Maybe you haven’t been married very long and haven’t had time to acquire a home or other property together. Maybe you were waiting to have children until you were more financially established. Maybe you’ve just been living paycheck to paycheck during your marriage and haven’t had the resources to buy a home, real estate, or other significant assets. But you find yourselves at the end of the road, ready to separate for a year before filing for divorce. There’s nothing to divide, no children to care for. Now what?
A No-Asset Divorce Can Be Very Simple
You’ve separated, and you’re marking days off on the calendar until you can file for divorce. What should you do next? To make sure things happen as quickly as possible, you probably should enter a simple separation agreement with your spouse. In that agreement, the two of you would agree that each of you will be responsible for the debts you brought to the marriage, that there is no property to divide, and that neither of you wants to seek spousal support of any kind. That likely will minimize the time it takes from filing for divorce to the final decree.
At the end of your year of separation, you file a complaint seeking a divorce. Even if both parties agree on everything, the spouse not initiating the divorce – referred to in the case as the defendant — has 30 days to answer the divorce complaint. However, the defendant can waive the right to answer the complaint and abbreviate that 30-day period allowed for an answer to the complaint. A hearing will be scheduled shortly after the waiver or the answer. If there are no disputes – that’s why you got the separation agreement – that hearing will end with the issuance of a divorce decree. Depending on the county in which you reside, all of this can happen within about six weeks from the end of your year of separation and filing of the divorce complaint.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Consultation with a North Carolina Divorce Lawyer
A divorce with no assets, no children, and no disagreements between the two spouses can happen about as fast as it is possible for a North Carolina divorce to happen. To ease that process and ensure the divorce is speedy once your year separation is over and you file for divorce, contact the Charlotte divorce law attorneys of Remington & Dixon at the beginning of the separation to see what steps you can take to speed the process. You can contact us online or by calling (704) 247-7110.
[LEARN MORE]: How to File for Equitable Distribution in North Carolina
No-Asset Divorce FAQs
Do I Need a Lawyer for A No-Asset Divorce?
It’s always a good idea to at least consult with an attorney when getting a divorce. If your case is actually simple enough to proceed without a lawyer, the attorney that you consult with will likely let you know.
Will A No-Asset Divorce Cost Less?
If lawyers assist you only with a simple separation agreement, the filing process, and the divorce hearing, that will cost less than if there are arguments over debts and assets that a judge has to hear and decide.
Do I Really Need a Separation Agreement?
You might not “need” a separation agreement, but you will probably want one. An agreement that there are no joint debts, jointly owned property, and that both parties waive any right to spousal support of any kind will go a long way toward shortening the divorce process.
Jennifer is a founding partner at Remington & Dixon, PLLC. Jennifer concentrates her practice in the areas of family law, wills & estates, unemployment benefits appeals, and traffic. At Elon University School of Law, Jennifer was the vice president of the Public Interest Law Society and a member of the Family Law Society. During law school, Jennifer interned at the Elon University School of Law Field Placement Clinic with Legal Aid of North Carolina where she represented clients in domestic violence court proceedings.