Timetable for Divorce


My husband and I separated on October 20, 2008. We have a filed separation agreement. I understand that I can file for a divorce on October 21, 2009. Once I file for the divorce, am I correct that my husband has 30 days to contest it? Since we are in agreement of the divorce, is there anything that can be done to speed up the process instead of it taking the 30 days? If we do have to wait the 30 days, how long will it take (after the 30 days) to actually have the divorce papers in hand? We’re both eager to get this over with. Thank you in advance for your assistance with this matter.


If no one contests the divorce, it will go through. Yes, you have 30 days to contest. If there is no contest, then the divorce proceeds. One of you will have to appear before the judge at the calendared date. That’s all and it may very well be after 30 days have passed. It depends on the Court docket and when the hearing is scheduled.


I appreciate your response.


What happens if we have reached agreement on nothing - alimony, child support, ED. Will the judge still grant the divorce? Are we able to file suit at a later date?


I assume you mean to say that you and your husband have signed a Separation Agreement, as those are not filed in NC.
Once you file for divorce, your husband has 30 days to respond to the allegations in the complaint, (ie: your names, date of marriage, date of separation and the pertinent information related to any children born of the marriage). He cannot contest the actual divorce, he can only deny the veracity of the allegations in the complaint. So long as all the facts you allege in the complaint are true, he cannot delay the divorce.
After the 30 day period of time passes for your husband to file a response you will need to contact the clerk in order to set a date for the divorce hearing. The judge will grant your divorce (it will be final) at the conclusion of the hearing.
If you have not reached an agreement regarding alimony and equitable distribution you MUST include those claims in your complaint for divorce, otherwise you lose your right to do so once the divorce is granted. I am confused as to what is in your separation agreement if you have not settled these issues.