How do I obtain an absolute divorce in North Carolina?

Obtaining a divorce in North Carolina is not a complex process. However, you need to make sure that you meet certain requirements and follow important steps.

The requirements are:

  • You and your spouse must actually live separate and apart for one year.
  • Either you or your spouse must have resided in the state for six monthsbefore filing the divorce action.

Important steps that you will need to take include:

  • You or your lawyer must file a divorce complaint with the clerk of court in the county of your residence (for instance, the Wake County Clerk of Court’s Civil Division).
  • The divorce complaint must be served on your spouse (for instance, by certified mail or delivery by the county sheriff).
  • Either you or your attorney must appear in court to obtain the divorce.

Once the judge signs the decree, your divorce is final. You may remarry if you so desire.

Please see our page on Steps for Getting a Divorce in North Carolina for more details about this process.

You can also check out the relevant North Carolina divorce statute and read about the Civil Division of the Wake County Clerk of Superior Court.


Charles Ullman & Associates provides you respected, experienced and knowledgeable divorce and family law attorneys. You can trust us to help you through the legal process efficiently and effectively so you can transition to the next phase of your life. Our community involvement reaches beyond charitable support of important causes. We launched our own movement in Fraternities4Family and provide scholarships to able students in need.