If you are in the middle of a divorce process, you may be dealing with a mix of emotional and financial issues, from the very personal to the extremely practical. An Absolute Divorce is one of the more practical aspects of the divorce process in North Carolina, but don’t go it ALONE. Many families attempt to navigate this process without the representation and advice of an attorney, and they have waived their right to alimony or property division in the process.
Separation and absolute divorce are frequently misunderstood as being the same thing, and certain family law issues such as equitable distribution or alimony must be resolved, i.e. filed with the court and preserved, before the divorce judgment is entered. Absolute divorce is the legal termination of your marriage. It only dissolves your marriage, so you and your spouse are “single.” This is a court-ordered judgment and does not address issues of property division, child custody, child support, or alimony. In fact, a divorce judgment is NOT intended to resolve issues like child custody, child or spousal support, or property division which MUST be handled separately
Have you lived separately from your spouse for a year? If not, you can not request that the court in North Carolina grant you an Absolute Divorce. You must have been physically separated and living apart for one year and one day. North Carolina is a “no-fault divorce” state, meaning that the only proof needed is the separation and the intent to remain permanently separate. You do not need a separation agreement or any other document to be “separated” and start the clock ticking for the one-year-and-a-day rule; however, without a separation agreement in place your property and alimony rights could be waived. If you are facing these issues, or have questions, contact Easterling Family Law to protect your family, yourself, and the things you have worked so hard to earn; even if you have started the divorce process or if you have yet to file.