If you live in North Carolina and you are seeking a divorce, there are some important facts to keep in mind. North Carolina has two situations that they will consider to be grounds for divorce: 1) incurable insanity and 2) separation of the couple for one year. You must have been a resident of the state for at least six months in order to be eligible to file for divorce.
What If My Spouse and I Have Filed a Legal Separation?
If you are legally separated, you may be entitled to division of property, alimony (spousal support) and/or child support while your divorce case is being resolved. Talk with an experienced family law attorney to learn about all the rights you have and should consider in a divorce proceeding.
Do I Need an Attorney to Handle My Divorce?
Hiring an attorney to handle your divorce is the best way to get what you need, deserve and are entitled to in your divorce. It may seem simple to divide assets and liabilities, especially if you don’t have children to consider; however, what may start out as amicable doesn’t always end up that way when things get underway. You should have someone advocating just for you. Hiring a divorce/family law attorney with Remington & Dixon PLLC in Charlotte, is the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your interests in this most difficult time.
What Can I Expect When It Comes to Dividing Property and Assets?
As an initial note: You can help yourself and the court by negotiating the separation of your assets and liabilities with your spouse, and the court will then determine the division of anything that is left unsettled. When it comes to division of property, assets, debt and all that entails, the court will consider the following in rendering their decision.
1) the equitable distribution of property; keep in mind that equitable does not always equal an even split
2) income, property and the liabilities of both parties
3) if there are any previous marriage financial obligations of either spouse, and what they are
4) the need of the custodial parent for housing (example: the family home)
5) any pensions, retirement accounts and other funds of both spouses
6) any educational contribution of one spouse to the other
7) were there any contributions of either spouse to an increase of value in separate property
8) they will consider all marital property owned by both spouses
9) the tax implications to both parties
10) the distribution of property through Intestate Succession Law
11) any business and interest assets
12) the court will also consider any other factors it deems relevant to the equitable distribution of property
Sometimes one spouse may need help in uncovering hidden assets of the other spouse, or help to protect special family heirlooms, inheritance, etc. Your attorney from Remington & Dixon will be your strongest advocate in obtaining the fairest property division order in your case. Trust them to help you through this difficult process.
What About Child Custody and Support?
The North Carolina court system works under the guiding principle of “best interest of the child” when determining child custody arrangements. Custody will be awarded to the parent who best promotes the welfare of the children. The non-custodial parent is typically the one who pays child support, although both parents are responsible for the welfare of the children. Child support is determined by the courts based on the needs of the children, the income and earning status of both spouses, the child’s current standard of living, and as always, any other relevant facts the court deems considerable in the case.
What If My Spouse and I Have a Prenuptial Agreement?
It is quite common for married couples to have a prenuptial agreement. These agreements may establish many factors prior to the marriage, including division of property, alimony, payouts depending on the length of the marriage, etc. Child Support and Child Custody cannot be handled by a Prenuptial Agreement. You can negotiate these items between the two of you, but ultimately those factors will be determined by the court if you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement.
Am I Entitled to Alimony from My Spouse?
Spousal support or alimony, may be something you or your spouse is entitled to in your divorce settlement. When determining whether alimony should be paid, the court takes a number of factors into consideration:
1) if there was any marital misconduct on the part of either spouse
2) the earnings and the earning capacity of each spouse
3) the emotional, physical and mental conditions of both spouses
4) the length of the marriage
5) what contributions each spouse has made to the other
6) the custody of the children and child support obligations of either spouse
7) the standard of living of each of the spouses
8) the education level of each spouse
9) what are the assets and liabilities of each spouse
10) what property did each spouse bring to the marriage
11) what were the contributions of either spouse as homemaker
12) what are the needs of each spouse
13) what are the tax consequences of an alimony order
Note: In North Carolina, any illicit sexual behavior on the part of the dependent spouse during the marriage and prior to the date of separation may affect their ability to obtain alimony from their spouse.
As you can see, there are many issues to be considered in a divorce. Don’t go it alone; your attorney from Remington & Dixon will be there for you every step of the way. Remember to collect and keep any and all documents, records, notes and anything else related to your divorce, whether it seems relevant or not. Your attorney will sort through everything to determine what is necessary.
What If I’ve Been a Victim of Domestic Violence?
If you are or have been a victim of domestic violence with your spouse, get yourself to safety as soon as possible, and know that there is help for you. North Carolina has two remedies for relief and prevention of domestic violence: 1) an ex parte order which is a temporary protective order against the perpetrator of domestic violence, and 2) a final domestic violence protective order also known as a restraining order. Either of these may be helpful in your case to protect you from harm; consult with a compassionate North Carolina divorce law attorney on what is best for your protection if this is the case.