Unlike some jurisdictions, proving “fault” is not required to file for divorce in North Carolina.
North Carolina authorizes divorce in two general instances:
- The married parties must be legally separated for at least one year (12 months)
- Incurable Insanity – Rarely if ever used in NC
North Carolina does not recognize Common Law marriage.
You do not need to show one party caused problems in the marriage and therefore is legally responsible for the separation and divorce.
As such, North Carolina is considered a no-fault divorce jurisdiction.
Fault, when appropriate, may still be “pleaded” in certain circumstances including alienation of affection claims, criminal conversation, abandonment, cruelty, or a general allegation of infidelity relative to alimony.
Such allegations are not necessary in order for a divorce to be granted.
They may become relevant if a dispute arises regarding Post Separation Support or “PSS,” alimony, and/or child custody depending on the nature and circumstances of the marriage.