When it comes to divorce terms, some of them can be tricky. In most cases, the law likes to use legal terms that you’ve probably never heard of. Which can make working through your divorce process a little confusing. For instance, the phrase absolute divorce–how is it different from just a divorce?

Absolute Divorce: Defining It and It’s Requirements

What Is It? 

In short, absolute divorce is simply the formal, legal term for a divorce. Once you receive an absolute divorce, the state of North Carolina recognizes you as single. Since this is a no fault state, you don’t have to prove that any fault lead to filing for divorce. While you don’t have to prove wrongdoing, you do need to meet the other requirements of absolute divorce.

Requirements for Absolute Divorce

You Must Have A Marriage License 

While this seems a little obvious, you must have a valid marriage license in order to file for divorce. In many cases, couples may choose not to formalize their relationship with a marriage. But they may share a household for many years. In that case, you still would not need to seek a divorce. You must only do this when you obtained a formal marriage license.

You/Your Partner Must Be Living In NC 

An absolute divorce requires that either you or your partner live in North Carolina for at least 6 months. That means if you recently moved here, you won’t be able to proceed with the process. However, after you live in the state for 6 months you can proceed with filing.

You Must Live Separately for One Year 

Lastly, absolute divorce requires that you and your partner live separately for at least one year. In many cases, couples want to know how they should prove this. But you don’t actually have to. You just need to have the date you or your spouse moved out. It is important to note that it must be a consecutive year. That means it cannot count if you and your spouse briefly got back together during this time.