Frequently Asked Questions About the North Carolina Divorce Process

If you are going through a divorce in Raleigh or elsewhere in North Carolina, you will have many questions – especially if you have never been through the North Carolina divorce process before. To help you get a better understanding, Charles R. Ullman & Associates presents the following answers to frequently asked questions about North Carolina divorces.

However, keep in mind: Every family’s circumstances are different. It’s important to speak directly with a divorce lawyer in order to address the specific facts and legal issues in your case.

At Charles R. Ullman & Associates, we are available to meet with you. We want to learn about you and allow you to get to know us better.

We serve clients throughout Raleigh and Wake County. Simply give us a call or complete our online form to schedule a consultation today.

Divorce and Absolute Divorce

My spouse and I are getting an uncontested divorce. Do I still need an attorney?

You do not need an attorney to obtain an uncontested divorce in North Carolina. But the divorce decree is only one of many issues that arise when ending a marriage. For those other legal matters, an attorney’s help is crucial…. Keep Reading

What if my spouse does not want to get a divorce?

You can obtain a North Carolina divorce whether or not your spouse wants to be divorced, provided that two conditions are met: you have been separated for one continuous year and the paperwork has been correctly processed. It is not… Keep Reading

What is an absolute divorce?

You may not realize it, but there are actually two types of divorce in North Carolina: “absolute divorce” and “divorce from bed and board.” An annulment of a marriage is also possible under certain circumstances. Absolute divorce, you might say,… Keep Reading

How do I obtain an absolute divorce in North Carolina?

Obtaining a divorce in North Carolina is not a complex process. However, you need to make sure that you meet certain requirements and follow important steps. The requirements are: You and your spouse must actually live separate and apart for… Keep Reading

My husband cheated on me. Do I automatically qualify for a divorce in North Carolina?

Because North Carolina is a “no fault” divorce jurisdiction, marital fault (i.e., infidelity) does not have to be proven by one spouse in order to obtain a divorce from the other. Divorce in North Carolina may be based on only… Keep Reading

Do I need an attorney to obtain a divorce?

Although it is legal in North Carolina to obtain a divorce without representation by counsel, the Raleigh divorce lawyers of Charles R. Ullman & Associates do not advise going it alone. Although a DIY divorce using court-provided documents, website information… Keep Reading

Evidence and Divorce

Do I need to prove that my spouse cheated on me to get an absolute divorce in North Carolina?

No, you don’t have to prove adultery to obtain an absolute divorce in North Carolina. We are considered a “no-fault” state. However, there are related matters where proof of adultery is could be important. By “no-fault” state, we mean that… Keep Reading

Can my spouse get a court order to see texts I sent to another person?

Yes, your spouse may be able to obtain a subpoena that would demand your service provider to turn over those records (if they are still available). This is a hot issue right now in divorces. Electronic evidence, including e-mails, text… Keep Reading

Property Distribution

Do we need to determine our property distribution before our divorce is final?

Although the actual property distribution judgment (court ruling) can occur after the divorce, any claim for an equitable distribution of property must be made before the absolute divorce is granted. That makes it extremely important to contact a Raleigh divorce… Keep Reading

Do I wait until after divorce to file for a share of our joint bank account and other property?

No – and we can’t stress that answer enough. Any claim you file for equitable distribution of your property must be made before the absolute divorce is granted. There are many reasons why this is important. As a spouse, you… Keep Reading

Child Support and Spousal Support

If my spouse won’t honor my visitation rights, can I stop making child support payments?

Simply put – no. Child custody/visitation rights and child support obligations are two different matters. You need to keep paying child support. Meanwhile, you can take other steps to protect your right to spend time with your child. Child support… Keep Reading

When do I need to file for spousal support?

According to North Carolina law, “a judgment of absolute divorce obtained by the dependent spouse in an action initiated by him or her eliminates that spouse’s right to alimony unless a claim for alimony has been asserted and left pending… Keep Reading

What should I do if I can’t keep up with making alimony payments?

If you agreed to pay alimony in a separation agreement or were ordered by a court to do so, then you need to keep making those payments. Otherwise, you could face serious consequences. Still, relief may be possible. If you… Keep Reading

If I am separated from my spouse, can I file for alimony, or spousal support?

To begin with, you need to understand the two types of separation that apply to North Carolina marriages. Absolute divorce—the termination of a marriage—must be preceded in North Carolina by a separation of one year of living “separate and apart”… Keep Reading

Do I need to go to court to get custody of my child?

Parents can reach a child custody agreement out of court, and in most cases, they should. Otherwise, a court custody decision is left to the sole discretion of the judge, and appeals are very limited in these types of cases…. Keep Reading


Can I date another person while I am separated from my spouse and a divorce is pending?

Yes, you can have a relationship with another person while you are separated and waiting on your divorce to be final. But there are practical and legal considerations to keep in mind. We’ll start with a practical consideration. After becoming… Keep Reading

Do I need to be legally separated from my spouse in order to get a divorce in North Carolina?

No, you do not need to be legally separated to obtain a North Carolina divorce. Still, you need to make sure that you meet the legal definition of “separation.” State law mandates that you and your spouse must actually live… Keep Reading

What happens if my spouse and I reconcile briefly during the one-year separation, but still wish to obtain a divorce after one year?

It used to be the case in North Carolina that “getting together” (i.e., sexual contact) with a spouse during the one-year separation put an end to living “separate and apart.” Due to changes in the law during the 1980s, this… Keep Reading

Domestic Violence and Abuse

How do I get a restraining order in North Carolina?

A restraining order in North Carolina is actually called a “protective order” or “50B order” (after the statute it is found under). The process of getting one can be broken into six steps. These steps are: Go to the courthouse… Keep Reading

What is defined as “domestic violence” in North Carolina?

Generally, domestic violence can be defined as one person in a relationship using verbal, sexual, physical or even financial abuse to control the other. It can occur in many forms. Domestic violence may involve spouses, partners, parents and children, children… Keep Reading

How do I leave an abusive relationship?

There is no easy answer or blanket answer to this question. You need to carefully evaluate your situation and come up with a safety plan that will work for you. Whatever plan you decide on should help you to respond… Keep Reading

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