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Need a divorce lawyer?

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Want to know your next steps?

Talk to a lawyer 24/7 at DivorcePlus

Talk with a North Carolina Lawyer

Professional Spotlight

Tesha McBeth attended The University of North Carolina School of Law, where she served as an associate editor of the North Carolina Journal of Law and Technology and a member of the National Moot Court Team.

Tesha is a former assistant district attorney for Anson, Richmond, Stanly, and Union Counties.

In addition to her law degree, Tesha is a family mediator, District Court Arbitrator, notary public, and certified parent coordinator.  

Whether it is a case involving family law, a traffic ticket, or estate planning, my approach is always characterized by passionate and ethical advocacy, ensuring that my clients are treated with the utmost respect and empathy.”

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Understand the divorce process

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Understanding Divorce in North Carolina: A Simple Guide

Navigating through the process of divorce can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re not sure where to start. If you’re in North Carolina, this guide is for you. We’re going to break down the essentials of divorce in North Carolina in plain language, so you can understand your options and what steps to take.

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, there are two main grounds for divorce:

  1. Separation for One Year: This is the most common ground. You and your spouse must have lived separately for at least one year. This means living in different residences and at least one spouse intending the separation to be permanent.

  2. Incurable Insanity: This is less common and requires proof that one spouse has been incurably insane for at least three years.

The Basic Steps of Getting a Divorce in North Carolina

  1. Separation: First, you need to be separated for a year. This separation period is a legal requirement.

  2. Filing for Divorce: After a year of living apart, you can file for divorce. You’ll need to fill out divorce papers and file them with the clerk of the court in your county.

  3. Serving Your Spouse: Once filed, these papers must be legally “served” to your spouse, meaning they are formally notified of the divorce proceedings.

  4. Waiting Period: After serving your spouse, there is a waiting period before the divorce can be finalized. This gives both parties time to respond to the divorce filing and make any necessary legal arrangements.

  5. Finalizing the Divorce: Once all issues are resolved, and the waiting period has passed, the court can finalize your divorce.

What About Alimony and Property Division?

In North Carolina, alimony and property division are handled separately from the actual divorce. If you and your spouse can’t agree on these issues, you might need to go to court. North Carolina is an “equitable distribution” state, meaning the court will divide marital property in a way that is fair, but not necessarily equal.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

While it’s possible to handle a divorce on your own, especially if it’s uncontested, having a lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of the law. A lawyer can provide advice on your rights and responsibilities and help with negotiations and paperwork.

Conclusion

Divorce in North Carolina doesn’t have to be a complex maze. Understanding the basics – from the grounds for divorce to the process and handling alimony and property division – is the first step towards moving forward. Remember, seeking legal advice can often save you time and stress in this challenging time.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Different people face different challenges, depending upon their individual circumstances. Common concerns when considering divorce include:

  • Money: “I am ready for divorce, but how can I afford a lawyer?”
  • Grief: “How can I move on when I’m not ready to let go?”
  • Expectations: “Why can’t I get everything I want out of this divorce?”
  • The future: “Where will I go from here?”

You can always start the divorce process without your spouse. However, there are certain aspects of divorce in which a spouse needs to be involved, such as hiring a mediator, parenting coordinator, co-parenting coach.

Online access and virtual consultations allow you to learn about the divorce process on your own time. Not everyone is ready to meet with a lawyer. Not everyone has the same schedule or availability. DivorcePlus puts you in control.

If you are curious about the process and want trustworthy information, we make that available to you for free. And if you are ready for the next step, our professional service providers are here and ready when you are.

We recommend that you start keeping a diary as soon as possible. A clear record and timeline of events can be very useful down the line. The more information, the better.

If you are happy with your divorce lawyer, stay with them. Our free resources address common divorce concerns so you won’t have to pay for as much time with your lawyer. We also provide a wide range of professional services if you’re looking for a little extra guidance.

Listen.

During the divorce process, some people ask questions and then ignore answers they don’t like. Keep in mind, even when you don’t like an answer, there are always ways to work through the process.

Trust your lawyer to help get you where you want to be. The best pathway forward is to listen and learn how to work with the law.

Unlike other legal websites that charge monthly subscription fees for access to general information on all areas of law, DivorcePlus specializes in providing  free online legal and divorce educational resources without any cost to you. You only pay for professional divorce services when you need them.

An online divorce is exactly what it sounds like. During the covid-19 pandemic, most States and Courts implemented laws and procedures that permit individuals to file and obtain their divorce online! But that doesn’t help if you still have to meet with a legal professional in person. The DivorcePlus professional marketplace gives you the ability to locate an attorney in your State and find out if an online divorce is right for you.

Note: This information contained here is not legal advice and should not be relied upon a legal source; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.  It’s important to keep in mind that legal statutes can be subject to amendments and interpretations. For the most current and detailed legal information, it’s advisable to consult the actual statutes or a legal professional.