Divorce & Family Law
How Do I Get A Divorce In North Carolina?
The decisions to end a marriage is not an easy one to make, particularly when children are involved. Once the decision is made, you need to know what is involved and the process you are facing.
What are the Grounds for Divorce in NC
North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state, which means that you do not need to prove that your spouse committed marital fault to obtain a divorce. However, there are two requirements that must be established before the court can enter a decree declaring you to be divorced.
Before a spouse can file for divorce in North Carolina, at least one of the spouses must have established residency in North Carolina for at least six months immediately prior to filing for divorce. Residency means the person has an actual physical presence in North Carolina and the intent to remain in North Carolina for an indefinite period of time.
2. Separate and Apart.
Before a spouse can apply to the Courts of North Carolina to be declared divorced, the spouses must have lived separate and apart with the intention to remain separate and apart for at least one year. Typically, this means that you and your spouse have lived in separate households for at least one year. Living in separate areas of the house or using different bedrooms does not meet this requirement. For purposes of calculating the one year period, the beginning of the period is when at least one of the spouses intended for their separation to be permanent. The clock also restarts following a separation if the spouses resume their marital relationship or reconcile. For example, if the spouses lived separate and apart for five months and then reconciled for a period of three months before separating from each other again, the parties would need to wait a full twelve months from the final date of separation before a spouse could apply to the Courts of North Carolina seeking to be declared divorced. The five months would not be counted.
Want to Get a Divorce? What’s Next?
After a year of separation, you may file for divorce with the Court. Our firm can prepare and file all of the necessary paperwork for you with the Court. After the paperwork is filed with the Court, the paperwork must then be served upon your spouse. We can arrange for your spouse to be served. Before the Court can declare you to be divorced, your spouse has to be served with the paperwork and given an opportunity to file a response.
How Do I Get Support While I Wait to Be Divorced? What Do We Do With Our Property?
Generally, once you have separated from your spouse either of you can apply to the Court for spousal support (known as postseparation support and alimony) and property division (known as equitable distribution). You do not have to wait, you can file immediately upon separating.
Claims For Alimony Or Equitable Distribution of Assets and Debts Must be Filed Before A Divorce Decree or Judgment Is Entered.
As a general rule, a spouse’s right to apply to the Court for spousal support (known as postseparation support and alimony) and property division (known as equitable distribution) terminates upon the entry of a divorce decree or divorce judgment. Therefore, it is essential that any claims for spousal support (known as postseparation support and alimony) and property division (known as equitable distribution) be filed prior to the entry of a divorce decree or divorce judgment. Generally, if either spouse owns real estate, has financial accounts, has any retirement benefits (pensions, IRAs, 401(k) plans, etc.) you should not obtain a divorce without first consulting with an attorney. Additionally, if you do not know for certain whether you or your spouse have any assets or debts subject to a property division you should not obtain a divorce without first consulting with an attorney. Likewise, if your spouse provided you with any financial support during your marriage you should not obtain a divorce without first consulting with an attorney.
Our Attorneys Can Assist You Trough All Phases of Divorce.
The compassionate, caring, and experienced divorce lawyers at Kirkman Attorneys at Law in Greensboro, North Carolina can help you through all phases of divorce, including:
– Crisis management if necessary (possibly including asking the Court for a protective order)
– Divorce planning (reviewing financials, developing an inventory of assets and debts)
– Short-term actions (seeking temporary orders for spousal support, child support, and child custody)
– Long-term solutions (pursuing final parenting agreements, property settlements, and alimony)
– Independence (resuming life as a divorced, single person, co-parenting in separate households after a custody dispute).
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KIRKMAN ATTORNEYS AT LAW
100 South Elm Street, Suite 410
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
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