Absolute divorce

Divorce Services

A Balanced Approach To Divorce

We recognize that the outcome of a divorce can have a major impact on both your family and your finances. The good news is that you do not have to face a divorce alone. At Routh Law, we have years of experience representing clients both inside and outside the courtroom in divorce. We want to know what you want from your divorce, and help you create a brighter future for you and your family. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case.

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A Balanced Approach

Our team takes a balanced approach to divorce, meaning that we always look for ways to resolve our clients' cases out of court but we have the experience and skill required to zealously advocate at trial when necessary. From uncontested divorces to high-conflict divorces, we are here to help you get what you both need and deserve.

Maria and Christina
Maria and Christina

Skilled Legal Counsel

Our founder and principal, Kelly Routh, is an experienced family lawyer with more than a decade of experience at top family law firms in Charlotte. A fierce advocate for the rights of her clients, Kelly is always on your side. As both a skilled negotiator outside of the courtroom and an experienced trial lawyer, Kelly is ready to fight for you, no matter how complex, intricate, and demanding your divorce may be.

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How We Help

There are multiple issues that are settled during the divorce process. As a full service family law firm, we have experience representing clients in a variety of matters, such as equitable distribution, child support, alimony, and more.

Equitable distribution

In North Carolina, marital and divisible property are equitably divided between separating spouses. This can include cash, personal property, real estate, and debts of all types incurred during the marriage. However, equitable does not always mean equal. For more information on equitable distribution, click here.

Child Support

Determinations about the amount, frequency, and other details of child support will be made during the divorce process. There are many factors that a judge will consider when determining child support. To learn more, visit our child support page here.

Spousal support

Spousal support or “alimony” can be a part of divorce proceedings in North Carolina. It consists of monetary payments made for the “support and maintenance” of the spouse. These payments may take the form of a single lump sum, or may be made on a continuing basis depending on the situation. Learn more about spousal support here.

Child custody

Custody and visitation rights are determined during divorce, and outline the rights that both parents have to see their children, make decisions, and maintain physical custody of the children. To learn more about child custody, and factors that a judge will consider when determining which parent will receive physical and legal custody, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an absolute Divorce?

If you live in North Carolina, you may have heard the term “absolute divorce” used in reference to divorce. The word “absolute” is a term of art, meaning that a court has terminated a marriage permanently. In other words, any kind of divorce in North Carolina is a type of absolute divorce, whether it’s an uncontested divorce, a contested divorce, or a divorce involving other special situations. At Routh Law, we handle all aspects of absolute divorce,


If you and your spouse have been physically separated for one year, then you are eligible to get divorced under North Carolina law. In other words, you and your spouse must have been living in different residences in the year leading up to the divorce, and at least one spouse intended for the separation to be permanent.

You do not need the consent of your spouse to get divorced in North Carolina. Your spouse is not required to file anything in court, attend a divorce hearing in court, or sign any legal documents. The only other requirement is that your spouse must receive legal notice that you have filed for a divorce.

Another ground for divorce in North Carolina is incurable insanity. If a couple lives separately and apart for 3 years due to the incurable insanity of one spouse, an absolute divorce may be granted. Testimony is required from two doctors to prove incurable insanity before a divorce can be granted.

Click here for more information on the divorce process in North Carolina.

What does a no fault divorce mean?

North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that spouses can get divorced without proving that one spouse was the reason for the divorce. The one year separation, and required intent that the separation be permanent, can be proven with your testimony or written statement given under oath.

Can I get divorced in less than one year?

Unfortunately, you cannot get divorced in less than one year in North Carolina. In order to be eligible for a divorce, you and your spouse must be separated for one year, and at least one spouse must intend for separation to be permanent.

What if my spouse does not live In NOrth carolina?

You can obtain an absolute divorce regardless of where your spouse lives, as long as you live in North Carolina at the time you file for divorce and have lived in the state for six months prior to filing. However, notice requirements still apply, and the rules surrounding notice may vary depending on the state where your spouse resides.

What happens to property during a divorce?

In North Carolina, any property that is acquired during the marriage is typically classified as marital property with a few exceptions. On the other hand, any property that was acquired before a marriage is considered to be separate property. In a divorce, marital property will be divided among the spouses, whereas separate property will not. There is also a third category, “divisible property,” which is a term that refers to the changes in value in marital property in the year or years between physical separation and the divorce. Depending on the specific facts of a case, divisible property may be divided between the parties.

In North Carolina, property is divided through equitable distribution. Equitable, however, does not always mean equal. There are many factors that allow for an unequal distribution of marital and divisible property in situations where a 50/50 split would not be equitable.

Which spouse is awarded alimony in North Carolina?

After a divorce, a dependent spouse may receive spousal support payments, or alimony, from a supporting spouse. In North Carolina, there are no set formulas to determine how much support one spouse receives from another. Rather, the court will determine what level of support is appropriate based on the facts of the case. Similarly, there are no guidelines for how long alimony lasts. This too is determined by the specific facts of the divorce.


If you are considering a divorce, you should contact an experienced family law attorney. You may consider filing for divorce on your own, however, even the most amicable separations can lead to issues related to property distribution, spousal support, child custody, and more. Having an advocate on your side that understands your goals and the life you are trying to build is critical to fighting for your interests. Divorce is never easy, even if the process is relatively smooth. You need an attorney who is willing to support you, guide you through the process, and fight for your rights during the divorce process.

what do I need to bring with me to meet with an attorney?

​​Chances are, your first meeting with a family law attorney will be one of your first. After scheduling a consultation with Routh Law, you may be wondering what you should bring to your first consultation. Coming prepared for this first meeting will help us determine if our law firm is a good fit for your situation and help us begin preparing your care. Here is what we recommend bringing:

  • A list of questions - develop a running list of questions that you would like to ask us about your case, the terms of representation, and the divorce process. Having a list prepared for the first meeting will put your mind at ease and help us thoroughly address all of your concerns.
  • Legal documents relevant to your case - You may have previously signed legal documents that will impact the outcome of your divorce. These documents might include a premarital agreement, a postnuptial agreement, a child custody order, or a separation agreement. Bringing these legal documents to your first meeting will help us understand the history of your case and advise on the next best steps.
  • Financial documents - If you are currently married and are separated, or you are considering separating from your spouse, you should gather as much information as possible about your marital assets and debts. This includes tax returns, credit card statements, checking account statements, retirement account statements, brokerage statements, student loan statements, and more. This information will help us provide the most accurate advice for your situation. If you are unable to collect all of this information, don’t worry. There will be opportunities to collect this information further into representation.
  • A timeline of your marriage - Before your initial meeting with us, we ask that you create a timeline of major events in your marriage. It is helpful to organize the history of your marriage so that we can discuss the events that will impact your case. Hearing your account of the marriage is extremely helpful for our team as we develop your case.
  • Income statements - In addition to financial statements, we ask that you bring income statements as well. Your case may involve child support, alimony, or post separation support. Information that would be helpful in developing your case includes federal and state income tax returns, a current pay stub, pension statements, Social Security proof of income letter, annuity statements, unemployment benefits statements, workers compensation letter, and, for self-employed individuals, profit and loss statements or ledger documentation.

Lastly, we want to know what your goals for divorce are. Before our initial meeting, think through what you would like to get out of your divorce. We want to understand your goals and develop a strategy to achieve them.


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Kelly is very responsive and knowledgeable. Going through this process was very difficult and she was there every step of the way. Any time I had a question, she was there to answer and walk me through it. If you want someone who will be by your side every step of the way, Kelly Routh is the attorney for you!


Amazing! 5 stars is not enough to describe the professionalism, knowledge, and determination of Kelly and Brittany. Kelly agreed to take my case after I was run around for 15 months by another Charlotte attorney. I explained my situation and my frustration and Kelly took my case as if she was there from day one. Her knowledge and experience gave her the upper hand and finished my case in just a few months. Without Kelly, I don’t know where my case would be right now. I do know that I went from paying $1750 per month to $750! Kelly is amazing and I would highly recommend her to anyone. She is the best attorney in Charlotte.


If you are reading this review then you have come to the right place for one of the best, if not the best family law attorneys for the greater Charlotte area! As a repeat client, it has been a pleasure having Kelly represent me during not-so-pleasant times. She has all of the attributes one could ask for in an attorney period. Look no further for an attorney that is clear, concise, flexible, and willing to represent you the way you want to be represented.

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