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You and your spouse have had problems living together, but you never though that it would come to divorce. You worked hard and put time and energy into your marriage. You suggested marital counseling and perhaps starting new hobbies together because you wanted to make things work.

Your spouse disagreed that your marriage could be saved, so they moved out. You have no idea where they went. All you know is that they don’t want to be married to you anymore.

This is an instance where you could be dealing with abandonment. In North Carolina, abandonment occurs when a person moves out of a home with the intention of ending their relationship with the other party. Abandonment is grounds for divorce.

Do you have to use abandonment as a reason for divorce?

No, you don’t have to. While it might come up during your case, if you can contact your ex-partner and serve them with the divorce petition or related filings, you may be able to move forward with an uncontested divorce on the basis that you no longer live together. Irreconcilable differences is also grounds for divorce in this state.

Abandonment won’t prevent you from filing a divorce. North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state, so even if you want to show that your spouse did something wrong, it won’t necessarily impact your case.

If you can’t find your estranged spouse and still want to divorce, your attorney can help you prove that you’ve made a good effort to reach them and serve the divorce petition. This may be more complicated, but you can still get a divorce despite not knowing where your spouse lives.