Boone Divorce and Family Law Attorneys
Helping North Carolina families protect what matters most
When facing the prospect of divorce, you likely have many questions. Spousal support, child support, division of property – all of these matters can feel daunting, and for good reason. Even a short-lived marriage can have many legal issues to work through, and an experienced attorney can provide much needed peace of mind.
The Boone family law attorneys at Epperson Law Group, PLLC have decades of experience working with clients just like you. If you’re considering filing for divorce or feel divorce is on the horizon, you may not know where to begin. We’re here to help you navigate the process and provide knowledgeable guidance – keeping your best interests in mind. Don’t hesitate to contact us today. Our attorneys can help with military divorce matters as well.
What are grounds for divorce in North Carolina?
North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state, which means that either spouse can bring forth an action to end the marriage, and they don’t have to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong. Typically, you can just state “irreconcilable differences.”
In more specific terms, this is called an Absolute Divorce, and there are technically two grounds.
On rare occasions the court can grant a divorce on the grounds of incurable insanity if a couple has lived separately and apart for three years due to the incurable insanity of one spouse. This typically requires expert testimony from accredited doctors and psychiatrists.
More commonly, the courts grant a divorce after separation for one year. Either spouse may file for divorce if:
- The couple has lived in separate residences for one year
- One of the spouses has been a resident of North Carolina for at least six months prior to filing for divorce
- The couple is no longer engaging in regular sexual activity
It’s important to note that North Carolina is unique from many other states in that it does not consider separate bedrooms or separate areas of the house to be a separation.
What is a “divorce from bed and board?”
Although it’s true that North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state, there is an exception. Under N.C. General Statutes Chapter 50-7, a divorce from bed and board is like a court-ordered separation.
Typically, these are only ordered when one spouse won’t enter a separation agreement. A divorce from bed and board is fault-based and, per the statute, the complaining spouse must prove they’ve been injured under one of the following grounds:
- Abandons their family
- Maliciously turns the other out of doors
- By cruel or barbarous treatment endangers the life of the other
- Offers such indignities to the other as to render their condition intolerable and life burdensome
- Becomes an excessive user of alcohol or drugs so as to render the condition of the other spouse intolerable and the life of that spouse burdensome
- Commits adultery
If you have any questions about divorce from bed and board, our Boone divorce attorneys are happy to consult with you.
Who gets child custody in my Boone divorce?
We know that your child’s well being is first and foremost on your mind during your separation and divorce. It’s our priority too. The North Carolina courts give no preference to either spouse when making decisions about child custody – only the best interests of the child are taken into consideration.
The courts break down child custody matters into two categories. Legal custody gives one or both parents the right to make legal and life decisions for the child, including things like medical decisions, education, religion and general welfare. Physical custody is where the child will reside and live the majority of each year.
Either – or both – legal and physical custody can be shared under a joint custody agreement. With joint custody agreements, neither parent has a higher authority to make major decisions. Most joint custody agreements should include steps for conflict resolution.
How will property division affect my finances and other assets in a divorce?
Here in North Carolina, we follow the equitable distribution model of distributing property and assets during a divorce. During this method of property division, the court splits the marital assets fairly, but not necessarily 50/50.
If you and your spouse can’t come to mutual agreement on how to split your property and assets when you divorce, the court will do it for you using equitable distribution. First, they classify all of your and your spouse’s property into marital and separate, defined according to law. Then, they’ll divide the marital property equally. The separate property isn’t eligible for division.
The attorneys at Epperson Law Group, PLLC can help you protect your assets and secure the life you’ve worked so hard to build for your family.
What is marital property versus separate property?
Often, divorcing partners may disagree on what property belongs to which spouse. This isn’t uncommon, and is why the courts differentiate between marital and separate property. Generally, marital property includes all of the currently owned property the couple acquired during their marriage, with the exception of what the court deems separate property.
Separate property includes:
- Property or assets owned by one spouse before the marriage
- Property or assets one spouse acquired during the marriage via gift or inheritance
The court may also assign divisible property, which includes any changes in value (positive or negative) of your marital assets that occur between the date of your separation and the finalization of your divorce.
Can I get my Boone spousal support or child support order changed?
The court does allow modification of court orders when situations allow. If there’s been a significant change in circumstances regarding your, your ex-spouse’s or your child’s needs, you may be eligible to file for a modification to support or custody.
Examples of changes in circumstances might include a significant loss of income, relocation of a parent, medical or substance abuse issues, or significant gain in income. Our attorneys can work with you to prepare a case for an order modification.
Our attorneys can work with you in all divorce issues. Boone family law matters are dealt with in Watauga County Family Court, 842 West King Street #13, Boone, NC 28607.
Reliable and experienced Boone divorce attorneys
If you’re considering a divorce, the legal team at Epperson Law Group, PLLC stands ready to help. With decades of experience in family law, our divorce lawyers advocate for the rights of you and your family. Let us guide you through this difficult time with knowledge and respect. We’re just a few minutes’ drive from Appalachian State University. To reserve a consultation at one of our offices in Boone, Charlotte, or Weddington, please call 704-321-0031 or fill out our contact form.