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FAQ: Divorce

How much do you charge for a divorce?

  • $1,500, which includes the $225.00 filing fee, motion and service fees.

Can I do the divorce myself?

  • The Wake County Clerk’s Office does have a pro se divorce packet, which you may fill out. We often have people come to us after trying to go through the divorce process himself/herself because they find the pro se packet too difficult to complete on his/her own. If you make a mistake, often you must start over.

When can I get divorced in NC?

  • After you and your spouse have been physically separated for at least one year with at least one of you intending for the separation to be permanent.

Is there anything I should be aware of before I file for divorce?

  • If you do not have an executed Separation and Property Settlement Agreement or you do not have pending or resolved claims for post-separation support, alimony, and/or equitable distribution, and those matters still need to be resolved between you and your spouse, then you should try to reach an agreement on those matters or file those claims simultaneous with filing for divorce. If you obtain a divorce judgment and those matters have not been resolved or are not pending, then you are forever barred from filing any of those claims post-divorce.

Do we need to have a Separation Agreement before we get divorced?

  • It depends on your situation. We recommend coming in to speak with a lawyer to see if you should have an executed Separation and Property Settlement Agreement prior to obtaining a divorce.

Do I have to get divorced in the county or state where my spouse lives?

  • No, you do not. You may obtain a divorce in any county in North Carolina as long as either you live in North Carolina or your spouse lives in North Carolina, and one of you has lived in North Carolina for at least 6 months.

Does my spouse have to sign anything for the divorce?

  • It depends on how your spouse is served with the Divorce Complaint. If your spouse is served via certified mail, then he or she will need to sign the green certified mail card confirming that he or she received the documents in the mail. If your spouse is served by sheriff, then there is nothing that must be signed. Once your spouse is legally served, we can obtain your divorce.

How long does it take to get divorced?

  • Typically, 45 days from the date your spouse is served.

Is there a divorce hearing?

  • It depends. In Wake County, we may be able to obtain a divorce by clerk rather than by the judge. However, the clerk is only authorized to grant divorces in limited circumstances.

Can I resume my maiden name?

  • You can to resume your former name in a Divorce Complaint. If you do not, you can still resume your formal name.  Regardless of your Divorce Judgment, to legally resume your maiden name and to update your driver’s license and social security card, you must complete a “Resumption of Former Name” form after you are divorced, and file that form at the courthouse. Then, you may take that form to the DMV or Social Security Administration to legally change your name.