Divorce - Does there need to be a court appearance?


#1

I have a signed, notorized sep agreement. It has been more than a year and my husband has not filed. Our sep agreement says whoever files must pay.
So, I downloaded the rosen guide to a divorce but it says that there is a court appearance. It may be urban legend, but I was told at some point that since we have the detailed sep agreement and all terms (QDRO) have been fulfilled, we don’t have children, etc, no court prescence was required. Is that true?
Also, the rosen stuff says it will cost $245 to file. Are there any other fees I need to be prepared for? Are there court costs if I have to go to court?


#2

Oh and the sep agreement WAS filed with the courts. Does that matter?


#3

*** Not a lawyer ***

In North Carolina at least it’s not an urban legend. You actually don’t even need a separation agreement [size=85](but I’d recommend having one)[/size] and you can do it even if you have kids. The key is to read the “Judgement for Absolute Divorce Before the Clerk” form (AOC-CV-710) and make sure that all of the Findings can be satisfied based on the information in the Complaint and the Answer. If you and your husband can work together a little, the divorce itself can be handled in a matter of a few hours; see the thread “(Relatively) fast divorce?” in this forum for details. If you can’t work together even that much it might still be possible, but would probably take longer.

I don’t know if having the separation agreement filed makes a difference; mine wasn’t filed, for what it’s worth. I’d guess it probably wouldn’t matter, although if you’re wanting it incorporated that might matter. I expect the Rosen lawyer will be able to answer us for sure.

As for fees, the only fee paid when my ex-wife and I did it was the initial fee for filing the Complaint. If you’re wanting to resume your maiden name, that’s a little extra paid when filing. You’ll also have to pay notary fees, unless you can get free notary services from your bank or something like that. Depending on how you have the Summons served, that might cost you as well (i.e. paying the Sheriff, or USPS registered mail). And, of course, there might be other things specific to your situation that weren’t involved in mine. I have no idea what costs there might be if you do have to go to court.


#4

Depending upon how you obtain the divorce, you may have the $20 motion fee. You will have additional fees for incidentals like copies, notaries and serving the papers. You will have to go to court, whether just going to the clerk’s office for filing or to have a divorce hearing.