Divorce Attorneys In Raleigh & the Triangle
Also Serving Raleigh & the Triangle
Divorce is often an emotionally difficult process. At Daphne Edwards Divorce & Family Law, our Raleigh lawyer is committed to helping clients navigate their way through the divorce process. In North Carolina, the most common manner to obtain a divorce is after at least 12 months in legal separation. Under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-6, our North Carolina “no-fault” divorce statute states that an absolute divorce may be granted “if and when the husband and wife have lived separate and apart for 1 year, and the plaintiff or defendant in the suit for divorce has resided in the state for 6 months.”
For answers to your specific divorce-related questions, call our firm at (919) 838-7160 or schedule a consultation online.
A spouse who seeks a divorce must prove they were in legal separation from their partner for a minimum of 1 year.
They also must show:
- They have lived in a separate dwelling from the other spouse for at least 1 year
- The parties did not resume marital relations during that separation
- At least 1 spouse had the intent to end the marriage when the separation first occurred
- At least 1 spouse must have resided in North Carolina for at least 6 months before filing the divorce action
After the period of separation has run, the husband or wife may file a complaint for an absolute divorce. The defendant must be served with a copy of the divorce complaint and summons and has 30 days to respond. The case will be calendared for a hearing and the court may enter a judgment according to Rule 56 (summary judgment) or at trial. If your attorney files a Rule 56 motion, the party who filed the complaint does not have to go to court for the divorce hearing. Otherwise, the plaintiff will testify to demonstrate to the court that all the requirements to obtain the absolute divorce have been met. The only proof required to show the one-year separation is the plaintiff’s testimony.
Filing the divorce complaint only changes the legal status of the parties and does not address other issues often involved in a divorce involving money and property, such as alimony and property division. An absolute divorce may be granted before a determination of these factors.
However, the failure to file a claim for alimony and property division before the entry of an absolute divorce judgment will bar the right to assert those claims. This means a spouse who seeks an equitable distribution of property and alimony loses the right to assert these claims if an absolute divorce judgment is granted before filing such claims. Thus, for clients seeking alimony and property division, it is vitally important that these claims are filed before entry of the absolute divorce judgment.
For your initial consultation, please call our firm at (919) 838-7160. We are ready to help you fight for your rights and interests.