Any legal dispute that concerns those closest to you will be emotionally difficult and personally draining. It is important that you choose a distinguished family law practitioner who possesses the knowledge to safeguard your rights and help you handle your case with dignity. Whether you are going through a divorce or seeking a restraining order, our lawyers will prioritize your interests and well-being.
Divorce in North Carolina
Most everyone has heard the statistic that about half of all marriages in America end in divorce. The statistics, however, reveal that the issue is slightly more complicated. The likelihood of a marriage ending in divorce depends on a lot of factors, including the ages of the spouses and whether it is someone’s first, second, or third (or more) marriage. Divorce across the nation has been on the decline, but thousands upon thousands of people still go through it each year. The North Carolina Health and Human Services keeps track of the divorce rate on a state level, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention let us glimpse national averages and statistics. A few telling numbers include:
- 30,816 divorces in North Carolina in 2015
- 2,446 divorces in Wake County, including Raleigh, in 2015
- 813,862 divorces in in the U.S. in 2014
- In 2014, the divorce rate in North Carolina was 3.4 percent while the national average was 3.2 percent
Going through a spousal separation or divorce can feel incredibly lonely. Many people feel alienated from other family members and, often, close friends. They even have trouble connecting with their children as they handle stress and spend time and energy on the divorce. It can be helpful to remember that a vast number of people every year work through divorce and separation only to find fulfillment and happiness afterward. While it can definitely cause heartache and anxiety as it unfolds, divorce has the potential to significantly simplify and improve your life.
The Basics of Divorce in North Carolina
North Carolina is a “no-fault state,” meaning that you do not have to establish any blame if you want to divorce your spouse. You can obtain a divorce from the courts without any reason other than wanting to end your marriage. However, if your spouse has been emotionally abusive, unfaithful, physically abusive, or has become addicted to drugs or alcohol, this may impact divorce-related issues such as child custody and property division.
There are two legal grounds for absolute divorce in North Carolina. They are:
- Living apart from your spouse for at least one year
- A mental illness, which shows no sign of improvement, and has caused both spouses to live apart for three years
Additionally, at least one spouse must have been living in North Carolina for at least six months to obtain a divorce in this state. It does not matter whether you married in or outside of North Carolina.
Going through a divorce can be emotional and painful for all parties involved. An experienced divorce lawyer can minimize the emotional damage of a divorce by mediating between you and your spouse and ensuring that the divorce concludes as favorably and quickly as possible. Sometimes the issues that arise are unexpected. For example, consider an individual who has decided to end their marriage. They approach their spouse to discuss the issue, who promises to contest any and all points that come up in the divorce. The contesting spouse threatens that if the if the person seeking a divorce leaves their home to try to live elsewhere, it will count as child and spousal abandonment. A skilled divorce lawyer is necessary in this case for several reasons. For one, a lawyer can often help smooth things over between the parties involved. When tempers are running high, it can be immensely helpful to have an outside perspective. For another, a lawyer could help the individual who wants to end the marriage decide how best to proceed. Since absolute divorce requires living separately for a year, it is important that the person does not compromise their position or accidentally give up their rights.
Family Law and Divorce Frequently Asked Questions
If you are facing a legal issue that involves members of your family, you probably have a lot of questions. We have put together a short list of some of the most common inquiries for your reference. A dedicated legal professional can answer any other questions you may have before you decide to hire a lawyer or take any official action.
What is family law?
Family law handles the legal issues surrounding intimate family relationships including but not limited to marriage, divorce, adoption, child custody, restraining orders, and alimony. A skilled family law professional can help you protect your rights, your finances, and your child or children’s well-being through a variety of family-related legal disputes. For example, an experienced lawyer can help you navigate the complex adoption rules and regulations in North Carolina, making a difficult, stressful process proceed as smoothly as possible. A lawyer can also help you arrive at a fair, satisfactory divorce outcome.
Do I need to hire a lawyer for my divorce?
While it is technically possible to file for divorce without an attorney in North Carolina, it is almost always in your best interest to obtain legal counsel. Many individuals ask this question when the separation or divorce is mutually amicable; both parties involved simply want to end the marriage without any ill-will or bad feelings. Even in these situations, it is still of great importance that you protect your rights, your property, and your child or children. Divorce can involve a great number of complex, unforeseen issues such as the division of assets and property, child custody, child support, and alimony. A skilled lawyer can help you navigate the legal minefield of divorce so that you can safeguard your interests.
Additionally, many people assume that hiring a lawyer will necessarily increase the aggression or tension in the divorce proceedings. With the right lawyer, this will not be the case. In fact, an experienced divorce lawyer will be able to anticipate problems and smoothly deal with issues as they arise. Hiring compassionate, experienced legal representation can wind up making your divorce more civil and harmonious.
Why should I choose Marshall & Taylor PLLC?
Our divorce lawyers understand that our clients are already going through an exceptionally trying time from the minute they step into our office. That’s why we value clear, open, honest communication with the people we serve. We want to favorably wrap up your case as swiftly and as smoothly as possible so that you can move forward with your life. However, even though we treat our clients with the utmost compassion, we are well-equipped to fight aggressively to protect your rights. Our divorce lawyers understand the value of diplomacy and mediation. If those approaches do not work, we are more than willing to defend you, your finances, and your children to the full extent of the law.
Additionally, Jeffrey E. Marshall is Board Certified in family law, a distinction that means he has met high standards set by the North Carolina State Bar.