Contesting a divorce in NC


My friends physical seperation of 1 year is up in February. The woman that he is divorcing tells him if he doesn’t pay her bills that she will contest the divorce and make him pay alimony even though she cheated on him before they seperated. She quite her job last month so she has no income other than Social Security that she receives for a child she had from a previous marriage. Can you tell me what are legal grounds to contest a divorce in NC and when the one year is up what would you recommend his next step to be. He spoke briefly to a attorney a year ago but not since. I was divorced in another state so I do not know the laws here other than what I have read.


I’m not a lawyer but she can’t contest the divorce once the 1 year and 1 day period is up- even if she goes after him for alimony she can’t stop the divorce. I just helped a friend do his divorce and although very stressful at times, if all the paper work is completed and filed as the courts request- its not that hard to do- just depends on how complex I guess.


Thank you PCchristie for your reply. Can you give example of the paperwork that you are speaking about? My understanding is they have physically lived in seperate homes for a year in February. They only have debt to deal with no assets, no children. They have not filed anything with the court he has been paying for her car insurance and cellphone for the entire year. She quit her job in October telling him that he has to pay alimony since she doesn’t have any income. She is physically able to work and quit a job making 40K a year.


She cannot contest the actual divorce itself, and that will be granted regardless of is she files counterclaims for alimony and property distribution.

To file for divorce he needs to file the Complaint, and fill out the Summons for the clerk to issue at the time of filing. Many counties have those forms and the others needed to complete the process at the courthouse in a “do-it-yourself” divorce packet, which is available free of charge.


to NCMoon- you can email me at if you like and I can tell you about my paperwork


Thank you Erin for your reply. Can you tell me how alimony works in NC with the STBX quitting her job will that make the amount of alimony higher or is it based on average 3 year income of both? If she tries to get alimony from him what evidences does he need to prove that she was involved sexually with another man before they separated? If she openly admitted these things during marriage counseling can this be used as evidence against her?


In general alimony is based on the demonstrated reasonable needs of the dependant spouse less the income they have available to them, and the ability of the supporting spouse to pay after their reasonable expenses have been met.

If a dependant spouse is found to have depressed their income in bad faith to try and increase an alimony award, the court may impute income to reduce the “need” of the dependant spouse. The previous 3 years of income can be used to demonstrate earning capacity and a potential bad faith reduction in income.

If a dependant spouse has had an affair he or she is barred from seeking alimony. An admission can be used against her in court to prove she was unfaithful.