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According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), 32,862 people got divorced in the state in 2019, with 927 getting divorced in Buncombe County alone. While divorce is relatively common, it is never easy to be the person going through one. There are many complex emotional, legal, financial, and logistical issues that must be resolved before you can move forward.
At The Law Office of Mark Upright, our Asheville divorce lawyer is an experienced, solutions-driven advocate for clients. If you are preparing for a divorce, we are here to protect your rights and help you find the best path forward. To set up a free, confidential consultation with a North Carolina divorce attorney, please call our Asheville law office at 828-273-7121 or reach out to us online.
Are you considering ending your marriage? If so, it is crucial that you understand your rights and responsibilities under North Carolina law. Here are four key things to know about the divorce laws in North Carolina:
A Six-Month Residency Requirement: To be eligible to file for divorce in North Carolina, you must satisfy the residency requirement. At least one spouse must have lived within the state for at least six months. You should file for divorce in the county of residence.
A Married Couple Must Be Separate for 12 Months for an Absolute Divorce: A married couple generally needs to be separated for at least 12 months before filing for an absolute (final) divorce in North Carolina. However, you can obtain a ‘divorce from bed and board’ (DBB) immediately. A DBB is essentially North Carolina’s term of a legal separation.
You Can Obtain a No-Fault Divorce in North Carolina: In most cases, divorcing couples opt for a no-fault separation. Neither you nor your spouse needs to prove that the other did anything “wrong” in order to file for divorce. When fault is not an issue, a divorcing couple can focus on more practical concerns—such as dividing their property and assets.
North Carolina is an Equitable Distribution State: Under North Carolina law (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-20), a divorcing couple’s marital property is split in an equitable manner. North Carolina’s equitable distribution standard calls for a “fair” division of marital assets—it does not necessarily guarantee a 50-50 split.
Getting a divorce in North Carolina is about more than filing legal paperwork. It is about creating a plan to untangle your life for your former spouse. There are many complicated family issues that need to be addressed before a divorce can be finalized. We provide comprehensive legal guidance and support to clients. Along with other types of family law matters, our Asheville divorce lawyer can assist you with:
Few people enter the divorce process eager for a fight. Most people want to find an amicable, low-conflict solution that best allows them to move forward with their lives. As an experienced Asheville family law, Mark Upright is focused on personalized, solutions-focused legal representation. We will put in the time and energy to ensure that your divorce is handled properly. Among other things, our North Carolina divorce lawyer is prepared to:
Answer your questions and explain your options during a free initial consultation;
Gather all of the financial documents, records, and information you need to proceed;
Help you complete all of the divorce paperwork; and
Represent you in divorce negotiations, collaborative divorce, and/or divorce mediation.
We put a strong emphasis on helping clients find amicable, low conflict answers whenever possible. Our goal is to help people achieve an efficient, cost effective solution that spares them the emotional stress of a protracted dispute. At the same time, our trial-tested North Carolina divorce lawyer is always ready for litigation if needed to protect your rights and interests.
In North Carolina, a couple must generally live separately for at least one year before they can qualify for an absolute divorce. The state offers an alternative option called a divorce from bed and board or a legal separation for couples who have not yet been apart for 12 months. In many ways, a legal separation is similar to a divorce—an agreement can be reached on issues such as property division, spousal support, and child custody. However, a legal separation does not officially end a marriage. Couples can opt for a trial separation or a permanent separation in North Carolina.
The divorce can still move forward. North Carolina allows for no-fault divorce. A person can file for a divorce based solely on irreconcilable differences. In effect, this means that one spouse can get a divorce even if their partner does not want one.
Collaborative divorce is an alternative to traditional divorce litigation. It is a process that allows divorcing couples to get on the “same side”—with an emphasis on finding mutually agreeable, win-win solutions. It is a fully voluntary process that a divorcing couple in Asheville can try to use to resolve their separation in an amicable, cost effective manner.
North Carolina is a “best interests of the child” state. Under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-13.2, all child custody disputes are handled with consideration towards what is best for a child’s health, well-being, and overall social development. North Carolina courts can consider a wide range of different factors when making child custody determinations.
At The Law Office of Mark Upright, our Asheville divorce attorney, has the skills, passion, and legal expertise that you can rely on. If you are getting divorced in North Carolina, we are ready to get started on your case. Call us at 828-273-7121 or reach out to us directly online to schedule a free, fully confidential consultation.
We provide divorce and family law representation throughout North Carolina, including in Asheville, Biltmore Forest, Black Mountain, Montreat, Weaverville, Woodfin, Swannanoa, and Avery Creek.