RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The North Carolina Judicial Branch is offering its first statewide self-help packet to make getting a divorce easier for people who can't afford an attorney or just don't want to use one.
The packet is a free service available online and provides guidance to someone wanting to file for a simple divorce without claims of equitable distribution or custody.
While the packet is available online, the paperwork must still be submitted in hard copy to the office of the clerk of superior court in the county the divorce is filed. It includes information for getting an absolute divorce.
"While retaining an attorney is, for most people, the preferred way to accomplish the goal of dissolving a marriage, we know that some people will be unable to afford that access," said McKinley Wooten, interim director of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts.
The divorce packet's goal is to provide greater access to the courts through one single statewide process.
It's intended to supplement the practices and processes that many clerks of superior court have in place across the state.
More than 36 thousand divorces were filed in the state during the 2018-2019 fiscal year.