Does Someone Have to Be at the Divorce Court Date in North Carolina?

by Beverly Bird

In some respects, North Carolina is the easiest state in which to divorce. You don't have to divide your property or debts before filing, and it's not necessary to resolve issues of custody or support. The court can terminate your marriage without addressing any of these issues, but if you don't file a separate complaint to resolve property issues or alimony, you're barred from going back to court later to sort these things out. You don't have to appear in court to finalize the divorce itself, provided you have a lawyer.

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If You Don't Have a Lawyer

If you're handling your matter without an attorney, you may contact your local court to find out when it holds hearings on divorces. You can schedule your case for that day and send your spouse official notice of the date. If you're the plaintiff – you filed the complaint for divorce – only you must appear in court. The judge will ask you a few questions to confirm that you are married and to whom, that you want a divorce, and that you've met the state's requirements for residency and grounds.

Summary Judgment

If you've hired an attorney to handle your matter, he can attend the final hearing for you. This is accomplished through a legal process called summary judgment. It allows the court to grant your divorce based on the facts of your case, rather than your direct testimony.