or Plaintiff in the matter. And the Petitioner must make sure for this petition of a do it yourself divorce in North Carolina to include the names of the husband, the wife, and any children. Separate properties are also included. If there is already an established decision on child custody and support and even alimony, that should also be listed on the petition.
Steps Toward Serving the Petition
In any do it yourself divorce in NC, the process by which the petition is delivered is not as simple as an addressed and stamped envelope. The process known as the “service of process” mandates that a Petitioner must hand-deliver the “divorce papers” personally. The other spouse (Respondent), of course, can either sign the papers or not. If not, a simple trip to the court to file for a default is necessary for the Petitioner. If the petition is signed, the process moves forward. It may also be possible that the Petitioner can’t even locate the Respondent. If that’s the case, the Petitioner must hire a professional server to deliver the papers.
Once the Petition Is Served….
The court establishes a waiting period according to family law where restraining orders on both parties are issues, orders are executed to prohibit both parties from selling property, borrowing against property, purchasing new insurance, selling old insurance, or taking children (if applicable) out of state.
A Respondent can choose to do one thing during this waiting period – file a “response” to the petition. This is a formality that can speed up the entire process (if the response is a full agreement toward the petition), but if the response is to disagree, either in part or in whole….
What Happens When One Spouse Doesn’t Agree With the Terms of the Divorce?
It can be anything from child support to custody to alimony to property distribution to the entire divorce. A Respondent can actually contest a do it yourself divorce in North Carolina for the purposes of maintaining the marriage.
Either way, the case then proceeds to court where a deliberation occurs. All evidence is brought to the table.
The court may not, however, decide on a judgment for a do it yourself divorce in NC until the waiting period is finished. Then, only then, can a final decision be made.