Monroe Divorce Attorneys
Getting a divorce can be an intimidating prospect. Divorces can quickly turn sour, especially when you have children or a complicated financial situation. Unfortunately, North Carolina’s complex divorce laws don’t make things any easier.
Every separation is unique, which is why it’s important to have experienced legal guidance on your side when navigating the divorce process. The divorce attorneys at Leitner, Bragg & Griffin, PLLC strive to provide our clients with individualized attention through every step of their separation. We’ll account for your specific circumstances and help you get an idea of what type of relief the court may grant to you or your spouse. If a child is involved, we will also work with you to protect your parental privileges and secure a parenting arrangement that works best for you and your child.
Whether you’re preparing for a divorce or have already started the process, contact our Monroe divorce lawyers today.
Filing for an Absolute Divorce in Union County and Surrounding Areas
Absolute divorce is the final, legal dissolution of marriage in North Carolina. To file for an absolute divorce, one spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months before filing. Furthermore, spouses must also have lived separately for no less than one year before either person can file an absolute divorce petition (N.C.G.S. §50-6). If they have children, spouses must either agree on child custody arrangements and separation support during this pre-divorce separation period or litigate these issues in court. Spouses must also negotiate or litigate post-divorce alimony, child support, and property division. It’s important to know that post-divorce spousal support (alimony) and property division cannot be litigated after the court formally grants an absolute divorce. This is why it’s important to have a lawyer help you resolve these items during the initial divorce process.
North Carolina’s No-Fault Divorce Laws
As a no-fault divorce state, North Carolina will not require either spouse to provide a specific reason for ending their marriage. However, the law does change in situations where one spouse is suffering from “incurable insanity.” Incurable insanity refers to mental illness that requires ongoing treatment in a medical facility. Before filing for an absolute divorce on these grounds, you and your spouse must have lived separately for at least three years (uninterrupted) due to their treatment (N.C.G.S. §50-5.1).
Furthermore, although fault is not taken into account for an absolute divorce, marital behavior can affect the terms of spousal support. Adultery, cruelty, abuse, imprisonment (resulting in involuntary separation), abandonment, alcohol or drug abuse, and reckless spending can all affect alimony decisions (N.C.G.S. §50-16.3A(b)). The court may also consider any acts of financial misconduct that occurred during the pre-divorce separation period when making decisions about property division.
Divorce from Bed and Board
There is one type of divorce in North Carolina in which “fault” matters—a “divorce from bed and board (N.C.G.S. §50-7).” This is a form of legal separation that allows partners to live apart without the finality of divorce. Because spouses are still legally married, they do have certain obligations to one another. For example, spouses are not free to marry anyone else and they may still be held accountable for certain debts. That being said, couples can seek child custody or alimony terms while separated through a divorce from bed and board arrangement.
Let Our Monroe Divorce Lawyers Help You with Your Divorce
Divorces are never easy. You and your spouse each have your own priorities and circumstances that must be accounted for in the divorce process, and disagreements can easily arise when it comes to spousal support, property distribution, custody, and child support.
At Leitner, Bragg & Griffin, we understand that seeking legal help during this difficult time can be stressful, but you can rest easy knowing that our legal team will work hard to make your divorce as smooth and stress-free as possible. We will inform you of your legal rights and case options, and help you represent your interests in the courtroom and in negotiations with your spouse.
If you’re ready to begin the divorce process or need legal counsel for an existing case, call our office at (704) 447-7473.
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