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Divorce Attorney in Raleigh, North Carolina

In 2018, there were 31,913 divorces in North Carolina. Going through a divorce can be an emotional and tough experience. It can have significant long-term ramifications on several aspects of your life, including your family, children, finances, friends, and assets. With heightened emotions and a lot of misleading information out there, you can easily make irremediable mistakes without proper guidance.

If you live in North Carolina, and you are considering divorce or have just been served with divorce papers, consulting with an experienced North Carolina family law attorney is crucial for proper guidance. Our attorneys at Life Law will enlighten you about your options and help you navigate key decisions during the divorce proceedings. We will offer you the detailed legal counsel and advocacy you need to settle matters of property division, alimony, and child custody, thereby making the transition as smooth as possible.

Life Law proudly represents clients throughout Raleigh, Wake County, Franklin County, Johnston County, and Durham County, North Carolina.

Separation Agreement

A separation agreement can be described as a private contract or agreement that is established between spouses who are separated or planning to separate soon. The separation agreement will include key terms and details of the separation, such as:

  • How the spouses will manage household bills and expenses

  • What happens to the marital home

  • Who will continue living in their marital home

  • Where or who the children will continue living with

A typical separation agreement will include separation details such as assets division, spousal support, child custody, parenting time, and child support.

Requirements for Divorce in North Carolina

In order to be eligible to file for divorce in North Carolina:

  • You must be separated from your spouse for more than a year. That is, you must be living in different homes for at least a year and a day.

  • You or your spouse must be a resident of North Carolina.

  • You or your spouse must have lived in North Carolina for at least six months prior to filing for a divorce.

You Don’t Have to Go Through This Alone

Grounds for Divorce

Some states allow an individual petitioning for a divorce to assign a reason for the divorce or an explanation as to why the divorce is being sought. For example, the spouse committed adultery. These states are known as “fault” states. Other states only require the petitioner to acknowledge that the marriage is beyond repair and does not require a reason. These are classified as “no-fault” states.

North Carolina is considered a “hybrid state” meaning that it allows for both no-fault divorces and fault divorces. To obtain a no-fault divorce, the petitioner and their spouse have had to have lived separately for at least a year and at least one of the spouses must have resided in North Carolina for the 6 months prior to the papers being filed.

North Carolina does allow for divorce on the grounds of “incurable insanity.” A judge will only grant a divorce on these grounds when the mental illness is such that the person suffering from the illness must be cared for away from the home for at least three years. Furthermore, a treating physician would need to certify that the spouse is incurably insane.

North Carolina also allows for a “divorce from bed and board” which is more like a “fault” divorce in that it assigns a reason for the separation but it isn’t an absolute divorce. Rather, it’s an order that decides some of the marital issues without the marriage actually being dissolved. However, couples aren’t forced to live together (they won’t be accused of abandonment). A divorce from bed and board may be granted in situations where a spouse:

  • Abandons the family

  • "Maliciously" forces the other spouse to leave

  • Endangers the life of the other with "cruel or barbarous treatment"

  • Treats the other spouse so badly that the other spouse's life becomes intolerable

  • Uses alcohol or drugs excessively thereby making their spouse’s life burdensome

  • Commits adultery

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is governed by North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 50. The statute offers an alternative to the traditional divorce process, whereby couples are given the opportunity to work together and mutually agree upon the key terms and agreement of the divorce. In a collaborative divorce, the attorney will act more as a mediator between parties involved. With the guidance of their attorneys, the spouses can discuss separation terms and create a divorce settlement.

Why is Collaborative Divorce Beneficial?

Some of the advantages of collaborative divorce include:

  • Reduces the stress and overwhelming experience associated with traditional divorce proceedings

  • Is cheaper and can be finalized quicker compared to traditional divorce

  • Both spouses have a better understanding of the divorce terms

  • Couples are able to maintain a positive relationship throughout the collaborative process

  • Couples have the opportunity to personalize their divorce terms or settlement agreement according to their unique separation needs

Your Family Law Attorney in
North Carolina Can Help

Negotiating a divorce settlement, dividing assets with your estranged spouse, determining child custody, and agreeing on parenting time, can make the divorce process even more complicated. Fortunately, a knowledgeable North Carolina divorce attorney can offer you detailed guidance and help you navigate key decisions.

With more than 15 years of litigation experience in family law, our experienced divorce attorneys at Life Law will work diligently with all parties involved to negotiate a fair resolution and settle matters of asset division, child support, spousal support, and parenting time. We will fight compassionately to protect your rights and your family's best interest.

Experienced Divorce Attorney
in Raleigh, North Carolina

If you are considering divorce or have just been served with divorce papers, call Life Law today to schedule a one-on-one consultation. Our team will offer you the detailed legal counsel and advocacy you need during this difficult period in your life. We proudly serve clients throughout Raleigh, Wake County, Franklin County, Johnston County, and Durham County, North Carolina.