Things to Consider During Separation or Divorce in North Carolina

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: ” I’m not getting along with my husband. We’ve been married two weeks and it was a mistake. Can’t I just get an annulment?”


The process of getting a divorce in North Carolina can be confusing. Not only are the rules complicated, but you are also likely wrestling internally with some heavy emotions and transitioning to a new chapter of your life. No two divorces are identical, but if you are considering separating from you spouse, there are some important things you must consider first.


loan-application-Charlotte-Monroe-Mooresville-Divorce-Lawyer-225x300Unsolicited Advice


Family and friends can be a godsend during difficult times. As helpful and well-meaning as they might be, advice that they offer up about your situation is not always helpful or accurate. While two cases might appear similar, or a relative thinks that they went through the exact same situation, it is likely not true. Each case is unique and different. As such, each case must be handled differently. Your family and friends can be helpful through difficult times, but be wary of the advice they are providing.


Legal Representation


Hiring an experienced divorce attorney is important in a divorce proceeding. You and you spouse might think that hiring just one attorney to represent the both of you is the best option, but this is never the case. In a divorce, one attorney can not represent both parties. Even if you and your spouse have come to an agreement about the divorce, there can not be joint representation. One attorney may end up doing all of the legal work, but not representing both parties, only one. The other party likely has no attorney and is operating pro se.


Insurance Concerns


The United States is a privatized insurance country. Because of this, it is likely that you, your spouse, and any children have medical insurance through one spouse’s employment. During separation or divorce proceedings, it is important to not make any changes to insurance without an agreement being made or a court order. If you decide to drop your spouse or your children from the insurance policy without agreement or order, you may be liable for medical bills that result from un-insuring them.


Financial Concerns


One of the biggest hurdles in divorce is sorting out both parties’ finances and dividing property. North Carolina is an equitable distribution state. This means that property between the spouses is to be divided equitably, or fairly. This does not mean that the division has to be equal, with each spouse receiving exactly one half of the property. Instead, the division must be what the court finds to be fair.


In addition to dividing property, you need to consider joint accounts that you and your spouse shared. This is important for debt considerations. Credit card companies do not care about a divorce or separation. The names on an account are responsible for debt associated with the account.


If you are considering separating or divorcing from your spouse, contact the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC. We know that this is a difficult time and want to guide you through to this next chapter of life. We will help you take the necessary steps prior to the separation, during and after. Contact us today for a consultation. If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter and need the help of experienced family-law attorneys in or around Charlotte, Lake Norman, or our new office in Monroe (by appointment only until 2019), please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 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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