People in meeting raising their hand

Divorce in North Carolina: Blood Law Answers Your FAQs

When you consider divorce, all of the unknowns can be pretty overwhelming. You might not be sure of what to expect, so that’s why our divorce lawyers at Blood Law, PLLC answered some of your biggest questions.

What Are My Options for Pursuing a Divorce?

In North Carolina, there are two types of divorces: absolute divorce and bed and board divorce. Each has its specific benefits, but only one ends your marriage.

Absolute Divorce

An absolute divorce results in the legal dissolution of your divorce. For an absolute divorce, you will no longer receive the same benefits that you did when you were married, such as health insurance from your spouse and retirement benefits. However, you will be able to remarry after getting an absolute divorce.

Separation Period

For a legal divorce in North Carolina, the couple must live separately and apart for at least one year prior to filing for an absolute divorce. If the couple has children or complex assets, they may opt for a separation agreement to begin making agreements that carry over to when they file for an absolute divorce.

Grounds for Absolute Divorce

The grounds for no-fault absolute divorce include physical separation of over one year and one party has lived in North Carolina for at least six months. The filing individual may also file for an absolute divorce on the grounds of incurable insanity, where one spouse’s mental illness has limited the relationship for at least three years and the spouse receives medical care outside of the home for the illness. Though this is a legal option, it’s far less common than filing for a no-fault divorce.

Divorce from Bed and Board

Unlike an absolute divorce, divorce from bed and board will not fully dissolve your marriage. Divorce from bed and board is similar to a legal separation in other states. You will be unable to pursue remarriage and will remain legally linked to your spouse. There is not a required separation period for divorce from bed and board.

Grounds for Divorce From Bed and Board

An individual can file for divorce from bed and board if any of the following has occurred:

  • The family is abandoned by one party
  • If one spouse commits adultery
  • If one spouse has a drug or alcohol abuse problem
  • If one spouse commits “cruel and barbarous” acts
  • Any other indignities

A divorce from bed and board is a form of fault-based divorce, which means that you may need to prove the fault you select when you pursue the divorce. Even though this is a fault-based divorce process, the marriage will not be entirely dissolved, as discussed above.

What is the Divorce Process Like?

After you find a divorce attorney and determine the type of divorce you wish to pursue, your attorney will guide you through the process from there. You will need to file for divorce and pay the $225 filing fee for an absolute divorce, if that’s what you choose to pursue.

From there, you will serve your spouse the divorce papers either by mail or through the Sheriff’s department and then you will begin preparing for the evaluation of your assets and the creation of agreements about child custody and support, spousal support if necessary, the division of property, and any other significant issues.

The divorce will end when the judge issues a final judgment and you and your spouse either sign a decree of divorce or a divorce from bed and board.

How is Child Custody Determined?

Child custody is often determined through a child custody mediation program, where both parents meet to discuss child custody issues. The goal of this program is to create a child custody agreement that works for the entire family. If both parents are unable to agree on child custody matters, then child custody issues will turn to the courts, where a judge will make a decision for you. Child custody matters will move to the courts if one parent requests so, making a large emphasis on the importance of creating a resolution together.

How are Our Assets Divided?

In North Carolina, assets are divided using the equitable distribution model. Through the equitable distribution model, assets are divided by the courts in a manner that is fair to both parties. This means that you may not walk away with a 50/50 split, but instead with a split that more accurately reflects the circumstances of your marriage.

Blood Law, PLLC Divorce Attorneys

Filing for divorce may seem overwhelming. That’s why the divorce attorneys at Blood Law, PLLC are here to guide you through the process.

At Blood Law, PLLC, we believe in helping our clients achieve their goals – no matter how complex their divorce or other family law issue. Our experienced attorneys provide tailored legal services with a unique, team-based approach to do our best to achieve these results.

To learn more about our legal services, contact our Charlotte divorce lawyers online or give us a call at (704) 286-0570.