Weddington Divorce and Family Law Attorneys
Advocating for divorce clients across North Carolina
Going through a divorce isn’t easy, whether you’ve been married for four years or forty. And when you add in issues like child custody, alimony and splitting up assets, things can get complicated and emotionally charged. If you find yourself facing divorce, an experienced attorney can help make the experience less overwhelming.
One of the most important things you can do in the event of a divorce is to be prepared. The Weddington divorce and family law attorneys at Epperson Law Group, PLLC have the experience and the resources to help you successfully start out on the next chapter of your life. Contact our offices today.
What are grounds for divorce in North Carolina?
Because North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state, either spouse can bring forth an action to end the marriage, and there’s no need to prove the other spouse did anything wrong. In general, the only thing you need to do to be eligible to file for divorce is be physically separated from your spouse for at least one year.
North Carolina statute also offers two other grounds for divorce granted under special circumstances – in case of incurable insanity and divorce from bed and board. The court typically grants these orders when the other spouse is unable to or refuses to separate and divorce.
Do I have to get a legal separation?
No. You don’t have to get a legal separation to get divorced in North Carolina. You and your ex simply must be living apart for a year or more before you can file for divorce. The courts consider a separation as you and your spouse living purposefully apart, with the expectation that the separation is permanent. The law stresses that you must each have your own separate residence (not different rooms or areas in the same home), and stop engaging in regular intimate activity.
Because separation is a yearlong process, you and your spouse may take advantage of that time by working out child custody, support and property division agreements. Our Weddington divorce attorneys can help you with these negotiations and contracts, and get the process moving along more quickly and smoothly.
What about alimony or spousal support? Who gets it and who pays it?
When there’s a gap in the difference between two spouse’s incomes, if a marriage ends, one spouse may no longer be able to support themselves. Part of the divorce process includes determining whether or not one spouse is entitled to support, and how much the other spouse is required to pay.
If one spouse believes they’re entitled to spousal support, or alimony, they can file a request with the court after their separation. North Carolina will only award support to the spouse who has insufficient income to maintain their – and their child’s – standard of living incurred during the marriage. This spouse is called the dependent spouse.
When determining the amount of spousal support a spouse might pay, the court takes many individual factors into consideration, including each person’s income, the ability and opportunity for the dependent spouse to become self-sufficient, the length of the marriage and other variables.
Are there alternatives to going to court for my Weddington divorce?
Unless your divorce is particularly contentious or complex, getting divorced doesn’t have to mean a long and drawn-out court battle. If you and your spouse feel you can amicably resolve issues like child support, property division and spousal support, you may benefit from divorce mediation or arbitration.
Mediators are neutral third parties who work with you and your spouse to come to mutual agreement on any points in your divorce settlement you may be unable to agree upon yourselves. This gives both of you control over the outcome of your settlement. If mediation doesn’t work, you’ll take your case to court. Arbitration is much like court, with the arbitrator working as a judge. Some divorcing couples prefer arbitration, as the proceedings are private. However, an arbitrator’s decision is binding.
At Epperson Law Group, PLLC, our Weddington attorneys are happy to guide and advise you throughout the mediation and arbitration process.
Do I need a pre- or post-marital agreement?
A pre- or post-marital agreement, sometimes called prenuptials or postnuptials, are smart ways you and spouse can protect your assets and make other important family law decisions. These types of agreements can save time and heartache in the event of a separation or divorce. We understand that many people feel a pre-marital agreement isn’t romantic, but they’re also a good way for a couple to be transparent and honest with each other.
Pre-marital agreements ensure that each spouse’s assets and property are protected and remain separate in the event of a split. Post-marital agreements are a good idea for Weddington couples that acquire significant shared assets during the course of their marriage.
How is property divided in a Weddington divorce?
If you and your spouse have no previous agreement in place as to dividing your property, or cannot come to agreement, you can have the courts decide. North Carolina courts classify a divorcing couple’s property into separate and marital. Your marital property includes shared property and assets acquired during the course of your marriage as a couple. Separate property is gifts and inheritances given to just one spouse, or any property owned by just one of you before the marriage.
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.
North Carolina is an equitable distribution state, meaning the court distributes assets and property equally, but not necessarily 50/50. Generally, the court divides property between spouses in they way they believe is fair.
Our attorneys can work with you in all child custody issues. Weddington family law matters are dealt with in Union County Court, located at 400 North Main Street, Monroe, N.C. 28112.
Experienced Weddington divorce and separation lawyers
If you’re facing divorce and looking for answers, talk to the family law attorneys at Epperson Law Group, PLLC today. We put the needs of you and your children first, fighting for your family when you need it most. We’re just down the road from the Weddington Christian Academy. To reserve a consultation at one of our offices in Weddington, Charlotte, or Boone, please call 704-321-0031 or fill out our contact form.