Divorce can be hard on everyone but knowing what to expect may be able to help minimize some of your anxiety. If you and your spouse have made the difficult decision to divorce, it can be helpful to acquaint yourself with the basics of the divorce process.
The basics of the divorce process
To begin with, there are several requirements you must first meet to be eligible for a divorce. After being separated for at least a year and one day, you can qualify for divorce provided at least one spouse intended for the separation to be permanent. At least one of the spouses must reside in North Carolina to file for divorce here and have lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing for divorce.
Equitable property distribution
One of the top considerations all divorcing couples have is how their property will be divided. Property division is conducted according to North Carolina’s equitable property division rules, which require a division that meets standards of fairness under the circumstances.
Marital property is divided during this process but not separate property. Assets and debts you had prior to the marriage are usually considered your separate property and are not part of the property division process. Marital property includes assets and debts you acquired during the marriage. Marital property is subject to the property division process. Marital property is not always divided on a fifty-fifty basis if the divorce court determines that would not be equitable.
To determine if the proposed property division is fair, the divorce court looks at a variety of factors. Factors considered include incomes, property, debts, ages and health of the spouses, the duration of the marriage, tax implications and any contributions you may have made to your spouse’s earning power. Other factors may also be considered.
Depending on the couple’s situation, other divorce concerns may also need to be decided upon including alimony, child support and child custody. Familiarity with the divorce process can help you take a proactive approach to resolve your divorce-related concerns.