Time Is Ticking On Your Marriage, Protect What’s Yours.
Before you are legally allowed to file for divorce in North Carolina, you must first have been separated from your spouse for at least a year. In the meantime, you and your divorce attorney can work through issues related to child custody, child support, spousal support or alimony and the equitable distribution of property.
What If I Am Ready To Get Divorced, But My Spouse Is Fighting Me?
If you have lived separately from your spouse for one year and meet the residency requirements, you may file for divorce in North Carolina. If your spouse is fighting you because he or she does not want the divorce, your spouse cannot force you to stay in the marriage by refusing a divorce.
If your spouse is fighting you because he or she does not agree with what you have asked for in your divorce paperwork, such as a specific child custody arrangement, spousal support or how you have chosen to distribute any marital property, you may still divorce. If filed properly, claims for child custody, child support, alimony, and equitable distribution can survive the divorce.
If My Spouse And I Are Separated, Do I Have To Get Divorced?
There is no legal requirement that married couples living separately must divorce. You may live separate for one year and choose to file for divorce or you may live separately for 10 years and never file for a legal divorce. Of course, you cannot remarry while you are still married to someone else, but you can generally maintain health care benefits under a spouse’s plan while you are separated but not divorced.