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North Carolina Divorce Facts
When going through a divorce in in North Carolina, it's helpful to have some key information. Below you will find some of the most important facts everyone getting a divorce in the state of North Carolina should know. The facts listed here are only a selected few of the more comprehensive set of North Carolina Divorce Laws available for your reference. Remember, every state's law is different, and if you're not sure about a law in your state, you should ask a qualified North Carolina Divorce Professional.
Either spouse must have been a resident of North Carolina for at least six months before the filing of the complaint. The action is in the county where either party resides.
No-fault grounds for divorce are living separate and apart for one year or living separate and apart for three consecutive years, without cohabitation, by reason of the incurable insanity of one of them.
The following are allowable fault grounds for divorce: abandonment of the family, maliciously turning the other out of doors, cruel or barbarous treatment that endangers the life of the other, indignities which render the other spouse's condition intolerable and life burdensome, excessive use of alcohol or drugs, or adultery.
North Carolina recognizes legal separation provided that the separation agreement is in writing and acknowledged by both parties before a certifying officer.
A contested issue concerning the custody or visitation of a minor child
Is normally referred to mediation.
North Carolina is an equitable distribution state. There shall be an equal division by using net value of marital property and net value of divisible property unless the court determines that an equal division is not equitable.
Separate property means all real and personal property acquired by a spouse before marriage or by bequest, devise, descent, or gift during the course of the marriage.
Either party may petition for alimony, but the court shall exercise its discretion in determining the amount, duration, and the manner of payment, and shall consider all relevant factors, including the marital misconduct of either of the spouses. The duration of the award may be either for a specified or for an indefinite term.
A woman, upon application to the clerk of court, may change her name to her maiden name, the surname of a prior deceased husband, or the surname of a prior living husband if she has children who have that husband's surname. A man whose marriage is dissolved by decree of absolute divorce may change the surname he took upon marriage to his pre-marriage surname.
When a case is contested, the best interests of the child determine custody. Between the mother and father, whether natural or adoptive, no presumption applies as to who will better promote the interest and welfare of the child. The court considers acts of domestic violence between the parties, the safety of the child, and the safety of either party from domestic violence by the other party.
The court considers joint custody upon the request of either parent. If the court finds that domestic violence has occurred, the court shall enter such orders that best protect the children and party who were the victims of domestic violence. If a party is absent or relocates with or without the children because of an act of domestic violence, the absence or relocation does not weigh against the party in determining custody or visitation.
The court applies the North Carolina child support guidelines to determine the amount of child support. The Court may vary from the guidelines when it finds by the greater weight of the evidence that their application would either not meet, or would exceed, the reasonable needs of the child.
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