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Divorce
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MY SPOUSE WANTS A DIVORCE

            The most common question asked the lawyer is what are my rights when my spouse wants to get a divorce.  What if I do not want a divorce?The answer to this question is complex but . . .
 

ABSOLUTE DIVORCE BASED UPON ONE YEAR SEPARATION

In North Carolina an absolute divorce can be obtained when the parties have remained separate and apart for one year. This is referred to as the “absolute divorce”.  I tell my clients that it is the judgment of divorce.  The reader must be aware an absolute divorce has nothing to do with your right to divide the marital property, determine custody, child support or alimony.


UNCONTESTED DIVORCE

Most people want to avoid expensive litigation and try to take the cheapest way out.  There is nothing wrong with being frugal, however, the individual must take caution when telling the lawyer he or she desires an uncontested divorce.  I tell my clients an uncontested divorce is appropriate only when there are no claims for dividing the property, determining child support, custody or alimony.  If the individual is sure all matters are resolved or do not exist an uncontested divorce may be appropriate.
 

CONTRACTS OF SEPARATION AND PROPERTY AGREEMENTS

Often times the parties have separated but are not eligible for an absolute divorce based upon one year separation, nevertheless, they desire to resolve all pending issues. This is common and many parties do resolve their differences and agree on how to divide their marital assets and merely desire to consummate the terms of their separation.  Lawyers provide professional assistance to the individual on pertinent issues and properly drafting the agreement to protect your rights.


WE CANNOT AGREE!

Don’t be surprised if you discover your spouse is unwilling to cooperate even if he or she is the individual initiating the divorce.  Proper advice is essential in directing you through the litigation process and protecting your rights.  Most cases, even when litigated in court, resolve themselves without lengthy litigation.  Remember, the key is to secure counsel and understand the law.