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3 things you should know about divorce in North Carolina

You can't stand your spouse and you are ready to end your marriage. If you live in North Carolina, you might be shocked to learn about how divorce works. Our state still requires that you go through a separation before you can get a divorce. The separation gives you time away from your ex, and it is also a chance for you and your ex to hash out the divorce settlement. Here are some things you should know if you plan on filing for divorce in North Carolina.

Divorce isn't a quick process in North Carolina

People who are ready to end a marriage in North Carolina might find that the process takes a long time. The laws that govern divorce and related matters aren't meant to provide a quick solution when spouses are ready to call it quits. You must be separated for a period of one year before your divorce can be finalized. You and your spouse must live apart during the separation. This doesn't mean that you have to hang in limbo for a year. You can take steps to get some aspects of the divorce handled before the divorce is finalized.

Matters can be settled before the divorce is finalized

North Carolina recognizes separation agreements, which are documents that you and your ex can file that can handle matters like child custody and property division. In order to get the separation agreement drawn up, you and your ex will have to work through the matters on your own. Property division matters must be settled before the divorce can be finalized. This means that even if you and your ex can't stand each other right now, it is probably in your best interest to try to get these matters resolved.

Settling the child custody agreements as early in the divorce process as possible can help you and your children to get accustomed to a new routine as quickly as possible. If you can't come up with agreements in these areas, the court can step in to make decisions.

You have rights and responsibilities

It is important for you to fully understand your responsibilities and rights during the divorce and period of separation. When you know this information, you can make decisions based on it. One example of the importance of this information regards the question of alimony. In North Carolina, alimony is handled on a case-by-case basis. Parties aren't automatically required to receive alimony payments during a divorce. You should also learn about equitable division of property, since, in this state, this is the basis of property division, child support matters, and child custody.