Absolute divorce means the dissolution of your marriage. North Carolina allows no-fault divorce. This can make the process somewhat easier, however, you will still need to work to resolve the important settlement terms of your divorce. Couples must fulfill the requirement to live separately for a period of one year before they can divorce. You can utilize this time to work through the various matters that deal with uncoupling. Here are the three most important issues that most couples will face during divorce.
Division of Property
Couples must abide by North Carolina laws, which require an equitable distribution of property between both parties in a divorce. In order to properly divide your property, you will need to first make a list of it, along with the approximate value. You will need to determine what property was acquired during the marriage. This property is generally called marital property. You are required to provide a financial affidavit to disclose assets and debts. Once you have a complete list of your property, you will be able to more easily divide it in a fair and equitable manner.
Child custody and visitation are among the most important issues that couples must resolve when they end their marriage. Couples may share parenting responsibilities and are often both responsible for making decisions on behalf of their kids. Children often reside primarily with one parent and have regular visits with the other parent. The non-custodial parent typically pays child support, which is determined by the court using a formula along with details of the case. Courts always strive to do what is in the best interest of the child.
Spousal maintenance, also called alimony, is money paid by one spouse to the other after divorce. Alimony is not a requirement in divorce, and in many divorce cases, there is no spousal maintenance order. Alimony may be temporary or permanent. Temporary maintenance may provide support while a parent prepares to reenter the workplace. The judge will review a variety of factors to determine whether to order spousal maintenance and, if so, how much it should be. Most often, maintenance is paid monthly, but it can be paid in a lump sum.
Resolving Settlement Disputes
Disputes over these and other settlement issues can result in a longer and more difficult divorce process. Emotions are often running high, and both parties may disagree about some of the important issues. It is often in your best interest to try to come to an agreement before going before a judge. Your attorney will be instrumental in trying to clear up various matters as soon as they arise. If you can’t resolve your differences, you may need to try mediation. The judge may require you to participate in mediation if you cannot agree. A mediator is a professional who assists couples in resolving dispute settlements outside of court.
If you have decided to end your marriage, it is helpful to seek legal guidance from a reputable divorce attorney. Call us at Arnold & Smith, PLLC at (704) 370-2828 to schedule a consultation.
The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes four 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; and adoption. 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 work to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.
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