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North Carolina delays divorces due to a 1931 law

If you have been thinking about divorce for a long time, it may feel like the days or weeks leading up to the end of the process may last forever. No one wants an extra delay thrown in unless it results in a better or more amicable split of property or child custody.

But waiting is part of the game in North Carolina, partially because of a law dating back to the early 20th century. In fact, the law is so esoteric that it is difficult to find references to it in the Tar Heel State's codes.

Prenuptial agreements can halt disagreements before they start

When a marriage is just getting started in a haze of love and affection, it's hard to picture any trouble. But feelings can change over time. Even people who still have warm feelings for each other can decide to call it quits. What can make the separation harder? It often comes down to the division of property.

North Carolina has some guidelines on how people can separate their assets in a divorce. A lot of trouble and effort can be saved when people work out how to figure out a fair separation of assets that works for both of them -- especially when they do it far in advance of any marital problems. The security of a prenuptial agreement can make an approaching divorce easier to bear.

Are child custody issues the cause of your child's tummy ache?

Like all good parents in North Carolina and beyond, your children's best interest is your highest priority. You've no doubt experienced times in your parenting journey where you've had to make decisions that you knew were not going to make your kids happy, but you were doing it because you knew it was best for them. Children sometimes get upset about the decisions their parents make, although most come to understand why such decisions occurred as they grow in maturity and life experience.

Your divorce might have been a decision you knew was not going to make your children happy. You and your spouse were hopefully able to sit down as a family and discuss the issue before proceedings began. Perhaps, it's been a few weeks or months since the court issued a child custody order, and you are concerned that certain issues might be causing your children stress.

What does family court rule on in North Carolina?

If it's time to go to family court, there may be a problem in your family. These things happen all the time, and no one should feel fear or shame inside a family courtroom. This goes double for children, who are almost always there due to circumstances out of their control.

  • What gets sorted out in a family court?

Family courts rule on the fate of juvenile delinquency, cases of abuse among dependencies, parental rights and child custody issues. Divorces and domestic violence matters may also be heard by a family court.

  • How many family courts do people go through?

How do I prepare for a child custody case?

While many child custody cases and other results of divorce or separation are on hold, plaintiffs and defendants are taking some extra time to prepare their cases. For one thing, smart plaintiffs and defendants going into a child custody case should know what those terms mean.

  • What are plaintiffs and defendants under North Carolina law?

A plaintiff in a child custody case is the person who is suing for custody, while the defendant is the person being sued. These terms imply that one person automatically has custody, but this may not necessarily be true. All it means is the plaintiff has started the case.

  • What are the types of custody at stake?

A spouse's own property stays that way in a divorce

Earlier in history, many people may have stuck it out in a bad marriage because they did not want to lose prized possessions in a divorce. This was especially true if the stakes included a family estate or a great amount of treasure that one hoped to pass to one's children. Although some people still think this way, the laws of North Carolina and many other states are far more modern now.

The Tar Heel State does not hold to an idea that all of a person's property is automatically part of a communal pool with a spouse. Instead, courts apply the principle of equitable distribution for all assets that could be considered marital property. This means that their decision will be based on the factors that help show what each spouse deserves out of his or her time, investment or effort towards the asset.

What does it take to get a divorce in North Carolina?

Old marriage vows include the phrase "until death do us part," but life can go on after a marriage is over. Even when those words were more popular, there were already ways to end a marriage in the eyes of the law or religious authorities. Fortunately, it is easier and less expensive to secure a divorce when one or both spouses feel the need for it.

  • Who can file for divorce in North Carolina?

Any person who is married in a way recognized by the laws of the Tar Heel State who has lived within its borders for at least six months may apply for a divorce. An additional point that is important to remember is that the spouses must have lived separately for 12 consecutive months prior to filing. This period starts over if spouses move back in together.

  • What are the acceptable reasons for divorce?

Can you parent with an ex you don't even want to talk to?

The last thing you and your future former spouse want to do right now is play nice with each other, but you don't necessarily want to argue either. You just want the divorce process to end and to get on with your life.

However, if you have children, you will need to figure out how to continue parenting them under these circumstances. You may believe that, since co-parenting is obviously out of the question, you will have to revert to an "old-fashioned" arrangement where one of you has the children the majority of the time and the other has a visitation schedule. The problem is that isn't good enough for either of you.

Gathering small details can help when creating a trust

Even if people think a certain action is a good idea, they may have a hard time doing it. For some North Carolina residents, it may be a matter of procrastination, but for others, it may be about a lack of information on how to start a certain venture. For example, you may want to include a trust as part of your estate plan, but you may not feel confident in your ability to do so.

Fortunately, you can start small by gathering certain information and making decisions that could affect the creation of your trust. The right information could help streamline the trust creation process when you get ready to set up a legally binding fund.

Could essential workers lose custody while on the frontline?

The current coronavirus pandemic has changed our everyday lives at a fundamental level. We shop differently. We socialize differently. We do our best to reduce contact with those who are not in our households to help fight against the spread of this dangerous virus.

These changes have a unique impact on those who are raising children in two different households. Divorced parents are navigating uncharted territory and are doing their best to keep themselves and their children healthy during these difficult times.

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