Getting separated and going through a divorce in North Carolina has many steps and requirements but, with the proper legal counsel, you can navigate the divorce timeline and rules surrounding the legal proceedings.
How to Start the Separation Process
- Consulting with an attorney to review your specific situation and get advice on the process, your rights, and what to consider, as you go through a separation.
- Information Gathering of assets, retirement plans, mortgages, car titles, and statements, as they relate to your separation.
- Separation Agreement Construction including working with your attorney and providing the necessary documentation to get started.
- Finalization of the Separation Agreement.
- File for Absolute Divorce only at the appropriate time and after certain steps have been taken.
Frequently Asked Questions on Separations in North Carolina
Should I get an attorney to create the Separation Agreement? YES!
Getting advice on your rights from the onset can pay dividends later when considering all of the issues that may be involved.
Is a consultation the same as retaining an attorney for my divorce? NO.
Often times, clients are simply gathering information during a consultation to determine the most appropriate route for them moving forward.
What is the period of time I must wait before filing for divorce?
In North Carolina, you must be separated for a period of one year from the date of separation before you may file for an absolute divorce. However, it is very important to consult with an attorney prior to this happening to ensure that all of the proper steps have been taken.
Can I date during the separation period?
You are free to associate with whom you please; however, careful consideration must be given to the subject of “dating.” You are still married until a judge signs a final decree of divorce. Additionally, adultery is still a crime in North Carolina. From a non-legal standpoint, a new relationship during the period of separation can eliminate goodwill in the opposing party and reduce the likelihood of peaceful and expedient negotiations.