How Long Does a Collaborative Divorce Take in North Carolina?

Many spouses are attracted to the concept of a collaborative divorce because of the speed in which it can be finalized. It is no secret that litigated divorces can drag on and on, sometimes taking years to complete. But is a collaborative divorce really that much faster? More importantly, why is this process so quick? One thing is for sure: collaborative divorce is becoming more and more popular in North Carolina, and one of the main reasons for this is due to its speedy, efficient, and stress-free qualities. But how fast is this process? How long does a collaborative divorce take in North Carolina?

The first thing you need to know about collaborative divorce in North Carolina is that it is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Some divorces simply take longer than others to finalize – even if you choose the relatively faster strategy of pursuing a collaborative divorce. To figure out exactly how long your divorce will take, it makes sense to get in touch with a divorce attorney in North Carolina. During a consultation, we can discuss the specifics of your situation and explore your key priorities. Based on this information, we can give you a general ballpark estimate of how long your divorce will take to finalize. We can then help you move forward and take action. With all that being said, a collaborative divorce is almost always faster to resolve than a litigated divorce – no matter what your circumstances might be.

The One-Year Waiting Period in North Carolina

First of all, it is important to note that you will need to wait at least one year to move forward with your divorce – and that is before any legal steps actually take place. This is due to North Carolina’s mandatory one-year waiting period before spouses can obtain a divorce. Many other states have done away with these waiting periods, but North Carolina makes sure that couples really think things through before ending their marriages. The logic is that during this one-year period, spouses may reconcile and call off the divorce, leading to more stable families. In practice, however, it is a source of frustration for many spouses here.

The definition of “separation” in North Carolina is pretty straightforward: to be legally separated for one year, spouses must live apart and cease all marital relations during this period. The good news is that you can make the most of this time by getting started with your collaborative divorce. While you are waiting for the opportunity to move forward with your divorce, you can meet with your spouse and start discussing your separation agreement. If the split is relatively amicable, you can do this behind closed doors without getting lawyers involved. If there is some bitterness and resentment present, it might be better to hire lawyers to speak on your behalf.

Regardless, you will have the chance to discuss things like child support, child custody, alimony, and property division during this one-year period. If you can agree upon all the major issues, you can quickly move forward and finalize the divorce after the 12-month period has elapsed. All the potential disputes will have already been resolved, which means that all you need to do is sign the separation agreement.

So How Long Will it Take?

So how long does a collaborative divorce take? Assuming the one-year waiting period has already passed, you can draft up a separation agreement in a matter of weeks or even days. If all the various elements of your divorce have been agreed upon, there is no reason this process should take very long. Even if there are some outstanding issues that still need to be resolved, collaborative divorce attorneys are skilled negotiators who can help you move past roadblocks as quickly as possible.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the North Carolina area for an experienced divorce attorney, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Over the years, we have helped numerous spouses approach their divorces with confidence. We also have considerable experience with collaborative divorces, and we strive to help couples end their marriage in the fastest way possible – without cutting any corners. While it is always a good choice to resolve your divorce as quickly as possible, you also need to make sure your separation agreement is properly drafted. By taking a little extra time on the most important steps, you can walk away from your marriage and move on with your life in a positive manner. Book your consultation today to learn more about your legal options.