North Carolina tells tourists that the state offers “Firsts that Last.” If your first marriage is not lasting, you need to study up on North Carolina divorce laws.
North Carolina divorce laws – adulterystate law
Divorce laws in North Carolina have largely eliminated adultery from being a factor. Before the 1970s, a person seeking a divorce had to prove that his or her spouse committed some sort of “fault” before the divorce could be granted.
Adultery was probably the most common fault, along with things like cruelty and desertion. North Carolina divorce laws only allow for full fault divorces on the basis of “incurable insanity.”
Most divorces in North Carolina (like other states) are based on no-fault grounds, which North Carolina grants after a couple has lived separately for at least one year. Because of this year-long waiting period, State of North Carolina divorce laws are some of the most cumbersome in the country, unfortunately.
Separation and divorce laws in North Carolina
You may have heard a lot of complicated details and may be wondering, what are the divorce laws in North Carolina? Because the main grounds for divorce in North Carolina is a year-long separation, couples in North Carolina are more likely to have to deal with a separation agreement.
In many states, a couple can split up their assets, provide for their kid’s care (if any) and then get a divorce within a couple months or even just weeks or days. In North Carolina, couples must live apart for a year while they are trying to terminate their relationship yet they are still legally bound to each other.
A good separation agreement is an important part of getting through this year. It can lay out what assets and income each spouse will use to support themselves while holding most things stable until the final divorce can be granted.
North Carolina divorce laws – property division
North Carolina divorce laws call for an equitable division of the couple’s assets at divorce. This means that all of the assets acquired during the marriage are added up and labeled as marital property. There are some exceptions like gifts made during the marriage, which are considered separate property along with anything each spouse brought into the marriage.
The court is supposed to make an “equal division,” unless that would be unfair considering factors like the relative income and health of the parties.
The court can also consider how much each spouse did to boost (or drain) the marital assets during the marriage.
If a wife earns a bunch of money while the husband was spending money on an affair, the court may well alter the split to favor the wife.
North Carolina divorce laws – Child support and custody
Courts typically address child custody and support during a divorce proceeding. As a practical matter, most couples will eventually come to an agreement on these issues. That said, the court must consider the best interests of the child above the parent’s wishes.
Issues like domestic violence must be considered. Child support amounts are generally set by a formula, so in most cases custody battles are the more contentious part of a divorce involving children.