Brief description regarding the two grounds for an absolute divorce in North Carolina.
North Carolina is a "no-fault" state which means the plaintiff does not need to prove any wrongdoing of the other party to file for an absolute divorce. An absolute divorce may be granted on two grounds: (1) incurable insanity, and (2) one year's separation.
(1) Incurable Insanity
To get an absolute divorce based on incurable insanity, the parties must have lived separate and apart for three years by reason of the incurable insanity of one party. Only the sane spouse may petition for divorce. North Carolina General Statute 50-5.1 provides the requirements for an absolute divorce based on incurable insanity and details the methods by which one can prove the other spouse's insanity.
(2) One Year Separation
To get an absolute divorce based on the one year separation, the parties must have been living separate and apart for one year and the husband or wife has resided in North Carolina for a period of at least six months immediately preceding the commencement of the action. The requirement that the parties live separate and apart entails a physical separation and the intent of at least one of the parties to end the marriage. North Carolina General Statute 50-6 provides the requirements for an absolute divorce based on one year of separation.
Statute of Limitation
It is important to note that there is no statute of limitation for absolute divorce. You are not required to file for an absolute divorce immediately upon satisfying all the requirements; however, it does mean that either party is now eligible to take that legal action.
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