In order to file for divorce in the North Carolina courts one of the spouses must have resided in the state for six months prior to filing for divorce. The North Carolina state statutes require the spouses to live separate and apart for at least one year prior to a divorce being filed.
Many times, people confuse legal separation with divorce. A common mistake is for a party to wait the entire year of separation before seeking a division of the marital estate or alimony. If you are entitled to alimony or post separation support or division of the marital assets and debts, it is extremely important that you speak with an attorney prior to any divorce judgment being entered. If you have been served with a divorce complaint, contact us immediately to schedule an initial consultation.
A woman whose marriage is ended by a divorce may request her name be changed to her maiden name, the surname of a prior deceased husband or the surname of a prior living husband if she has children who have that husband’s name.
DIVORCE FROM BED AND BOARD
A divorce from bed and board may be granted if the defendant or non-filing spouse: a) abandons his or her family, b) throws out the plaintiff or filing spouse, c) endangers the life of the filing spouse or otherwise renders the plaintiff’s life intolerable, d) becomes an excessive user of drugs or alcohol making the filing spouse’s life burdensome, or e) commits adultery.
Prior to the divorce proceeding, the parties must file claims for an “equitable distribution” of the marital property to preserve his/her claim to equitable distribution. In North Carolina an equitable distribution does not always mean equal but rather that the property will be divided fairly. The court will encourage the spouses to reach a mutual agreement on the division of property and debt but if the spouses fail to agree the court will issue a property award order.