How long MUST you be seperated?

Dear amemoire,

You must be separated for a year and a day before you file for divorce. There is no way to shorten the process. I am not sure what your friend was alluding to when she said it would cost a lot of money if you waited, there is nothing I am aware of that would cause this.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

Does NC require, under all normal circumstances, for a couple to be seperated one full year before they can get a divorce?

My husband and I seperated last May. We were only married a few months, had no children and there were no property/finance issues…we had nothing in our joint names, not even a joint bank account. We sat down together and signed (and had notorised) a basic seperation agreement /property settlement that basically said no one was contesting anything, neither of us wanted alimony or spousal support, etc.

I was under the impression that all we had to do if everything was amicable was wait a year after our seperation date and go down to the court house, pay some sort of filing fee and file the papers for the absolute/final divorce. Is this correct? Or should I have filed the seperation agreement with the court as soon as it was signed?

I only ask because someone recently told me I was wasting my time and I should just “go down to the library and pick up a pack of papers and you can get divorced now, otherwise if you wait you’ll have to pay loads of money at court”.

I don’t think she knew what she was talking about as I’ve been pretty thorough in my research, but I could be wrong. Am I?