Family Law FAQ Four Decades of Experience Guiding Clients Through Legal Matters

Family Law FAQ

Raleigh Family Legal Services

While the future beyond divorce can be an opportunity for a brand-new start, the divorce process itself can be a confusing, anxious, and frustrating journey for both parties. Due to the complications of family laws in North Carolina, you may feel overwhelmed the moment that you begin researching how to file for divorce. When terms like “grounds for divorce” or “alimony” seem too confusing or complex, you can rely on our knowledgeable team at Hopper Law Office to answer all of your questions.

Our devoted family law attorneys are ready to help you navigate this uncertain road by compiling some of the most frequently asked questions on getting a divorce in North Carolina.

Contact us now at (919) 876-3300 so our family law team in Raleigh can help you get started right away.

What Is Considered an Unfit Parent in North Carolina?

The legal definition of a parent who is considered unfit would be someone whose behavior does not offer appropriate care, advice, support, and guidance for a child’s needs, whether physical, mental or emotional. Any type of neglect or proof of abuse of controlled substances is unacceptable, as is any history of domestic violence.

How Long Do You Have to Be Separated Before Divorce in NC?

In the state of North Carolina, the law states that you need to have separated from your former partner or spouse for a total of at least a full year. Otherwise, you will not be able to claim divorce.

Is North Carolina a 50/50 Divorce State?

For most divorces that take place in North Carolina, there is a law that says the two former spouses must have all of their property divided up evenly in a 50/50 split. However, certain aspects will be carefully considered to make sure that the property is distributed fairly and equitably.

These components include:

  • Each of the party’s income and financial stability
  • Any property by each party
  • Debts that have been accrued
  • Spousal or child support needs from previous relationships
  • Marriage length
  • The amount one spouse has contributed to the other’s education
  • Property that has been liquidated

What Qualifies You for Alimony in NC?

To receive alimony support, a person must be able to meet certain criteria. First of all, if a spouse cannot earn enough funds to support themselves without the income or assets of the other partner, then this could be a criterion for alimony. Alternatively, if it is clear that a spouse cannot maintain the same living standard which they had throughout the marriage, then this would be acceptable criteria as well.

What Are Grounds for Divorce in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, there are only two grounds for “absolute divorce.” The first of these is complete separation in a different house for one year from one’s partner. The second is incurable insanity, which requires testimony from two doctors, one of whom must be a certified psychologist from a 4-year medical school in North Carolina.

How Do I Get Custody of My Child?

To get custody, you must first file a petition, also called a custody complaint within the court. The court must be in the same county where you and your child reside, or in the county where your child is physically located currently. Your ex-partner must also get a copy of the forms and documents and you must pay the appropriate fees before you can go to court, where the judge will decide custody status on several factors of your child’s needs.

How Can I Establish Paternity?

There are usually two primary methods that North Carolina couples who have not been married use to show paternity regarding their child. First, the parents can agree to sign a form called an Affidavit of Parentage. Alternatively, either parent can file a lawsuit for paternity, and then a judge will consider the details of the case, which is often confirmed by DNA or blood test.

How Long Does It Take for a Divorce to Be Finalized?

Usually, a divorce that does not have extra complications will take in between 45-90 days to become finalized once the courts have it under file.

Call Hopper Law Office today at (919) 876-3300 or contact us online so our family lawyers in Raleigh can answer all of your questions.

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