North Carolina Divorce FAQ


Whether your divorce is contentious or not, whether you have children or not, whether you have a lot of assets or not, whether just about anything, there is one common theme among all divorce: it is emotionally taxing. Under those circumstances, it can be easy to overlook an important matter or to compromise to something to your detriment. A divorce lawyer in North Carolina will make sure nothing is missing and that the divorce is fair and considers your rights and interests.

At Camino Law, we help clients understand what's at stake. Some of the most common questions asked are answered here for you. We know that informed clients make better decisions for themselves and their families. If you want specific answers that relate to your unique situation, contact us to schedule a consultation.

How much will my divorce cost?

The cost of your divorce will depend on multiple factors, but mainly it depends on whether the divorce is contested or not. Quite naturally, an uncontested divorce will not cost as much simply because the process is much more straightforward. In an uncontested divorce, you may not even see a day inside the courtroom. And uncontested divorce is between $750-$1000, including all court costs.

HOWEVER -- in contested divorces, the costs depend on factors like:

  • The extent of the disputes or disagreements between the spouses
  • The potential for custody battles
  • The number of assets, including the allegations of hidden assets
  • The attorney you hire––and that does not only mean the attorney fees but the lawyer's legal competency and negotiating skills

Giving a precise prediction of how much your divorce will cost is impossible because of the various factors that go into it, but as with custody cases you can plan on somewhere between $5000-$20,000.

What if my spouse does not want a divorce?

You are not a prisoner of your spouse, and if you want out you do not need his or her agreement/consent. In North Carolina you need to be physically separated for a period of one year before you can file, but leaving the marriage is not something you have to agree on with your spouse.

How is Guilford County child custody or support determined?

Child custody, visitation, and child support are determined case-by-case with each state having their specific, respective guidelines. These matters, however, are always determined by considering the "best interests of the child" standard. In general, though, courts want both parents to build strong relationships with their children. Courts also recognize that both parents are financially responsible for the child. Child custody, visitation, and child support will reflect those beliefs as the basis of the determination.

How is Guilford County alimony determined?

Alimony, also referred to as spousal support or spousal maintenance, is determined on a case-by-case basis with each state having their specific, respective guidelines. Most states consider the present earning ability and future earning opportunities of the spouses. If one spouse was dependent on the other spouse through the marriage, that factor will weigh heavily on any court's decision on alimony.

How are assets and debt divided in North Carolina?

Assets and debt are divided according to your state's approach to the division of property. There are two approaches: community property and equitable distribution. In the first approach, property and debts are divided equally. In the second approach, a 50/50 isn't necessarily––what matters is what's fair.

My spouse is abusive. How do I protect myself during the divorce?

Spouses who have abusive spouses are in most danger when they seek divorce. You should protect yourself by getting as much help and support you can. You can file a restraining order, and in Guilford County you can do so through the Family Justice Center.  You also want to build a network of support using friends and family as well as a supportive family law attorney.

How soon can I file for divorce?

If you have already been living separately from your spouse for more than one year and at least one of you is a North Carolina resident, then you can file anytime. But if you are still living together, one of you will need to move out. In North Carolina, parties must be physically separated for one year before one can file for divorce. This does not mean sleeping in separate bedrooms, but actually living under different roofs. You need to have separate utilities, separate addresses, etc.

What do I need to do to become legally separated?

There is no paperwork in NC that needs to be filed in order to establish your separation, but you do need to begin living apart to be considered separated.

If I move out, does that mean he/she keeps the house?

If you have marital property (purchased during the marriage), then those rights do not suddenly switch over into the person who happens to stay there. You will have a whole year to work out the details of how to divide up any equity and belongings in the house, and it is not considered "abandoning" the house if one of you moves out. (Otherwise nobody would ever be able to separate!)

Me ex is back in my home country, can I still get divorced here?

Yes, as long as you can find a current address for him or her so that papers can be properly served. Absolute divorce on NC does not require that both parties agree to the divorce, so the other party doesn't need to sign anything, he or she simply needs to be served with the documents according to NC rules of civil procedure. If he or she is in the home country, then you must have at least 6 months of residence (this is not an immigration term, it just means that you have been physically present) in North Carolina.

I got married in my home country, can I get remarried here without a divorce since that other one doesn't count here?

No. You are still married if you have never gotten a divorce either here or in your home country. If you were to get married without divorcing your prior spouse, then your second marriage will be void.

Contact a Divorce Lawyer in North Carolina Today

If you are thinking of a divorce or have been served divorce papers, contact Camino Law. We will schedule a consultation so that you can get your most immediate questions answered more specifically. 

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At Camino Law, we focus on Family Law and Criminal Defense, and Family-based Immigration and we are here to listen to you and help you navigate the legal system.

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Camino Law is committed to helping clients resolve issues in family law, criminal defense in North Carolina and family-based immigration in all 50 states. We will gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact Us today to schedule an appointment.

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