Alimony can be temporary, paid for a short period while you pursue education or training that will help you better provide for yourself, or permanent. It can be paid in installments or in one lump sum. Couples seeking a divorce in North Carolina need to know that judges will presume that both parents should have maximum involvement in their childrens lives. The standard in deciding custody is always the best interests of the child. That duty to support falls on both parties. If a couple cannot agree on custody, then the judge will decide for them.
In making their decision, judges consider whether there has been any domestic violence in the family, the safety of the children, and even the wishes of the child if he or she is of "sufficient" age. Judges look at many factors regarding the children in custody cases, including:. If a decision about custody is left to a judge, he or she may announce the decision in court aloud or issue a written decision on a later day. The judges decision is a court order, and you must comply with it or risk being held in contempt of court and face punishment. In North Carolina, child support is calculated using specific guidelines that take into consideration the gross income of the divorcing parents and the number of children.
North Carolina child support guidelines are available online. Because the state requires divorcing couples to have lived separately for a year before proceeding with North Carolina divorces, you can use this time to work out these issues with your spouse. Your divorce attorney will advise you on the possible outcomes you may achieve in each of the four main areas of contention.
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What is "absolute divorce" in North Carolina?
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- The Uncontested Divorce Process In North Carolina!
Legal Articles Divorce. Zip Code. However, the servicemember must establish both physical presence and intent. In one case, the North Carolina Court held that the domicile of a soldier or sailor in the military or naval service of his country generally remains unchanged, domicile being neither gained nor lost by being temporarily stationed in the line of duty at a particular place, even for a period of years. A new domicile may, however, be acquired if both the fact and the intent concur. You do not have to prove, however, that the separation occurred on the specific date alleged in the complaint but only that you and your spouse have lived separate and apart for a period of at least one year prior to the institution of the suit.
If you and your spouse have not lived separate and apart for at least a year, you are not eligible for an absolute divorce in North Carolina.
Furthermore, it is not enough for you and your spouse to have moved into separate bedrooms in your residence, with a discontinuation of sexual relations. You and your spouse must in fact live in different places for the year. The divorce complaint may be verified and filed, then, no sooner than the first day after the full year runs.
If you verify the complaint before the year has run, even if you wait to file the complaint until after the full year, your case will be dismissed. The older cases repeatedly held that the separation requirement was not met if, during the one-year period, the couple engaged in sexual relations. Even isolated or casual acts of sexual intercourse were held to halt the statutory one-year period required for divorce predicated on separation.
This strict rule about isolated sexual contact created many problems. Whether there has been a resumption of marital relations during the period of separation shall be determined pursuant to G. Isolated incidents of sexual intercourse between the parties shall not toll [halt] the statutory period required for divorce predicated on separation of one year. Isolated incidents of sexual intercourse between the parties shall not constitute resumption of marital relations.
The physical separation of the parties must be accompanied by an intention on the part of one of the spouses to cease cohabitation. Thus, the intent of the other spouse is immaterial. It is very important that you understand that in North Carolina, in order to be entitled to a divorce, you need not show that a marital separation for the statutory period was by mutual agreement or under a decree of court.
Even if you were the spouse who left the marriage, your wife or husband cannot contest the divorce if the year has run and all other technical requirements have been satisfied. Clients frequently ask how they need to prove the one year separation. Generally, the only proof offered is the testimony of the plaintiff, whether by verified pleading or by live testimony.
People tend to have difficulty with the concept of whether they will be believed in court. Once you have been separated for one full year, either one of you may file an action for absolute divorce. The statutes require that the plaintiff set forth in his or her complaint that either the complainant or defendant has been a resident of the State of North Carolina for at least six months next preceding the filing of the complaint, and that the parties have lived separate and apart for one year.
Additionally, the plaintiff must set forth the name and age of any minor child or children of the marriage, and in the event there are no such minor children, the complaint shall so state. The complaint must be verified. Where verification is not made or is improperly made, the court lacks jurisdiction to grant a divorce. For a complaint for divorce to be valid, it must be properly verified at the time it is filed. The complaint for absolute divorce is filed in district court. The action shall be filed in the county in which either plaintiff or defendant resides.
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If the parties are both residents of North Carolina and the action is filed where plaintiff resides, and plaintiff thereafter leaves the state and ceases to be a resident, then the action may be removed to the county in which defendant resides. A sample of the prescribed contents of divorce complaint are illustrated on this website. Service of the summons and complaint must be in compliance with Rule 4, which is the applicable rule of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. Service is the form of delivery of a document required by pertinent legal rules. There are various ways you can serve the summons and complaint.
The defendant typically has 30 days from the date of service of summons and complaint upon him or her to file answer or other responsive pleading. A defendant can also move for an additional day extension of time.
It commonly happens, however, that defendants in divorce actions file no answer. In such a case, you just wait out the waiting period for calendaring the case for hearing or, if your spouse will agree, you get him or her to file a paper waiving the waiting period.
Is NC a No Fault Divorce State? What Do You Need to Know?
At the expiration of the applicable waiting period, the case may be calendared for hearing. Even though the defendant may have filed an answer admitting all of the allegations, the plaintiff must still prove to the court, by one of the two stated methods, that he or she is entitled to an absolute divorce. If your attorney uses summary judgment, you yourself do not have to go to court for the divorce hearing. The trial court procedure for obtaining an absolute divorce varies slightly from county to county. Many counties set a specific day of each week or month for the hearing of uncontested divorces.
Different judges have their own rules for conducting these hearings. Check with local counsel to be certain that you understand the local customs.