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Easy Ways to Make Your Divorce Harder Than It Is

Easy Ways to Make Your Divorce Harder Than It IsMany couples do not realize how complicated the divorce process can be. They think that they can file for divorce at any time and then in a few short weeks or months, they will obtain the divorce and move on with their lives. However, it is rarely that simple, and depending on where you live, it can get really complicated.

For example, Missouri law prohibits pregnant women from finalizing a divorce. They can file for divorce, but the process cannot go any further than that until after they give birth. The law was supposed to ensure the establishment of paternity, and that all child custody and support plans are in place before the baby comes. In practice, however, it has caused a number of challenges and problems. And in New York, a professional license can be subject to equitable distribution if one spouse earned that license during the marriage. In other words, if John earns his medical degree while married to Jane, the costs associated with earning it (and the additional income earned because of it) can be factored into the division of assets.

The harsh reality that many divorcing couples face is that there are many arcane rules about divorce, child custody, and other family law-related issues in every state, including North Carolina. For example, did you know you have to wait a year before you can officially get divorced? It’s true. It’s also the thing people tend to screw up the most. So, we want to take the time to talk about some of the simple ways you can unknowingly make your divorce much harder.

  1. Not being separated for 12 whole months: As mentioned, one of the most frequent divorce issues we see is couples who want a divorce but have not been separated for a full year. Keep in mind that separation is not valid by simply ending the relationship and remaining in the same home or sleeping in different bedrooms. You must live in a completely different house and have different addresses.
  2. Not living in North Carolina for six months: You or your spouse must live in North Carolina for six months before you can file for divorce. Therefore, if you left your spouse back in Texas, for example, and are starting a new life in North Carolina, you will need to live here for at least six months before you can file for divorce. Many people assume that they cannot file for divorce if their spouse lives in another state. However, this is not the case.
  3. Thinking that your spouse must agree to the divorce: Many people think that their spouse must agree to the divorce before they can seek or receive a divorce in North Carolina. However, your spouse does not have to agree at all. We see situations often where one spouse wants a divorce while the other one wants to hang onto the small thread of marriage that’s falling apart. If this sounds like your situation, you do not have to worry about being stuck in an unhappy marriage due to your spouse not cooperating.
  4. Assuming that you cannot divorce your spouse if they have mental health issues: North Carolina allows you to divorce your spouse even if they have mental health issues or are incurably insane. Therefore, while you may feel guilty or empathetic toward your spouse’s condition, you can rest assured knowing that you do not have to remain in the marriage if you do not want to. However, you will need to have lived apart from your spouse for at least three years, and two doctors or psychologists will need to provide testimony to the court about your spouse’s mental health and incurable insanity.
  5. Failing to file for property division within a certain timeframe: Property division is very important in a Charlotte, NC divorce. This process ensures that you and your spouse receive a fair share of the property and assets that were acquired during the marriage. However, if you do not file for property division before the divorce is final, you will only be given the items that are in your name, and the ones that are in both of your names will stay that way.
  6. Not ensuring that your spouse was properly served: Failing to properly serve your spouse with the divorce papers can result in a longer divorce case. This is because it is a legal requirement in North Carolina that your spouse is served in the proper manner before the divorce process can start. In order to successfully do this, you will need to pay a sheriff deputy to serve your spouse or send the divorce papers through a certified mail service. The certification showing that they received the papers will need to be shown in court.
  7. Failing to schedule a court hearing: You are required to schedule a hearing in order for your divorce to be finalized. This means that you must prepare to go before a judge to officially receive your divorce. While this may seem stressful and nerve-racking, you can hire a lawyer to guide you through every step and remain by your side throughout the entire process.

Do you need help from a legal professional regarding your divorce? If so, Epperson Law Group is ready and available to assist you. Our Charlotte divorce attorneys know and understand that there are many reasons why you may be seeking a divorce, but we want to help you follow all the rules and deadlines to obtain a divorce. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule a confidential case evaluation at one of our offices in Concord, Boone, Charlotte, or Weddington today.