If you’ve made the difficult decision to dissolve your marriage, you want the legal process to go as smoothly as possible. North Carolina divorce law has some unique provisions that might catch you off-guard, which is why it is so important to have experienced legal counsel by your side. Carolina Law Group, headed by Tommy Kellis, provides knowledgeable representation in Morehead City and surrounding towns, such as Lenoxville. Our legal team works tirelessly in pursuit of favorable terms concerning parenting and financial issues.
North Carolina is a no-fault state for divorce, so you don’t have to allege martial misconduct to dissolve your union. There are only two grounds for divorce in North Carolina:
Simply living apart is sufficient to begin the one-year period. There is no need for a legal filing. However, you could consider getting a divorce from bed and board, which is similar to legal separation status used in other states. In a divorce from bed and board, the petitioner alleges one or more of the following grounds:
Couples who obtain a divorce from bed and board remain legally married and are not free to wed anyone else. However, they are required to settle the types of issues associated with an absolute divorce, such as alimony, child custody, child support and property division. If you obtain a DBB, you can file for an absolute divorce a year later. Typically, the marriage dissolution process is simple in these cases because the parties already have an agreement in place, and might not have to re-litigate any issues.
Filing for a no-fault divorce does not mean that the case will be uncontested. Moreover, allegations of marital misconduct might be relevant because North Carolina family law permits judges to consider improper behavior in decisions addressing alimony and the division of property. For example, if a spouse seeking alimony had an affair, the court could rule they are not entitled to any payment. A court usually won’t award less property to a spouse because of adultery. But if the cheating spouse secretly depleted the marital estate to carry on their affair, they might receive a lesser share of the marital estate than they would have otherwise.
Even if you have no intention of alleging misconduct, there could be significant disagreements about whether alimony is appropriate, how much child support is needed, how to schedule parenting time and how much of the shared property each party should receive. Depending on the complexities of those issues, a no-fault divorce can still be hotly contested, and you want an aggressive attorney with proven courtroom skills protecting your interests.
An uncontested divorce comes about when the parties are able to negotiate a marital settlement agreement. They present their agreement to the court for approval and can avoid a court hearing on their issues. To achieve a favorable settlement requires skilled negotiation, so you should choose a seasoned divorce attorney with a successful track record handling legal matters such as yours. We can review your circumstances and explain how our experience will strengthen your case.
The Carolina Law Group delivers effective, personalized divorce representation in Morehead City and other area communities. Call us at 252-672-2059or contact us online to schedule a consultation at our office.