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North Carolina Divorce

Once your order has been received it will be forwarded to the North Carolina paralegal who will be assigned to your case for the duration of the process. Your assigned paralegal will answer any questions that you have and process your documents.

Our North Carolina Paralegals are specifically trained in North Carolina divorce procedures and will assist you in getting the fastest, easiest, and most affordable divorce in North Carolina.

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RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS AND WHERE TO FILE: Either spouse must have been a resident of North Carolina for at least 6 months prior to filing for divorce. Divorce may be filed for in the county of residence of either spouse. [General Statutes of North Carolina; Chapter 50, Sections 50-8, 1-82].

LEGAL GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE: No-Fault: Living separate and apart without cohabitation for 1 year. [General Statutes of North Carolina; Chapter 50, Section 50-6] General: (1) confinement for incurable insanity for 3 years; or (2) incurable mental illness based on examinations for 3 years. [General Statutes of North Carolina; Chapter 50, Sections 50-5.1]. NAME OF COURT IN WHICH TO FILE FOR DIVORCE: Superior Court or District Court. "In the General Court of Justice, __________ Division, North Carolina, __________ County". TITLE OF DIVORCE ACTION: Complaint for Divorce. NAME USED TO DESCRIBE SPOUSE FILING FOR DIVORCE: Plaintiff. NAME USED TO DESCRIBE OTHER SPOUSE IN DIVORCE: Defendant. TITLE OF FINAL DIVORCE PAPERS: Decree of Divorce.

LEGAL SEPARATION: The grounds for legal separation (divorce from bed and board) are as follows: (1) abandonment; (2) adultery; (3) alcoholism and/or drug addiction; (4) cruel and inhuman treatment endangering the life of the spouse; (5) personal indignities rendering life burdensome and intolerable; and (6) turning a spouse out-of-doors. Either spouse must have been a resident of North Carolina for at least 6 months prior to filing for divorce from bed and board. [General Statutes of North Carolina; Chapter 50, Sections 50-7 and 50-8].

SIMPLIFIED OR SPECIAL DIVORCE PROCEDURES: There are no legal provisions in North Carolina for simplified divorce procedures. However, pre-marital and marital property settlement agreements are specifically recognized as valid. The payment or non-payment of alimony may be the subject of a marital settlement agreement. [General Statutes of North Carolina; Chapter 50, Sections 16.6(b) and 20].

MEDIATION OR COUNSELING REQUIREMENTS: If child custody is a contested issue, the court may order the parents to submit to mandatory mediation of that issue. [General Statutes of North Carolina; Chapter 50, Section 50-13.1].

PROPERTY DISTRIBUTION: North Carolina is an "equitable distribution" state. Separate property, including (1) any property acquired before the marriage; (2) any gifts and inheritances acquired during the marriage; (3) any property acquired in exchange for separate property; (4) any increase in the value of separate property; and (5) the expectation of a nonvested pension, retirement or other deferred compensation rights, will be retained by the spouse who owns it. Marital property (property acquired by either or both spouses during the marriage and before the separation, including any pension or retirement fund benefits) will be divided equally unless the court finds that an equal division is not fair. The division is based on the following factors: (1) any direct or indirect contributions to the career or education of the other spouse; (2) any depletion or waste of property; (3) the net value of the property; (4) the liquid or non-liquid character of the property; (5) the contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of each spouse as homemaker; (6) the economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the division of property is to become effective; (7) any increase or decrease in the value of the separate property of the spouse during the marriage or the depletion of the separate property for marital purposes; (8) the length of the marriage; (9) the age and health of the spouses; (10) the federal income tax consequences of the court's division of the property; (11) liabilities of the spouses; (12) any retirement benefits, including social security, civil service, military and railroad retirement benefits; (13) any prior alimony or child support obligations of each spouse; (14) the desirability of the spouse with custody of any children occupying the marital residence; (15) any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the spouses; and (16) interest in keeping an asset or interest in a business, corporation, or profession intact and free from claim or interference by the other party. [General Statutes of North Carolina; Chapter 50, Section 50-20].

ALIMONY/MAINTENANCE/SPOUSAL SUPPORT: Either spouse may be awarded alimony. The factors for consideration are: (1) the standard of living established during the marriage; (2) the comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their comparative earning abilities in the labor market and their incomes; (3) the mental, physical and emotional conditions of the spouses; (4) the marital misconduct of the spouses; (5) the ages of the spouses; (6) the contribution of one spouse to the education, training, or earning power of the other spouse; (7) the effect of a spouse having primary custody of a child; (8) the relative education of the spouses and the time necessary for a spouse to acquire sufficient education or training to become self-sufficient; (9) the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker; (10) the tax consequences; (11) the ability of the spouse to pay; (12) separate and marital debt; (13) expenses needed to support each party; (14) obligations to support others; (15) property brought to the marriage; (16) the relative needs of the spouses; and (17) any other factor the court deems just and equitable. The court may require bond for security for the alimony payments. [General Statutes of North Carolina; Chapter 50, Sections 50-16.2A, 50-16.3A, 50-16.7 ].

SPOUSE'S NAME: Upon request, the court may allow either spouse to resume the use of his or her former or maiden name. A woman may also make application to the clerk of the court for resumption of the use of her maiden or former name. [General Statutes of North Carolina; Chapter 50, Section 50-12].

CHILD CUSTODY: Joint or sole child custody is determined according to the interests and welfare of the child. There is no presumption that either parent is better suited to have custody. The court is to consider all relevant factors including acts of domestic violence and the safety of the child. [General Statutes of North Carolina; Chapter 50, Section 50-13.2].

CHILD SUPPORT: Both parents are primarily responsible for the support of a minor child and either parent may be ordered to pay child support. The factors to be considered are: (1) the needs of the child; (2) the earnings, conditions, and accustomed standard of living of the child; (3) the child care and homemaker contributions of each parent; (4) any joint or shared custody arrangements; (5) the parents ability to pay; (6) the parent's own special needs, such as unusual medical expenses; (7) any types of other support provided to the child, such as a residence, payment of a mortgage, payment of medical expenses, provisions for health insurance, or lump sum payments; (8) a parent's prior child support or alimony obligations; and (9) any other relevant factors. There are official child support guidelines which are presumed to be correct, unless there is a showing that the amount of support would be unjust or inappropriate. Child support worksheets are also provided Child support payments may be required to be paid through the clerk of the court. Income withholding may be used if child support payments become delinquent. Child support obligations may be required to be secured by a bond or mortgage. The court may require a parent to provide health insurance coverage for a child. [General Statutes of North Carolina; Chapter 50, Section 50-13.4; Child Support Guidelines and Worksheets are contained in the Annotated Rules of North Carolina].

PREMARITAL AGREEMENT: The agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties and is enforceable without consideration. The agreement will not be enforced if it is proven that (1) the agreement was not executed voluntarily; (2) the agreement was unconscionable when executed and before execution the party was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party, did not voluntarily waive any right to the disclosure of these obligations, did not have adequate knowledge of these obligations; (3) a provision of the agreement modifies or eliminates spousal support which causes that party to be eligible for public assistance at the time of separation or divorce. If the marriage is determined to be void, the agreement is enforceable only to the extent necessary to avoid an inequitable result. [General Statutes of North Carolina; Chapter 52B, Sections 52B-3, 52B-7 and 52B-8].


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