Absolute divorce is the most common type of divorce in North Carolina. You can be granted an absolute divorce either because you and your spouse have been separated for at least a year or on the basis of incurable insanity. Even in cases where one spouse is mentally ill incurable sanity is rarely used and requires both a three year separation and the testimony of qualified experts.
Separation in North Carolina requires that you live separate and apart from your spouse for at least one year and that one, or both of you, intends for the separation to be permanent. There is no need to file anything to officially begin the one-year separation period. The date your separation begins will be shown in your complaint, and although you don’t need to prove the separation started on that date, you will need to verify that you have been living separate and apart for at least one year. Keep in mind, that the date of your separation can affect property division, alimony and child custody. After separation of at least one year, either spouse can file for divorce. As part of the divorce, a spouse can request to resume her maiden name.