In this article, you can discover:
- Details on the timeline for divorce in North Carolina
- Common reasons for a contested divorce
- How to stay out of a courtroom when settling a divorce
How Does The Process Of Divorce Work In North Carolina?
North Carolina divorce law requires couples to be physically separated for one year before filing for divorce. This often poses a problem for couples who live in the same house and know that they will be separating but cannot afford to do so financially.
If your spouse is making your life intolerable with constant belittling or cheating, you may be able to get a divorce without separating first. If you are facing ongoing statutory actions (that don’t rise to the level of domestic violence), or if your spouse has cheated on you, you may be able to file for “Divorce from Bed and Board”.
It is possible to get a divorce from bed and board if there is a justifiable reason that gives the court cause to remove your spouse from the marital home, giving you relief. However, these cases are more uncommon and usually require more than just “not getting along”.
If you have physically separated, then it’s time to talk about the “causes of action” for the divorce, which would be equitable distribution, post-separation support, and alimony. If you think you can negotiate these issues, you can likely resolve them through a private property settlement agreement or mediation.
However, if it looks like the other party has some unreasonable points, it can be helpful to have court oversight by filing an action. Once you take legal action, the filing can still be resolved through mediation or by a consent order with court oversight.
If there is no middle ground between you and your former spouse, then your divorce will go to trial in a divorce action. These are bench trials, meaning that you will resolve the matter without a jury, but by presenting the case in front of a judge.
How Long Does It Take To Finalize A Divorce In North Carolina?
After the one-year mark of physical separation, couples can get an absolute divorce, legally ending their marriage. Often other issues, such as property division and custody, can be settled before then.
If a couple separates, they can try to reach a settlement agreement through mediation or some other means. (Through this process, it is usually possible to have everything resolved within three months.) Then, once those matters have been resolved, you only have to sit back and wait for the one-year mark to pass.
If you’re going through a divorce, you may not need to hire an attorney right away. Many people try to work things out on their own for a while before bringing in legal help. However, if you’ve been trying to settle on issues during your test of separation and you aren’t making any progress, it might be time to consider hiring a lawyer.
Additionally, if you are going through a divorce and have children, it is important to think about child custody. You may want to file for child custody before the divorce is final in order to expedite the timeline, especially as this can take additional time to resolve.
(Also, keep in mind that if your child has special needs, you may need to get help from experts to make sure that the best interests of your child are taken into account.)
Can We Avoid Going To Court In My North Carolina Divorce Case?
If you’re going through a divorce, you know that the process can be challenging. Family law cases can be even more difficult since they often require going to court. However, it’s important to remember that many family law cases can be resolved without a trial. In fact, the vast majority of all family law cases are settled outside of the courtroom.
If you and your spouse are considering a separation, it’s essential to sit down and talk about reasonable outcomes. A judge may not have the information needed to make decisions that work well for both of you. So, if you take the time to discuss your goals and needs, you can plan a separation that will be smoother and less stressful than what many court decisions could offer.
If Both Parties Agree To All The Terms In North Carolina Divorce, Do We Each Still Need To Hire A Divorce Attorney?
When a couple decides to divorce, they may not necessarily need to hire a divorce attorney. However, the process of filing for absolute divorce must go through the court system, and it can be an exact and detail-oriented process. Therefore, the cost of hiring an attorney is usually worth it.
On average, our firm charges around $775 for our services in an uncontested divorce matter. Nearly $300 of that figure is included to cover court fees that you would pay with or without an attorney.
By hiring an attorney, you can avoid having to go to court at all. What’s more, you can be confident that the paperwork will be filed correctly, so you won’t have to spend your time and money correcting any mistakes. So, while you don’t technically need an attorney, it is still in your best interest to have one.
With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Divorce Cases, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy.
For more information on Divorce Cases in North Carolina, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (252) 371-0127 today.
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