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The Rare Case of Incurable Insanity

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

North Carolina is known as an “absolute divorce” state, meaning that so long as a couple has been living separate and apart for at least a full year, either spouse can seek a divorce on that basis alone. This is far and away the most common way that couples divorce in this state. There is, however, another basis for divorce in North Carolina. The General Statutes allow for divorces in the case of “incurable insanity.” Like with an absolute divorce, a divorce for incurable insanity is a no-fault basis for divorce. In order to obtain a divorce based on incurable insanity, all of the following elements must be satisfied: The couple must live separate and apart for three years. This is well beyond the one-year separation period for an absolute …