The attorneys at King Law Offices are experienced negotiators, highly skilled advocates, and well-versed in North Carolina law. Your best interests are at the center of everything we do. Our experienced divorce lawyers serve clients throughout North Carolina, including in the following locations:
- Forest City
- Spruce Pine
Let us help you navigate divorce by providing you with comprehensive family law services to ensure that the end of your marriage is not more painful than it has to be.
King Law Offices Is Your Source for North Carolina Divorce
What do we do that makes us stand out from the rest? Our practical and flexible approach prioritizes you and your goals. Everyone’s struggles through divorce are unique. If you and your spouse are separating amicably, with no disputes over assets or property, then we can advise you on how to proceed through the dissolution of the marriage process. Should there be other considerations in your divorce, such as issues of child custody and property ownership, but you are willing to reach a mutual agreement (uncontested divorce), we could help you negotiate a settlement.
If you and your spouse have conflicting motives regarding the division of assets or obligations, our experienced divorce lawyers can guide you through the contested dissolution process and take the much-needed action to protect you.
At King Law Offices, we respond to our client’s needs with promptness and attention by listening, communicating, and remaining accessible at all times. We are committed to providing all our clients with the level of dignity and respect that they deserve and that they rely on us to provide.
Types of Divorce Cases in North Carolina
At King Law, we provide services for any kind of separation case, including those for business owners and those that are high conflict. Some of the most common types of divorce cases in North Carolina that our divorce attorneys can assist you in understanding as you decide how you want to move forward include:
- Absolute divorce
- Collaborative divorce
- Contested vs. uncontested divorce
- Divorce from bed & board
- Equitable distribution
- Fault vs. no-fault divorce
- High-asset divorce
- Mediated divorce
King Law’s divorce lawyers will help you make sense of the divorce process, taking the confusion and stress out of the picture so that you can move forward confidently in your life.
King Law Stands Beside You with Every Aspect of your North Carolina Divorce
When your marriage is ending, you and your spouse may disagree on how certain issues should be decided. Under North Carolina law, this is called a contested divorce. It is in your best interests for you and your spouse to understand and agree on matters like how property should be split and how much should be paid in alimony. While these claims do not have to be decided before a Judgement of Divorce is granted, filing these claims before finalizing the divorce allows you to preserve your claim.
Settling your issues in court should be a last resort for divorcing spouses. At King Law, our North Carolina divorce lawyers are skilled negotiators and experienced mediators. We will make every effort to help you and your spouse negotiate acceptable terms. Our main objective is to help you find a way to close this chapter in your life without the frustrations and cost of settling your divorce case in court.
In some cases, you and your spouse may both feel the same about getting a divorce. Perhaps you are both on the same page about every part of the divorce process. Still, it is essential to partner with a divorce attorney who understands the North Carolina divorce laws and procedures. Making a mistake or misstep can be expensive and take considerable time to resolve.
When you hire King Law’s divorce attorneys, we examine the terms you’ve decided upon with your spouse and ensure that everything is fair and equitable. Nothing is worse than learning that your spouse influenced you to agree on terms that favored them and hurt you. You can rest assured King Law’s divorce lawyers will look out for your best interests and help you finalize your divorce as smoothly and as soon as possible.
Is North Carolina a No-Fault Divorce State?
North Carolina is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning marital misconduct is not grounds for divorce. However, it is pertinent for several different actions that are associated with divorce. For example, marital misconduct applies to claims of post-separation alimony and support. However, marital misconduct does not influence claims of child support and equitable distribution. The only exception is if the marital misconduct impacted the children. In that case, misconduct may impact child custody.
When referring to post-separation alimony and support, we consider each spouse as either “supporting” or “dependent.” In short, the supporting spouse earns a higher income than the dependent spouse, who needs financial assistance from the other spouse. Note that these designations are based on finances alone and never on gender.
Usually, there are three ways that marital misconduct will impact post-separation alimony and support:
- Supporting spouse commits marital misconduct: In that case, the dependent spouse is more likely to receive post-separation alimony and support.
- Dependent spouse commits marital misconduct: This usually prevents the dependent spouse from receiving post-separation alimony or support.
- Both spouses commit marital misconduct: In this instance, other factors are considered for post-separation alimony and support.
Keep in mind that although the general rules above apply to marital misconduct, there are exceptions. If you suspect that your spouse committed marital misconduct or if you committed marital misconduct against your spouse, contact our divorce attorneys in North Carolina to help explain your options after finding out the specifics of your situation.
Fault Plays a Role in Some Divorces in North Carolina
While most divorces cases are no-fault divorces in North Carolina, sometimes, however, the behavior of one spouse can be so grievous that the other spouse seeks a “divorce from bed and board.” For example, this may apply to a divorce case involving domestic violence.
One significant difference of a divorce from bed and board is that it is not an absolute divorce. When spouses decide to divorce from bed and board, they are economically separated but remain legally married. Spouses cannot remarry after a divorce from bed and board, as it is more like a court-ordered legal separation.
For divorce from bed and board, the following qualify as marital misconduct and fault:
- Abandoning the spouse or family
- Excessive drug or alcohol use that strains or endangers the spouse or family
- Indignities that make life intolerable for the innocent spouse
- Spitefully evicting the complaining spouse from the home
In North Carolina, a divorce from bed and board may also cause the at-fault spouse to lose certain marital benefits, such as estate rights.
The Separation and Divorce Process in North Carolina
Separation and divorce are often confused. Contrary to popular belief, they are two different situations. In North Carolina, you generally cannot divorce without being separated first. Neither official documents nor any other formal process is yet to exist for separating a married couple. You are considered separate from your soon-to-be ex-spouse only if both of you live at different residences and plan on terminating your marriage. In North Carolina, you are eligible for divorce after being separated from your spouse for one year. The bonds of marriage remain intact over the course of the 12 months.
To dissolve your marriage, you have to pursue divorce. All necessary forms will need to be completed and handed over to the clerk. In addition, the required fees will need to be paid. The rest of the process depends on whether your divorce is contested or uncontested.
What Are the Four Main Challenges in Divorce?
If you and your spouse cannot agree on these four main issues, then it is always recommended to seek advice from a qualified North Carolina divorce attorney.
Division of Property
Property division can prompt a significant amount of stress since both parties have to identify shared assets and marital debts. According to North Carolina state law, these must be equally distributed between the spouses.
Generally, assets include the home, real estate, stocks, mutual funds, cars, retirement funds, savings accounts, personal property, and more. Among the debts to consider are student loans, credit card balances, mortgages, and medical bills.
Nevertheless, the court takes the following into account when deciding how to divide property: length of the marriage, presence of children, and each party’s earning power. Our team of divorce lawyers realizes that this can be an emotionally taxing process, but we have the knowledge and experience necessary to guide you through it.
Divorcing couples must also negotiate child custody and parenting responsibilities. The primary consideration is the legal custody of the child, including major decisions on behalf of the child or children, such as medical care, religious and cultural affiliation, and education.
Physical custody refers to the legal right of a parent to maintain a child in their care. Both parents may share physical custody, or the court may grant it solely to one parent. In addition, couples need to agree on which behavior, parenting styles, and schedules are best for the health and development of the child or children.
Although child custody and support both refer to children, they are two entirely separate matters. Child support is a means of ensuring the child receives adequate financial support regardless of the parents’ divorce status.
Both parents are required to pay child support until the child turns 18 in North Carolina, but generally, only the non-custodial parent does so. That is because the law assumes a parent who has primary custodial responsibilities will already spend the necessary resources caring for the child or children.
In an alimony agreement, one spouse economically supports the other. A spouse who believes they qualify for alimony may want to make a budget outlining the amounts they normally spend on living expenses every month. Significant factors in determining if one is entitled to alimony include:
- The length of the marriage.
- Income gaps between the parties.
- Financial circumstances.
Consult a Trusted North Carolina Divorce Attorney
At King Law Offices, we have helped people through many transitions in their lives. That is what we do best. We understand that divorce is a complex process. Besides navigating legal complexities around child support, child custody, equitable division, and alimony, you have to endure the emotionally charged nature of divorce and the impact it has on your family dynamic.
Our legal team understands that life does not just stop while you are going through the divorce process. You still have to work, take care of your kids, and pay your bills. That is why we are here for you and strive to serve you with nothing less than exceptional, responsive legal services. To schedule a consultation with a North Carolina divorce lawyer, call 888-748-KING (5464) today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce in North Carolina
How long does it take to get divorced in North Carolina?
You must live separately and apart for one year before you can get a divorce. North Carolina allows you to handle other divorce-related claims before that year is up, like the dividing of property and support.
What steps should I take if I’m served with divorce papers?
The most important thing to know is that as soon as you are served a complaint, the clock starts ticking on some procedural deadlines. In divorce cases, if you do not file an answer before the deadline, you may forfeit your ability to receive property and support that you would otherwise be entitled to. Talking to a North Carolina divorce attorney and not missing deadlines is critical once you are served.
What do I need to do and know before going through a divorce in North Carolina?
Going through a divorce is never easy. You will likely experience one of the most stressful times of your life but make sure that you do not forfeit your rights and understanding the laws of NC is important. Don’t take your legal advice from your ex and find an attorney relationship that fits you.