Get Answers To Commonly Asked Questions About Divorce
What is an absolute divorce?
What does it mean to live separately for one year?
What does ‘uncontested divorce’ mean?
When does the court require parties to participate in mediation sessions during divorce proceedings?
What information should I bring to an initial divorce consultation?
Will I have to pay alimony?
Can I stop alimony payments if my ex moves in with someone?
Do I need a lawyer to get divorced?
What Is An Absolute Divorce?
In North Carolina, a married couple needs to fulfill certain requirements before they can begin divorce procedures. They need to live in separate households for 12 months and one day. In addition, one spouse needs to live in North Carolina for at least six months before filing. After this time has passed, they can apply for absolute divorce, which severs the marriage bond.
Before the divorce can be finalized, however, terms for property division, child custody, child support and alimony must be approved.
What Does It Mean To Live Separately For One Year?
Before you can get divorced, you and your spouse must live apart for one year. This means that you must live in two separate homes or apartments. The courts do not recognize living arrangements in which one spouse sleeps on a couch or lives in a separate room.
While you will not need to file a separation agreement with the court, it is helpful to talk with a qualified attorney to determine what living arrangements qualify as living separately and which do not. Taking this step can help you avoid making a mistake that can “start the clock over” and delay the divorce process.
What Does ‘Uncontested Divorce’ Mean?
The date of separation is not at issue in an uncontested divorce. If one party does not respond to a divorce petition, the spouse who filed the petition may take appropriate steps to terminate the divorce.
When Does The Court Require Parties To Participate In Mediation Sessions?
In North Carolina, parents are ordered to mediate custody disputes before they can litigate matters in court. North Carolina also requires parties to meet with a mediator for property division issues as well.
If a child custody or property agreement cannot be reached using mediation, estranged spouses can argue their case in court.
What Information Should I Bring To An Initial Divorce Consultation?
Preparing for an initial consultation can help you receive the most benefit from your time with an attorney. Before your meeting, write down any questions you have about the legal process, the attorney’s background or legal fees. Don’t rely on your memory to provide a specific list of questions on the spot.
If you have prior orders or have been served with court documents, bring those to the consultation. Provide any legal documents that may support your case or set restrictions on terms you can request. If you have signed a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, your attorney needs to read this contract.
Will I Have To Pay Alimony?
It is up to the court’s discretion to determine whether one spouse has to pay support to the other and the amount of these payments. In the past, husbands were often the primary wage earners in the household. Today, this is not always the case. If the wife supports the husband, she may be responsible for providing alimony payments.
Since the court uses no set formula to establish spousal support obligations, it is vital to work with an attorney who is familiar with how area judges have ruled in similar cases. Using this legal insight, your lawyer can tailor a persuasive case for the presiding judge and anticipate arguments opposing counsel may make.
Can I Stop Alimony Payments If My Ex Moves In With Someone?
If your former spouse remarries or cohabits with another adult, you will no longer be responsible for paying alimony. For adults to cohabit, they must display characteristics that are similar to those of a married couple. Some of these aspects include sharing financial responsibilities and residence. The relationship need not be sexual in nature.
Do I Need A Lawyer To Get Divorced?
You can obtain a divorce in North Carolina by completing forms that are available online. While you can save the expense of hiring a lawyer, a do-it-yourself divorce can be costly in other ways now and later. Trying to fix a problem in a settlement or court orders is far more expensive than doing it right the first time.
Without a lawyer’s advice, you might not know what you are entitled to have in your property settlement. If your child custody agreement has not been properly incorporated into your divorce degree, you may not be able to modify it later.