Home  >  Divorce Paperwork

How and Where is a Divorce Complaint Filed in North Carolina?

Although North Carolina allows for no-fault divorces that make the proceedings much easier than having to state a reason or assign blame, the divorce filing process is not as simple as one might believe. This is especially true when it comes to filling out and filing the proper paperwork. In North Carolina, the only requirements a couple must meet in order to file for Absolute Divorce is to have been separated for one consecutive year and for one spouse to have lived in North Carolina for at least six months. Once these conditions are met, you must then fill out the required paperwork and go through the necessary steps to move your divorce proceeding forward before finalizing it.

At Marshall & Taylor PLLC, we know going through a divorce can be an emotionally taxing ordeal. Not only are you dealing with the stresses of the divorce proceeding, but you’re also coming to grips with a failed marriage and a drastic change in your life. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through this alone. The Raleigh divorce paperwork lawyers at Marshall & Taylor PLLC can handle your case every step of the way, making sure you fill out and file all paperwork on time so you can focus on your own well-being. Contact our offices today by calling 919-833-1040 and speak with a skilled legal representative about your rights and options.

Divorce Paperwork

There are a number of forms involved in a divorce proceeding. Along with filing paperwork for divorce, it’s important to remember that if you are seeking any decisions on child custody, alimony, division of assets, or child support, you must file for those before filing for divorce to avoid losing rights. All the divorce forms will have blanks for “plaintiff” and “defendant” and some have to be signed in front of a Notary Public before they can be completed and delivered to your spouse. The forms you should know about include:

  • Complaint: Because a divorce is a type of lawsuit, you must file a complaint at your County Clerk’s office detailing who is seeking the divorce and asking for a judge to grant you a divorce.
  • Verification: A document signed and notarized that verifies the complaint is legitimate.
  • Civil Summons: This document identifies the spouse you are serving divorce papers to and seeking a divorce from. If the sheriff’s department serves the papers, you must also file a “Notice of Assignment Card,” or, if you choose to mail the complaint, you must fill out an “Affidavit of Service by Certified Mail.”
  • Judgment: This is the legal document that grants your divorce request. After receiving this, you must go back to the clerk’s office and file it.

It’s important to make sure you do not sign forms that require notarization until you are in front of a Notary Public. You should also make two copies of every form to ensure you have a copy for yourself. An experienced divorce attorney can make sure you fill out and file all forms correctly, making the process as smooth as possible.

Divorce Process

After filling out and submitting the proper paperwork, the divorce proceedings go through various stages before being finalized. Those include the following:

  • Separation: The entire process begins with a physical separation apart from your spouse for at least one year. This is the stage where child custody, alimony, and other decisions are resolved and addressed in a separation agreement.
  • Filing: After a year, you can legally file and serve the divorce complaint, verification, and civil summons, and the corresponding fees, with your local County Clerk’s office.
  • Service: You cannot legally serve your spouse the divorce complaint in person. It can only be done by certified mail, in person through a sheriff’s deputy, or by publishing a notice in the local newspaper. After your spouse has been served, you must wait 30 days before scheduling a hearing. During this time your spouse can file an answer to your complaint in the event they want to contest it.
  • Hearing: A judge will hear your divorce and submit a judgment officially granting your marriage dissolution. If there are still disputes between both parties, they can be addressed during this hearing where the judge will hear both arguments and make a decision in the final divorce order.
  • Finalized: After the divorce is entered by the judge, you will file three copies of the document at the Clerk of Court’s Office. If you want to restore your previous surname, you can begin that process by filing another certified copy of the judgment with the Social Security Administration.

Because the divorce process is so involved and can also be an emotionally stressful or heated process, it’s a good idea to consult with a divorce attorney as soon as possible to ensure you not only follow the proper steps but that you reach your desired outcome.

Contact Us Today

The Raleigh divorce lawyers at Marshall & Taylor PLLC have the experience and the heart to help individuals just like you pursue and finalize the best solution to dissolve their marriage and move on with their lives. This is not an easy process and requires a legal representative with the resources and stamina to see it through to the end. To schedule a free consultation and begin your divorce proceedings, contact us today by calling 919-833-1040.

Testimonials

Looking for an attorney whose ethics and morals are above reproach? Look no further than the attorneys at Marshall & Taylor... He has my strongest recommendation if you are in need of a professional attorney who not only understands the law, but is highly experienced and cost effective! -Jody from Avvo

- Phenomenal Cost-Effective Attorney

The divorce process is tough. Not only is it emotionally difficult and physically draining, but the actual legal process itself is simply unchartered territory for most of us. When my spouse served me with a separation papers & an out of this world financial proposal — I nearly had a heart attack. I was just plain shocked and totally unprepared for the ridiculous and unjustified financial demands that she wanted. I was an emotional wreck, but in a panic, I called my CPA advisor and asked for help. I’ve known my CPA for over 5 years having found him thru the Dave Ramsey website. When I asked him to recommend a divorce attorney, he gave me one name, Jeff Marshal. I’m not going to attempt to list all the reasons you should call Jeff, but I can attest that you will not be sorry you called. The divorce process has significant and lasting implications on everything important in your life after divorce. Make sure you that you have Jeff by your side when these decisions are being made, I am certain that you will be glad you did.

- I recommend Jeff Marshall

I found myself in a position of impending separation/divorce. My situation involved marital misconduct in another country(a very difficult to prove situation), did my due diligence; read reviews and went to visit 5 different attorneys... My case outcome was much better than the original offer I made to my ex spouse(before I had a lawyer) and giving credit where credit is due; Jeff’s knowledge to execution is what made the difference. I must add Jeff made me look past my anger and really had the best interests of me and my children in mind... - Client from Avvo

- I highly recommend Jeff. Him and his staff are awesome!

MR Marshall prepared my Premarital Agreement for me. I am extremely pleased with the results. He provided excatly what I asked and more. I would highly recommend Mr. Marshall to anyone needing his services. - Client from Avvo

- Great Job!

I recently used Jeff Marshall to settle my drawn-out and contentious divorce and custody cases, and found him to be extremely helpful. He took his time to get to know me and my situation, helped me make decisions moving forward, gave me great advice on things that I could do that would limit the time he needed to spend on the case (thus dropping my bill), and represented me quite well during my custody hearing. Having Jeff as my attorney was, in my opinion, critical to positive outcome I received from the custody hearing. - Client from Avvo

- Great attorney!

Jeff Marshall has been a great attorney during a difficult life event. He always responded to my questions and concerns in a timely manner and was great at making me understand the process from start to finish. - Client from Avvo

- Great lawyer!

Jeff has always been my go to attorney when it comes to family law. He is unbiased and fair and has a great interpretation of the law. Divorce is not a fun process and sometimes following advice of someone other than yourself is hard to do. Looking back Jeff was spot on. His advice has saved me thousands of dollars! - Client from Avvo

- Invaluable Advice

Jeff and his team helped me with my seperation and divorce. I was very happy with my settlement and the way they were able to just focus on the buisness at hand which was to protect my interests. Most of this process was conducted while I was living in another state, but Jeff and his team kept me informed throughout the process. I would recommend him without reservation. - Client from Avvo

- Very Satisfied Customer

Mr. Marshall is a superb attorney. He understands the law better than anyone else with whom I consulted. He is very prompt in responding to email and voicemail. He kept me from making several major mistakes that my previous attorney had nearly made and would have cost me big. Mr. Marshall is more expensive than others, but he is also more efficient so it may not make a difference in the long run. - Client from Avvo

- Excellent Attorney

Jeffrey is a consummate professional and and a master practioner in the field of family law. He guided me through a very difficult case that concluded as favorably as possible. - Client from Avvo

- Master practitioner in the field of family law

Jeff Marshall provided solid advice and followed through on services promised. I would highly recommend Jeff to others seeking a divorce or custody attorney - Client from Avvo

- Needed Help with Divorce and Custody

He has worked with me a great deal and understands the relationship I have with my children. He believes in doing what is right and in best interest of children. I trust him with any and all legal decisions I have had to make. Jeff is truly one of the best around. I highly recommend him to anyone that has to deal with high conflict situations. - Client from Avvo

- Jeff is very straight forward and honest.
Search Engine Optimization for Lawyers