HOW TO: SIMPLE DIVORCE IN WAKE COUNTY
This is a step-by-step guide simple divorces in Wake County, North Carolina. Includes specific instructions, forms, and examples.
STEP 1: COMPLETE FILINGSThe first step is to put together a packet of documents you will file with the court. You can start by downloading, crafting, and/or filling-out the following forms:
A Cover Sheet: Indicate that you are filing a complaint for divorce.
A Complaint: You can find examples on page 5 here or page 11 here.
A Verification: You can find an example at the bottom of page 12 here.
A Summons: You only need to fill out the top of the first page.
A Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) Affidavit: This form is where you promise that your spouse is not in the military. SCRA evidence: You'll need to create an account here to get a "Status Report" proving that your spouse is not in the military.
Once all the forms are complete, print three copies. Take them with you to a notary for the Verification and SCRA forms. Then visit the bank to get a cashier's check for $225 made out to clerk of the Wake county courthouse. Finally, add a self-addressed, stamped envelope, so the court can file one copy and mail two copies back to you. Put all of that in a large manilla envelope and mail it to the Wake County District Court at: 316 Fayetteville Street, Raleigh, NC 27601.
STEP 2: SERVICE OF PROCESSThe court will stamp and sign all three copies of the documents you submitted. They will keep one copy for their own files, and send two back to you. These two copies are for you and your spouse respectively. Hand your spouse a copy and have them sign a waiver of their right to formal service of process.
You can find a waiver example here on page 13. Once your spouse signs it in front of a notary, send the waiver to the court with a cover letter explaining what it is and the case number it goes with. Then wait 30 days.
STEP 3: FILING FOR DEFAULTDifferent guides will vary on this step, because some are providing instructions for summary judgement or for a different county. In Wake, summary judgement requires appearing in front of a judge in the courthouse downtown. That's an inconvenience you can skip in simple divorces, where you can get divorced by default by a clerk.
To ask a clerk to complete the divorce, you need three copies of the following documents:
A Motion Cover Sheet: The type of motion is default judgement (DEFJ)
A Motion for Default: I'll add an example soon.
A Judgement: This is the order you're asking the court to sign.
A Divorce Certificate: This will be used as evidence of the divorce in the future.
Other documents: Most people also re-attach the SCRA documents and the waiver of service of process as evidence of meeting the requirements for default divorce by the clerk.
Mail these documents to the court and send a copy to your spouse. If everything goes well, your divorce will be finalized soon after.