When a marriage does not work out, there is always the option of divorce. More and more people are opting for divorces when their marriages fail. While some people choose to end things permanently through an absolute divorce, others opt for a legal separation through a divorce from bed and board.
When considering a legal separation or absolute divorce, you may have loads of questions. Only an experienced, knowledgeable, and compassionate Lincoln County divorce lawyer can help in this situation. An attorney will help you understand your rights and obligations.
At Waple & Houk, PLLC, we understand that divorces can be complex, considering they will impact you and your children. If you need help with your Lincoln County divorce, our family law attorneys are there for you. Call Waple & Houk, PLLC today at (704)954-8697 or fill in our online contact form.
What Are The Grounds For Divorce In Lincoln County, NC?
Grounds for divorce simply means legally recognized reasons to get a divorce. North Carolina recognizes two types of marriages; Divorce From Bed and Board and Absolute divorce. The former does not actually end or dissolve the marriage. It is similar to a legal separation. On the other hand, an absolute divorce is accompanied by a decree of divorce and grants you a complete and final separation.
To secure a divorce from bed and board, you must first establish any of the following fault grounds:
- Maliciously being kicked out of the house
- Cruel treatment that endangers your life; such as physical abuse
- Indignities such as actions that make your life unhappy or cause depression and misery such as emotional abuse
- Drug abuse to the point where you cannot tolerate living with your partner
What Is A No-fault Divorce?
North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state. In a no-fault divorce, either spouse can apply for a divorce without having to prove that their partner’s conduct is to blame for the marriage dissolution.
When deciding whether to approve your divorce application, the courts will not consider any wrongdoing by either partner in a no-fault divorce system.
To secure a no-fault divorce:
- You must be a North Carolina resident for at least six months before you file for divorce.
- You and your spouse must live separately for one year with no intention of ever living together again. You and your partner will qualify to file for a divorce after one year of separation.
What Is The Difference Between Legal And Physical Custody?
Having legal custody of a child means you have the right to make vital decisions that affect the child’s life, such as
- The child’s education
- The type of medical treatment and health care the child should receive
- The child’s religious upbringing
North Carolina can award legal custodial rights to one or both parents. Sole custody is when custodial rights are granted to one parent, while joint custody is when both parents share custodial rights.
Physical custody refers to having legal care for a child. It is essentially about where the child will live and which parent. Like legal custody, physical custody can involve both parents (legal custody) or one parent (sole/primary) custody.
How Is Child Support Determined?
In North Carolina, child support obligations are determined by applying the presumptive guidelines specified in the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. Generally, these guidelines are based on income shares. The guidelines involve the idea that child support should provide the child with the same percentage of income they would get if their parents were still together and a shared obligation to support them. Child support is based on:
- Health care
- Income of both parents
- Time spent with the child ( primary custody, joint custody, or split custody)
- Other children
- Number of children
- Other extraordinary expenses
How Will The Property Be Split?
One of the most crucial aspects of divorce is the distribution of marital property, including assets and debts. In North Carolina, division of marital property can be settled in one of the following three ways:
- Separation agreement – Both parties should agree upon and sign this agreement.
- Equitable distribution – A court order will determine this settlement.
- Consent judgment – The spouses must agree to the court order
Typically, the distribution of marital property in Lincoln County, NC, involves three steps:
- The court must identify all assets and classify them as either separate or marital property.
- Each asset must be assigned a value.
- The courts will distribute the assets fairly or evenly.
North Carolina courts favor an equitable 50/50 division of debts and assets. The courts will make various considerations when dividing property except for marital misconduct. The only scenario that the courts will consider marital misconduct is if the wrongdoing reduced the worth of the marital estate, such as extravagant or reckless spending.
What Is Equitable Division, And How Does It Work?
Equitable distribution of property is a method for dividing property after a divorce. During the division, courts will determine the fair market value of the couple’s marital property and distribute it between the partners in a fair manner.
Note that equitable does not mean equal, so don’t expect a down-the-middle 50/50 division.
What Happens To The House?
If the house is a joint property, the courts may decide to sell it and distribute the proceeds. The court may decide to give the house to the child’s primary caregiver until the child moves out or graduates from college. If the home is separate property, whoever owns it gets it unless there is a child or children involved.
How Long Does Divorce Take?
After the one year of separation before filing for divorce, the process may take an additional 11 or more months to get a final court verdict and 18 or more months of litigation before the divorce process ends.
How Much Will A Divorce Lawyer Cost?
Divorce attorneys in Lincoln County and other locations in North Carolina usually charge between $100 – $300 at an hourly rate.
Call Our Lincoln County Divorce Lawyers for Your Confidential Consultation Today
If you are dealing with a divorce, you need a competent family law attorney who is well-versed in North Carolina’s family law matters. Divorces can be tricky and emotionally draining. The family law attorneys at Waple & Houk, PLLC have vast experience in handling family law cases in Lincoln County, NC, and are ready to handle your divorce case from start to finish.
Contact our office in Lincoln County at (704)954-8697 to arrange a confidential case evaluation with one of our knowledgeable divorce lawyers.