What You Need to Know About Divorce in North Carolina

9-1What You Need to Know About Divorce in North Carolina

The divorce rates have been decreasing, but there is still a significant number of marriages that will end. Although divorce is not easy, it may be the best solution for some families. Divorce does not have to be overly stressful. If you can review the many issues that will be part of a divorce settlement, you can prepare for a more amicable resolution. Understanding divorce settlement issues will help you better work through these important issues. A knowledgeable North Carolina divorce attorney will help you navigate the divorce process.


Divorce From Bed and Board

North Carolina has two types of divorce, including divorce from bed and board and absolute divorce. Divorce from bed and board is similar to what other states might call legal separation. A divorce from bed and board provides a legal settlement for both parties. The main thing to remember is that it does not legally end the union. Some people do not wish to obtain an absolute divorce due to personal or religious convictions. Divorce from bed and board does not allow for parties to remarry since they are still legally married to each other.


Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “How much does it cost to get divorced, and how does the billing process work?”


Absolute Divorce

Absolute divorce allows you to end your marriage legally. North Carolina allows for no-fault divorce. The most important prerequisite is that you and your spouse must live apart for at least a year before you can get a divorce. This time period ensures that you are ready to end your marriage. During this time, you cannot live under the same roof. If you get back together, even for a brief period, the year starts over. Absolute divorce is the most common type of divorce in North Carolina.


Dividing PropertyRing-Charlotte-Monroe-Lake-Norman-absolute-divorce-attorney

Spouses are encouraged to work together to divide their property and assets. In North Carolina, property is to be distributed equally between spouses in a divorce. You must disclose all of your assets and debts. Marital property includes everything you acquired during the marriage. Property that you owned before getting married is generally not included. Inheritance and gifts also usually belong only to one party and therefore are not divided in a divorce. If you and your spouse cannot agree to the division of property, the judge may require you to seek mediation.


Child Custody and Support

Generally, both parents are allowed to spend time with their children. Typically, children will reside primarily with one parent and have regular visitation with the other. The non-custodial parent will usually pay child support. A parenting plan provides details for exactly how children spend their time, including weekends, holidays, and vacations. The plan becomes part of the court order. Any changes that you need to make must be done through a legal modification process in court. Child custody, visitation, and support typically remain in place until a child is 18 years old.


Divorce can be one of the most traumatic events of your life. You can make the experience easier with help from a skilled divorce attorney in North Carolina. and or South Carolina. Get a phone, video or in-person 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 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; 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.



G.S. 50-20 (ncleg.net)

Separation and Divorce | North Carolina Judicial Branch (nccourts.gov)


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