Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “How long does getting a divorce take?”
Uncontested divorces, also known as amicable divorces, tend to be less complicated than contested ones. If you and your spouse are able to resolve many or all of the issues in your divorce, your divorce is considered amicable in North Carolina.
However, just because your divorce is uncontested or amicable does not necessarily mean that obtaining a divorce will be a walk in the park. Many couples mistakenly believe that they do not need an attorney if their divorce is amicable. But that is not the case.
It is advised to consult with a Charlotte divorce attorney even if you and your spouse agree on the terms of your marital settlement without seeking legal counsel.
Requirements for an Amicable (Uncontested) Divorce in North Carolina
In order to file for an uncontested divorce in North Carolina, you must:
- Meet the residency requirement;
- Complete the mandatory one-year separation; and
- Agree on many or all major issues in a divorce.
Under the North Carolina Statute § 50-8, you or your spouse must have resided in North Carolina for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. If you do not meet the residency requirement, you are not eligible to file for divorce in North Carolina.
Additionally, the law requires you to live separately for at least a year. Both spouses are considered “separated” when either spouse moves out of the marital residence and the couple lives apart for at least one year.
When seeking an amicable divorce in North Carolina, spouses cannot blame one another for the downfall of the marriage. Instead, they can seek a divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.
Do You Need a Divorce Attorney if Your Divorce is Amicable?
Many couples mistakenly believe that since their divorce is amicable, they do not need a lawyer to represent them. In reality, you can benefit from seeking legal advice from a Charlotte family lawyer even when your divorce is uncontested.
While it might seem that you can file all the paperwork yourself and negotiate with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse on your own, you can benefit from hiring a divorce attorney. A knowledgeable divorce lawyer will ensure that you obtain the most favorable outcome in all aspects of your divorce, including:
- Property distribution
- Timesharing (child custody)
- Child support
- Alimony (spousal support)
Why You Should Hire a Divorce Lawyer for Your Uncontested Divorce
While you may not have to go to court to resolve your uncontested divorce, you could still benefit from hiring a lawyer. Here is why you should hire a divorce attorney for your uncontested divorce in North Carolina:
- Help you navigate the process. A knowledgeable lawyer will help you navigate the legal process and advise you on all your legal rights and best strategies.
- Reduce stress. Divorces are almost always stressful for all parties involved, including children. If you hire a divorce lawyer, you can focus on your children, family, and personal life, while your attorney will take care of the paperwork and all the legal aspects of your case.
- File paperwork and meet deadlines. North Carolina has stringent rules dictating when and how to file divorce paperwork. A divorce attorney will ensure that all the paperwork is filed correctly and in a timely manner.
- Lower the cost and expedite the process. An experienced family lawyer in Charlotte will advise you on how to resolve your divorce case quickly in the most efficient manner. Also, a lawyer will help you lower the cost of your divorce by negotiating a settlement out of court and saving on court fees.
Contact our Charlotte family lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, review your case, ensure that all paperwork is completed and filed properly, and fight for your best interests. Get a phone or video consultation by calling at (704) 370-2828 to speak with our detail-oriented and well-versed lawyers with offices in Charlotte, Lake Norman, and Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today or find additional resources here.
The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes two Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.
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