Charlotte Divorce Attorneys
Protecting your future post-divorce in North Carolina
Child custody, spousal support, property division – all of these can sound scary, complicated and emotionally draining. Most divorces are. However, if you’re facing a divorce, having the right attorneys on your side can make all the difference. Whether your divorce is relatively simple, or complex with many assets, it’s important to protect yourself so you’re able to start this new chapter in your life in the best possible way.
Nobody goes into a marriage thinking it will end in divorce, but if it happens, you need to be prepared. Our divorce attorneys at Epperson Law Group, PLLC are dedicated to providing strong and effective representation – fighting for you when it matters most. We have offices in Charlotte, Weddington and Boone. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation today.
Questions about the separation or divorce process? We have answers, experience and guidance.
What are grounds for divorce in North Carolina?
North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that either spouse can bring forward an action to end the marriage, and does not have to prove the other spouse did anything wrong. For eligibility for a divorce in North Carolina, you and your spouse must be separated for at least one year before either of you can file for divorce.
Additionally, you or your spouse must have lived in the area where you intend to file for at least six months before filing. If neither of you have lived here for at least six months, your divorce needs to take place where you resided previously.
Do I have to get a Charlotte separation first? What’s involved?
In order to proceed with a divorce, you and your spouse must be separated for a year or more, or be able to prove that your spouse has incurable insanity (this law is on the books but rarely used). The courts define a separation as you and your spouse living purposefully apart with the intent that the separation will be permanent. You must both have your own residence and stop engaging in regular sexual activity. It’s important to note that separate residences does not mean separate rooms in the same home.
Your separation begins on the day you and your spouse move into separate residences. During this yearlong separation period, you and your spouse may take this time to work with your divorce attorneys on negotiating the terms of your separation agreement, spousal support, property division, child custody and support and more.
Will I have to pay spousal support after my divorce? Will I receive it?
When two spouses split, one household becomes two. If there’s a disparity between each spouse’s incomes, one spouse may not be able to support themselves on their own. This is why we have spousal support, also called post-separation support or alimony, laws.
When a couple separates, one spouse may be able to file a request with the court for spousal support from the other party. North Carolina courts will only award spousal support to the dependent spouse, which they define as a spouse who earns insufficient income to maintain their standard of living during the marriage.
Unlike some other divorce-related issues, there is no calculator or defined guidelines for determining the amount of spousal support you might pay or receive. The court determines the amount using a number of different factors that relate to your personal situation, including each spouse’s income, the length of the marriage, and the amount of time it would take for the dependent spouse to become self-sufficient.
Does my Charlotte divorce have to go to court? Are there alternatives?
Fortunately, going through a divorce doesn’t necessarily mean ending up in front of a judge. Divorce mediation or arbitration can be an effective tool when two spouses are able to amicably resolve their issues or disputes. It also offers a potentially faster and more cost-effective way to settle your divorce matters without going through a lengthy court battle.
A mediator is a neutral third party who works to help you and your spouse come to agreement on points of contention in your divorce agreement so you can come to a mutually satisfactory solution. Mediation gives both parties control over the outcome. An arbitrator is similar to a judge, except the proceedings are private and less formal. Each party may bring their own attorney, and an arbitrator’s decision is legally binding.
The attorneys at Epperson Law Group, PLLC have a wealth of experience guiding Charlotte clients through both divorce mediation and arbitration. We can explain the process and help you decide if it’s right for you.
I have a lot of assets and need to protect them. What should I do?
When one or both spouses have a significant amount of money or assets, a divorce can get complicated – especially when things like business assets, retirement accounts, investments and real estate are involved. It’s important to talk to an experienced high-asset divorce lawyer who understands the details of these types of assets and can draft an equitable and reasonable plan to protect and divide your finances.
We work with experts to help establish the value of any assets, business and property, as well as uncover any hidden assets you may not even be aware of. Our network of industry professionals – taxes, finances, real estate and appraisals – give us a clear financial picture to guide you.
What’s the difference between a pre-marital and post-marital agreement?
Pre- and post-marital agreements (sometimes called pre- and post-nuptials) are ways spouses can protect their assets, as well as make other family law decisions, before or after getting married. These can help avoid the complicated and emotional process of creating a divorce agreement in the event of a split. Although they may not seem romantic, these agreements are actually a good way to show honesty in a relationship.
Because a premarital agreement spells out things like property division in advance, it can eliminate the stress and expense of a legal battle later down the line. A post-marital agreement is very much like a premarital, except it happens after the marriage occurs. Many couples make a post-marital agreement after acquiring significant assets or property during their marriage.
How is property divided in a Charlotte divorce?
If you and your spouse cannot come to mutual agreement regarding your property division, you’ll have to go to court and have a judge decide. Marital property includes only the property acquired during your marriage. Separate property is just that – gifts or inheritance given to just one spouse, or property and assets brought into the marriage by only one of you.
Here in North Carolina, the courts follow the rule of “equitable distribution” when making decisions regarding property division. Equitable does not mean 50/50, although sometimes that could be the case. Instead, the court divides property and assets the way they feel is fair.
Our divorce attorneys are here to help
We understand the many facets involved with separation and divorce. If you have any questions regarding divorce and your estate plan, same-sex divorce, or domestic violence and protection orders, we’re here to talk and guide you toward answers.
Our attorneys can work with you in all types of divorce and family law issues. Charlotte family law matters are dealt with through Mecklenburg County Court, located at 832 East 4th St, Charlotte, NC 28202.
Skilled Charlotte divorce and separation attorneys
At Epperson Law Group, PLLC, our lawyers are dedicated to making the divorce process a less stressful experience. Our decades of experience give you the edge when you need it. We’re here to fight when you need it most. We’re right off the NC-16 on Sikes Place. To reserve a consultation at one of our offices in Charlotte, Boone, or Weddington, please call 704-321-0031 or fill out our contact form.
- Be a survivor: Divorce Based on Domestic Violence
- Statistics: Children and Divorce
- Questions to ask before you pull the trigger on your divorce
- When it comes to divorce, patience is a virtue