Divorce & Separation

Even in the best of situations, divorce is difficult and the legal process can be exceedingly stressful.  I understand that this is a decision that you have not made lightly, and that this may be one of the most difficult things that you will have to do in your life.  Whether you anticipate an uncontested divorce, or a difficult divorce battle over issues such as alimony, child custody/support, or property distribution, I will help you craft a legal strategy that meets your needs and respects your budget. Rest assured, I will be with you every step of the way and can battle with you through any situation that may arise.

In the state of North Carolina, there are two types of divorces: divorce from bed and board and absolute divorce.  My firm is ready to represent you in either type of divorce, as well as any other matter related to your divorce, such as Post Separation Support, Alimony Support, Equitable Distribution, or Child Custody.

Absolute Divorce

Simply put, an absolute divorce is a declaration by the court that your marriage has been dissolved.  This can only be obtained once all of the legal requirements have been met.  Additionally, prior to being able to petition the court for an absolute divorce, you and your spouse must have been living in separate residences continuously for at least 1 year.  In the state of North Carolina, no fault is required to acquire an absolute divorce.

Divorce from Bed & Board

Divorce from bed and board is a fault based legal action that does not actually dissolve the marriage. A divorce from bed and board is usually only required when one spouse will not willingly enter into a separation agreement. North Carolina General Statute § 50.7 includes the following six grounds for a divorce from bed and board: (1) Abandonment of the family, (2) Maliciously turning the complaining spouse out of doors, (3) Treating the complaining spouse in such a cruel or barbarous way that it endangers his or her life (4) Indignities that render the complaining spouse’s condition intolerable or life overly burdensome, (5) Excessive drug or alcohol use that makes the complaining spouse’s condition intolerable or life overly burdensome, or (6) Adultery.

Post Separation Support

Post Separation Support is court-ordered temporary financial support payed to the dependent spouse by the supporting spouse while the divorce is pending.  Generally speaking, this payment either has a date at which it must be fully paid, or is scheduled to end when alimony is decided.

Alimony Support

Alimony Support refers to court-ordered payments that are awarded to a former spouse during a divorce agreement. The reason for Alimony Support is to provide financial support to the former spouse who makes a lower (or no) income. The length of time and amount of alimony to be paid vary greatly, and are based on several factors, including the length of the marriage and income earning capacity.

Equitable Distribution

If the spouses are unable to agree on the distribution of marital assets, either on their own or through attorney negotiations, then a judge will determine those distributions.  This distribution of property and debt used by the court when dividing up marital property during divorce proceedings is referred to as “equitable distribution”.  It is important to note that in this situation “equitable” does not mean equal distribution, it means fair distribution.  Many factors are considered by the court during equitable distribution, including (but not limited to) the duration of the marriage, the age and health of each spouse, each spouses’ income earning potential, their contributions to the marriage, and any occurrences of abuse or infidelity.