Hey, this is Jim Hart from the Hart Law Firm in Cary, North Carolina. Today, I want to talk to you about three common mistakes people make when filing for their own divorce. I apologize for the casual attire; it's a Sunday, and I hope you're okay with that. However, the information I'm about to share will be well worth it. The first mistake I often see is people filing too soon. In North Carolina, you must be separated for at least 12 months before filing for divorce, unlike other states. This means you need to live separately in different residences with separate addresses, continuously for a year. If you live together again before the year is up, the clock resets. Many people ask if living in the same residence but different bedrooms counts, but it does not. This is a crucial mistake to avoid as filing before the one-year mark will render your divorce judgment void. You'll need to go back and start the entire process again. The second mistake I frequently encounter is improper service of the spouse. Filing for divorce in North Carolina means initiating a lawsuit. When you file a complaint for absolute divorce, you must serve the other party, known as the defendant. Many people try to personally hand the paperwork to their spouse or mail it, but this is usually insufficient. [Incomplete sentence.
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