We Expect — And Prepare For — The Unexpected
In North Carolina, as in other states, the divorce process can be quite complex. You are taking one household — its family members and its finances — and splitting it into two. To file for divorce in North Carolina, you or your spouse must first meet certain residency requirements. One or both of you must have lived here for at least six months before filing for divorce.
You and your spouse must have lived separately for one year prior to filing for divorce in North Carolina. During the year of separation, you should meet with a North Carolina divorce lawyer to work on a separation agreement. If you and your spouse are able to come to terms on a separation agreement, this can be used as a framework for distributing property (assets and debts) as well as creating a child custody and visitation schedule after divorce.
Filing For Divorce In North Carolina
Once the year has passed, your divorce lawyer will file a complaint and summons with the district court in your county. A filing fee will have to be paid at this time. You do not have to hire a lawyer to get divorced in North Carolina, but there are legal pitfalls that an experienced lawyer can help you avoid as well as other reasons to hire a divorce attorney.
Your spouse may:
- Agree with the paperwork you have filed — This is called an uncontested divorce. You can file an answer with the courts stating that you agree with the paperwork filed or elect not to respond. If you do not respond, the divorce will still be granted. Once granted, the divorce terminates any claims you may have for spousal support or equitable distribution so it is important to talk to an experienced family law attorney if you are served with divorce papers.
- Disagree or contest the divorce — If your spouse disagrees with anything you have included in your divorce paperwork, he or she can file an answer with the court telling his or her side of the story.
If the divorce is contested or if there are issues that must come before a judge, a hearing (or several hearings) may be scheduled.
Once complete, a divorce will enter a judgment declaring your marriage over. At this point, you are officially, legally divorced.
Contact Our Statesville Family Law Firm And Protect What’s Yours
The experienced family lawyers at Daly Mills Family Law, are available to meet with you to answer your questions and work with you through the North Carolina divorce process. Contact us online or at 866-575-2011 to schedule an appointment.