North Carolina Divorce Rate [2024 Updated] – Latest Statistics

If you find yourself wanting to end your marriage, it is important that you review the many variables that come with a divorce. You might also find yourself feeling guilty over entertaining the idea of divorce, or you might be pressured to stay in the marriage by others. Ultimately, your interests and safety should be the top priority. Many couples seek divorce every year, and looking at the North Carolina divorce rate can help you see that you are not alone.

If there are any minor children involved, it is crucial that you look into child custody laws and child support. All financial assets should be meticulously reviewed, and a division of property considered. A North Carolina divorce attorney can help you with these matters.

Divorce Rates in North Carolina

These days, young people wait longer to get married, and other Americans forgo marriage altogether as they are comfortable with cohabitating. Therefore, all over the country and state, divorce rates are going down. However, statistics show that every 3.2 out of 1,000 people in the state of North Carolina experienced divorce in 2021. This number is comparatively higher than other states across the country.

Annually, many North Carolina couples part ways. If you decide that divorce is right for you and your situation, know that you are not alone. It is important to focus on an outcome that promotes a brighter future for you.

Is North Carolina a Fault-Based or No-Fault-Based State for Divorce?

North Carolina exists as a “no-fault divorce” state. This means that couples can file and receive a divorce without the need to prove that one spouse or the other did something wrong to cause the split. It is up to the spouse who files to decide whether to claim the divorce as “no-fault” or “fault.”

However, to get a no-fault divorce, you must meet two requirements. First, your spouse and you need to have lived apart for at least 12 consecutive months and have not slept under the same roof. You do not need specific paperwork proving this; just be sure to know the date you separated. Secondly, at least one of you must have been a North Carolina resident for at least six months before filing.

The Divorce Process

A divorce in North Carolina can have its own set of complexities, but it will generally abide by the following steps:

  • File for absolute divorce. The spouse filing will be known as the plaintiff in the case, and the responding spouse will be the defendant.
  • Divorce papers are served to the responding spouse by the police or some other qualified means.
  • After 30 days from the day of service, the filing party requests a court date from the county clerk’s office. A notice of the hearing must also be sent to the defendant.
  • A hearing for divorce is held in court, where the judge will listen to the testimony of both parties and make sure all requirements are met. They will also want to ensure that the papers were served properly to the responding spouse and that all legal matters and financial settlements, like child custody, monetary splits, and division of property, have been settled between the divorcing parties. Remember, because North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state, neither spouse has to prove justification for seeking the divorce.
  • A judgment for absolute divorce is entered by the court. In an uncontested divorce, the couple is not disputing property, money, child custody, or other such issues. Before going to court, the couple can agree on all divorce-related issues and, generally, the divorce will be granted on that court date. However, if the divorce is contested, meaning that the couple cannot agree on the settlement of certain divorce issues, the proceedings will take much longer.

What Is the Normal Waiting Period for a North Carolina Divorce?

The length of time a divorce can take from filing to being granted by a judge is dependent on several factors. If issues arise due to child custody or child support, the case may take longer as the two divorcing parties work out arrangements for these matters. The same issues may arise in cases with high amounts of money being split or with valuable assets involved.


Q: What Is the Divorce Rate in North Carolina?

A: The state of North Carolina has a rate of 3.2 divorces for every 1,000 residents. This number is a decrease from the 1990s when the divorce rate was found to be 5.1 divorces for every 1,000 people. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that there are fewer people getting divorced. Most likely, there are fewer people getting married in the first place. Nowadays, fewer couples feel the need to marry, and many are fine with cohabitation.

Q: Is North Carolina a 50/50 Divorce State?

A: Normally, North Carolina divorces will split all property 50/50. However, there are plenty of factors that may affect the nature of an equal split. These include:

  • Property owned
  • Debts owed
  • Income of both spouses
  • Determining which spouse keeps the house
  • Length of marriage

An experienced North Carolina divorce attorney can estimate how the division of assets will work in your unique divorce case.

Q: Which States Have the Highest Divorce Rate?

A: In 2022, Arkansas led the country in the highest number of divorces. The divorce rate in Arkansas was 23.27 women divorced for every 1,000 married women in the state. Following Arkansas are New Mexico, Wyoming, Kentucky, and West Virginia. In comparison, North Carolina ranks 18th in the nation for divorces.

Q: What Is the Marriage Rate in North Carolina?

A: In the state of North Carolina, the current marriage rate is 6.2 for every 1,000 residents. This low amount is for the same reason why there have been seemingly fewer divorces: fewer people are getting married these days. Younger generations are not getting married as soon as older generations did, and many people find independence more attractive than married life.

You Don’t Have to Face Divorce Alone

Hundreds of thousands of people seek divorce every year. While common, each case comes with its own emotional complexities for both parties involved. Even if you are the one initiating the divorce, it doesn’t make it any easier. Having a skilled North Carolina divorce attorney can make all the difference, as they can help you navigate the complicated and stressful process.

The team at Lassiter & Lassiter is here to treat you and your case with compassion and care. To us, you’re not just a statistic. We believe that you deserve someone who can advocate for your interests and see that you are treated fairly. Contact our firm today to see how we might be of service to you.

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Call our office at 704-873-2295 or email us today.

Attorney Mike Lassiter grew up in Statesville, makes his living serving the people of Statesville and published a book capturing the changing landscape of small town life across North Carolina and Iredell County. His keen sense of history, dedication to the area and 30 years of legal experience make him an ideal attorney for your legal needs.

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