Preparing for Divorce in North Carolina

Written by Jonathan Breeden

April 3, 2019

Ending your marriage is a challenging, emotionally draining process. Preparing for divorce can help minimize the far-reaching effects, and the emotional and economic impacts of the situation. Such preparations include finding an experienced NC divorce lawyer, whose knowledge of family law can help you through the division of assets, child custody, and spousal/child support.

Attorney Jonathan Breeden has helped many clients through their divorce cases, and he’s ready to help you. To schedule an initial consultation of your case, call Breeden Law Office today at (919) 661-4970, or reach out through the online form.

Preparing for Divorce

If you are contemplating divorce, familiarize yourself with North Carolina’s divorce requirements:

  • Legal Marriage. North Carolina doesn’t recognize common law marriage, a long-time union that not formalized by law. Same-sex marriages, however, have been regarded as legal since 2014.
  • Grounds. To divorce in North Carolina, you don’t have to give reasons. It is a no-fault state. But to receive an absolute divorce, you must prove either incurable insanity or that you and your spouse have been living separately for at least a year. It is important to remember not to leave the family home until you have consulted a divorce attorney.
  • Jurisdiction. To file for divorce, you must be a resident of North Carolina for at least six months. There is no requirement that you had to be married in the state.
  • Filing the Complaint. Your verified complaint must be filed at a Courthouse in North Carolina. Your attorney will draft and file this document.
  • Service of process. The other party to the divorce must receive notice of the filing.

Get Your Financial House in Order

A big part of marriage is the co-mingling of financial lives. Consequently, an equally large part of divorce is the untangling of finances. By understanding your financial situation, you can work with a North Carolina divorce lawyer to find a fair settlement. Gather the following, if possible:

  • Bank and investment account statements
  • Inventory of marital property (that was obtained during the marriage),and non-marital property(what each party brought into the union)
  • Real estate deeds/mortgage loans
  • Retirement fund statements
  • Wills/trust documents
  • Insurance policies
  • Vehicle titles/loans
  • Debt information
  • Expenses related to children
  • Tax records

If you aren’t sure where to get some of this information, resources include your lenders, accountant, and retirement counselor.The more documentation you can gather while preparing to divorce, the easier it will be to determine how to separate the assets and liabilities, and to calculate support obligations.

Don’t Forget Your Support Network

Divorce isn’t just a numbers game to split up your belongings. It is a serious matter where emotions run high, especially when children are involved. In preparing for divorce, you need to have a good support system in place. Having a few trusted family members or friends to turn to for emotional, financial, or other support is essential.

If you are in an abusive marriage, make sure you have a safety plan in place. Your attorney can help you determine if you will need to find other housing, or if you should stay in the home with the appropriate security measures.

During the divorce planning stage, if you haven’t sought therapy for yourself and children, that might be a consideration. You may find a counselor can help you process the pain of divorce and give you the coping skills you need to move on after the marriage ends.

Contact Us Today for Help

Preparing for divorce is an important step in ending a marriage as painlessly as possible. The first thing you need to do is contact an experienced divorce attorney. To schedule an initial case consultation with attorney Jonathan Breeden, call Breeden Law Office today at (919) 661-4970, or reach out through the online form.


Divorce In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

A book by Jonathan Breeden