(a) Except as provided for in subsection (e) of this section, the material facts in every complaint asking for a divorce or for an annulment shall be deemed to be denied by the defendant, whether the same shall be actually denied by pleading or not, and no judgment shall be given in favor of the plaintiff in any such complaint until such facts have been found by a judge or jury.
(b) Nothing herein shall require notice of trial to be given to a defendant who has not made an appearance in the action.
(c) The determination of whether there is to be a jury trial or a trial before the judge without a jury shall be made in accordance with G.S. 1A-1, Rules 38 and 39.
(d) The provisions of G.S. 1A-1, Rule 56, shall be applicable to actions for absolute divorce pursuant to G.S. 50-6, for the purpose of determining whether any genuine issue of material fact remains for trial by jury, but in the event the court determines that no genuine issue of material fact remains for trial by jury, the court must find the facts as provided herein. The court may enter a judgment of absolute divorce pursuant to the procedures set forth in G.S. 1A-1, Rule 56, finding all requisite facts from nontestimonial evidence presented by affidavit, verified motion or other verified pleading.
(e) The clerk of superior court, upon request of the plaintiff, may enter judgment in cases in which the plaintiff's only claim against the defendant is for absolute divorce, or absolute divorce and the resumption of a former name, and the defendant has been defaulted for failure to appear, the defendant has answered admitting the allegations of the complaint, or the defendant has filed a waiver of the right to answer, and the defendant is not an infant or incompetent person. (1868-9, c. 93, s. 47; Code, s. 1288; Rev., s. 1564; C.S., s. 1662; 1963, c. 540, ss. 1, 2; 1965, c. 105; c. 636, s. 4; 1971, c. 17; 1973, cc. 2, 460; 1981, c. 12; 1983 (Reg. Sess., 1984), c. 1037, s. 4; 1985, c. 140; 1991, c. 568, s. 1; 2004-128, s. 6.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014