Divorce in NC is based upon 1 year of separation. This means the parties have lived separate an apart without the intent to resume the marriage. Living in separate bedrooms does not count as separation.
North Carolina determines custody based on the “best interest” of the minor children. This provides the judge wide latitude in determining both physical and legal custody.
Child Support is determined according to North Carolina Child Support Guidelines which ensures uniformity across the state. The NC child support calculator is based upon the gross income of each parent, the number of the children, daycare expenses, and health insurance costs. Deviation from the guideline amount is rare absent special circumstances.
Post-Separation Support is essentially temporary alimony and is based on the financial need of the dependent spouse and ability of the supporting spouse to pay. An experienced attorney in Union County can help you evaluate your spousal support case.
The amount and duration of alimony is difficult to predict, but many attorneys like to say that duration will be half the length of the marriage. This would mean a 10 year marriage could equal 5 years of alimony.
Equitable distribution is the division of marital assets and marital debts accumulated during the marriage. Most judges have a strong presumption the martial estate will be divided equally, but an unequal division can be awarded if the facts warrant one party receiving a greater share of the marital estate.
A separation agreement is a contract between the parties to resolve all or part of the issues related to divorce. This can include property division, spousal support, and even child custody. Separation papers are not required for divorce as a separation agreement requires the parties to agree and not even a judge can make the parties agree if they don’t want to reach an agreement.
A Domestic Violence Protective Order (50B) is meant to protect one spouse from another based on acts of domestic violence. That being said, often this restraining order is used to evict one spouse from the martial residence to gain an advantage in divorce litigation.
A separation agreement is not required to get divorced. Once the parties no longer live together the one year separation period begins to run whether an agreement is signed or not.
An uncontested divorce usually takes 2-3 months from start to finish. That being said, it can take longer or shorter based on cooperation or obstruction from the other party. In addition, matters such as property division and spousal support can remain open long after a divorce has been granted.
Attorney fees vary greatly based on whether a contested court hearing will be necessary. Often a separation agreement is the best way to keep legal fees to a minimum.
If you are considering divorce or separation or have any questions about child custody it is usually best to seek legal advice before the other side takes action that puts you at a disadvantage. At Witt Law, P.A. we offer a $150 initial consultation to answer all your questions.
Call us today at (704) 493-6851