It is common to have questions about the specifics of your legal situation. Below are some frequently asked questions with answers that might be of some help.
A divorce is the legal dissolution of the marital relationship between two spouses. You must file a court action to obtain a divorce.
In North Carolina, you must be living separate and apart from your spouse continuously for one year before you are eligible for a divorce.
Once you retain our firm to process your divorce, we can usually finalize your divorce within approximately two months. However, the timing is based solely upon your circumstances and certain factors beyond our control may cause the process to take longer.
Yes. We can include a name change in your divorce documents. You may resume your former maiden name or a former married surname that you share with a child born of a previous marriage.
A separation agreement is a contract between you and your spouse. A separation agreement can resolve all issues relating to your marital relationship, including property division, alimony, child custody and child support. However, the terms of the agreement must be mutually agreed upon by the parties and the agreement must be signed by both parties in the presence of a Notary Public.
Property Settlement FAQs
The general rule in North Carolina is that each spouse is entitled to a presumptive 50/50 split of all property acquired between the date of marriage through the date of separation; however, some exceptions may apply to this rule. The Court can also divide marital debts.
If you fail to settle property matters or fail to initiate a court action for property division before the date of your divorce, you will lose your right to petition the family court system for a property division. It is very important to address property issues before your divorce is finalized.
Alimony is a sum of money paid from one spouse to another. The purpose of alimony is to maintain the standard of living established during marriage. Post separation support is essentially temporary alimony. Spousal support, alimony, and post separation support are often terms used interchangeably, but all refer to money paid for the support of a spouse.
In order to qualify for alimony, you must be considered a dependent spouse and your spouse must be considered a supporting spouse. This means that during your marriage, you relied substantially upon your spouse for maintenance and support. There are other factors that will affect your eligibility as well, such as marital fault.
Child Custody & Child Support FAQs
Child custody is left to the discretion of the trial judge and will vary from case to case. The trial judge must consider whether each party is a fit parent as well as the best interest of the minor child. There is no parental presumption in North Carolina and each parent must take care to know their rights and responsibilities as it relates to their child.
North Carolina uses the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines in calculating child support. Child support is based upon your gross income, your spouse’s gross income, the number of overnights the child or children spend with you, the amount each party spends on health insurance, dental insurance, work-related child care and other statutorily defined extraordinary expenses. When you come into our office, we can prepare a child support calculation for you.