NC Divorce Attorneys
When a marriage ends, both parties usually have a lot of emotions and concerns. You may be wondering how to start the divorce process, how much a divorce will cost, and what will happen with the kids and the house.
The North Carolina divorce lawyers at McNeil Law Firm don’t back down. We understand what you’re going through, and we’re here to help you through this difficult time.
Having an attorney on your side throughout the divorce process can help you make sure you and your loved ones are protected now and for the future. This means considering things like separation agreements, child custody arrangements, how marital assets (house, retirement accounts, etc.) will be divided, child support, and more.
To get you started, we put together a list of common divorce-related questions below and have provided some information that will hopefully be helpful. If you’re looking for more information or would like to speak with a family law attorney about handling your divorce, please give us a call at (919) 803-6778 to schedule a confidential consultation. We have various consultations options available to fit your needs and your budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
CAN I FILE FOR DIVORCE IN NORTH CAROLINA? In order to file for divorce in North Carolina, a person must have lived in North Carolina for at least six months prior to filing for the divorce, the spouses must have been separated for more than a year prior to filing, and one of the parties had to have intended the separation to be permanent.
IF MY SPOUSE AND I SEE EACH OTHER DURING THE PERIOD OF SEPARATION AND ANYTHING INTIMATE OCCURS, DOES THAT AUTOMATICALLY RESET THE DATE OF SEPARATION? During the period of separation, an isolated incident of intimacy, including sexual intercourse, does not necessarily mean that the spouses have reconciled. The intent of each party would need to be considered to determine whether a new one-year waiting period is required. A divorce lawyer can help answer your questions and provide information specific to the facts of your situation.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CONTESTED DIVORCE AND AN UNCONTESTED DIVORCE? A contested divorce is a divorce that involves issues that have not been decided between the parties. For example, the parties may disagree over child custody arrangements, or how to divide up the marital assets. If those issues do not apply to you or have already been decided, then your divorce may be considered uncontested. An uncontested divorce is typically a much simpler process.
WILL I NEED SOME SORT OF PROOF OF SEPARATION IN ORDER TO FILE FOR DIVORCE? Generally, no. The courts usually take your word for it unless one spouse decides to say that you were not living separate and apart for a year, or that no one intended for the separation to be permanent. In this case, you may find it helpful to present the court with proof such as a utility bill, rental agreement for a separate residence, mail that was delivered at your new address, a voter registration card, or a driver's license, etc.
I AM THINKING ABOUT LEAVING MY SPOUSE. IS THERE ANYTHING I SHOULD CONSIDER BEFORE I MOVE OUT OF THE HOUSE? Yes, there are many factors you will want to consider before you move out of the house. Simply moving out could cause you to lose rights and options. Before you move out, contact a divorce attorney to learn more about how to move out while still making sure you and your loved ones are protected.
WHAT IF MY SPOUSE DOES NOT WANT THE DIVORCE? In North Carolina, you can obtain a divorce whether or not your spouse wants to be divorced.
IS A DIVORCE EXPENSIVE? At McNeil Law Firm, we work hard to keep costs down. We work efficiently, and we use paralegals and other legal staff for the non-lawyer tasks so you're only paying the higher attorney rate when it's absolutely necessary.
ARE THERE ANY REQUIREMENTS FOR BEING CONSIDERED "LEGALLY SEPARATED"? Yes. One requirement is that you must live "separate and apart" - i.e., living in separate residences during this time period, NOT in the same house. As long as you remain in the same house, you will not be considered separated.
WHEN AM I CONSIDERED LEGALLY SEPARATED? In North Carolina, separation occurs on the date that spouses move into separate residences with at least one of them intending to permanently live separate and apart from the other.
HOW LONG DOES A DIVORCE TAKE IN THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA? After the period of separation (at least one year prior to filing for divorce) and the filing and service of the divorce complaint, it usually takes about 45-60 days for the divorce to become final.
GENERALLY SPEAKING, HOW DOES THE INFIDELITY OF A SPOUSE AFFECT THE DIVORCE PROCESS IN NORTH CAROLINA? The issue of infidelity has almost no impact on the divorce itself or the actual entry of the divorce judgment; however, infidelity can and often does have a significant effect on the court's decisions in the areas of alimony and custody.
IS IT SAFE FOR ME TO START DATING AS SOON AS MY SPOUSE AND I ARE SEPARATED? This depends on many factors including whether there are children involved and other details surrounding the marriage and separation. An experienced family law attorney can provide you with more specific information and guidance specific to your situation.
WILL I HAVE TO APPEAR IN COURT AND TESTIFY BEFORE A JUDGE AT ANY POINT DURING THE DIVORCE PROCESS? This depends on whether you and your spouse were able to resolve all related issues (either on your own or with an attorney) such as child custody arrangements, alimony, child support, etc. Sometimes, even after a lot of negotiating and help from attorneys, the partes are still unable to come to an agreement on certain issues. In that case, you may have to appear in court.
“I was going through so much…but they never lost patience with me and always kept things professional, while explaining the details to me so I could understand what was going on and what my options were. This law firm saved me.”