Divorce in North Carolina can be complex, complicated and time consuming. The laws of North Carolina only allow a divorce to occur for two reasons:
1. A separation of the parties for at least a year, this means living apart for at least a year.
2. Incurable Insanity
Since incurable insanity is rare and expensive to prove in court, most couple use option one as a basis for their divorce. This means that from the time you make the difficult decision to end your marriage, you still have over a year before you will be legally divorced from the other party. A lot can happen in a year.
Divorce is not simply filing a piece of paper, there are many different aspects that surround filing for a divorce. This includes topics such as equitable division, or dividing all of your property; alimony, child support and child custody. At Duncan Larson Law we can give you information and guidance on how to navigate through each of these topics.
Equitable division is one of the most time consuming aspects related to a divorce proceeding. In North Carolina, the courts do not require equal division but equitable division. This means that courts will take into consideration property obtained during the marriage, or marital property, and property received before the marriage or after the date of separation termed separate property. What the courts will not take into consideration for property division is fault. So it does not matter if one party was unfaithful or which party chose to leave the marriage, property division will remain the same. The idea is that both parties walk away with an equitable amount of marital property. So the judge will then decide how the property will be divided, often half of the value of the marital property. Sometimes, things become more complicated if one party funded the education or career of the other party. This is a situation where it will be important to speak to an attorney. An additional option is instead of the court deciding how to separate your property; you and your spouse can create a separation agreement so each of you can jointly decide how to divide property.
Alimony is an additional area of divorce that can become very complicated. Before the courts will even consider awarding alimony, one spouse must prove that they are financial dependent on the other spouse. Alimony is an area where inappropriate marital conduct is considered, it can determine if any alimony is awarded and if so, how much alimony will be awarded to the dependent party. In North Carolina, if the dependent party cheated on the supporting spouse, they are barred from receiving alimony. In addition, if the supporting spouse cheated on the dependent spouse than that dependent spouse will usually receive alimony. There are exceptions to every situation and each case is different and unique. This is an area where it will be important to contact an attorney to discuss your options.
Here at Duncan Larson Law we truly want to help you. We know this is a difficult time and we would like to make it as painless as possible. Contact us today for additional information and see if we can help you through this process.