Five Things You Should Know about Divorce in North Carolina
By: W. Chad Winebarger
Charlotte, North Carolina Divorce Attorney
The Bollinger Law Firm, PC
If you are going through a divorce, below are five things that you should know:
- A divorce in North Carolina can be granted through one of two ways: one year of separation from your spouse or incurable insanity by either you or your spouse. Almost all divorces in North Carolina are granted based upon one year of separation. You do not need any special documents to be legally separated from your spouse. You simply must live in a separate physical residence for one year, with the intent to not resume the marriage.
- Separation agreements are usually helpful to the parties going through a divorce. Separation agreements can address many areas such as the distribution of assets and debts, spousal support, alimony, child custody and child support, although issues regarding child custody and child support can always be modified by the court.
- Once a divorce judgment is entered, all rights to equitable distribution of assets and debts, spousal support and alimony end unless a claim is pending for those things at the time the divorce judgment is entered. Therefore, if you wish to pursue claims for equitable distribution of assets and debt, spousal support and alimony, you must file a claim for these prior to the entry of the divorce judgment.
- If you and your spouse have a minor child or children and you believe that you may be entitled to child support, you should immediately file for child support because it is retroactive to the date of filing. In other words, a Judge will order that child support be paid from the date that the complaint for child support is filed, not from the date of the hearing.
- If you and your spouse have a minor child or children and you are unable to reach an agreement regarding custody and visitation, a judge will make decisions regarding custody and visitation based on what is in the best interest of the child. North Carolina law does not favor moms over dads or vice versa. Also, just because a parent has not paid child support does not necessarily mean that the nonpaying parent will not have visitation with the child. Instead, a Judge will consider all factors that affect the interest of the child or children.
The above statements should not be construed as advice for a specific situation. You should consult an attorney regarding your specific situation.