After a trial separation, you are ready to divorce, but your spouse wants to stay married. Maybe they started ignoring you whenever you bring up the topic or just refusing to take your calls.
You may want to move ahead and file for divorce but feel worried that your ex may continue to stonewall you and refuse to respond. Can your ex prevent your divorce by ignoring the paperwork when you serve them?
Refusing to respond will result in a divorce by default
Your spouse cannot choose to ignore you and keep you from securing a divorce after you have lived separately for at least six months. Once you serve them with the appropriate paperwork and provide proof of service to the North Carolina family courts, the countdown starts.
Your ex has 30 days to respond to your filing if they disagree with the proposed child custody arrangements or property settlement suggestions. If they fail to respond, then your filing will move forward in the court, with a good chance that the judge will grant the exact terms that you requested.
If your ex does respond and challenges the terms you suggested, then you have the opportunity to negotiate with them or prepare for litigation if you cannot reach an agreement. Regardless of whether they respond or how intensely they fight you, your ex cannot force you to continue the marriage once you have decided to file and meet the necessary criteria for a divorce in North Carolina.
Learning the rules that govern North Carolina divorce filings can empower those considering the end of an unhappy marriage.