Raleigh, NC Divorce Lawyer
At Charles R. Ullman & Associates, we understand the challenges facing someone who plans to get a divorce. Depend on our experience to guide you through the process. We’ll make sure you have the information you need to know to make the best decisions for your future.
Gather Financial Information For You and Your Spouse
How much you and your spouse earn and spend will be key issues when determining spousal support and child support. You can prepare by gathering all financial information. You should compile information that includes bank statements, tax returns, pay stubs, stock certificates, IRA/retirement accounts and pension information for you and your spouse. Make copies of important documents. Store them in a safe place. You should also track down your expenses. How much do you spend on mortgage or rent payments, utilities, food and grocery shopping, clothing and educational expenses? Make sure to have documents such as receipts or bank account summaries that show these expenses.
Make a list of all your real and personal property.
Any separate property you brought into a marriage will remain separate in a divorce. However, marital property will be divided between you and your spouse. Generally, this is property that you and your spouse acquired after getting married and before the date of your separation. You should make a list of all this property. The list should include real property such as a home or land you purchased. It should also include all personal property. Examples include cars or other motor vehicles, appliances, furniture, entertainment systems or athletic equipment. Make copies of relevant documents such as deeds, vehicle titles or receipts. As with your financial information, keep these documents in a secure place.
Establish a budget
In North Carolina, a divorce can be obtained if you live separate and apart from your spouse for 12 months. You will need money to live on during that period. You will need to set a budget. Setting this budget can help if you are seeking alimony or child support during the separation. If you aren’t going to seek this support, you will at least know what it will take to pay your bills and handle your other expenses while waiting for the divorce to be final.
Make living arrangements
If you plan to move away from the marital home when you separate from your spouse, you will need to make living arrangements without delay. This is because it can take a long time to find the right home or apartment that fits within your budget. This is especially true if you are seeking to remain close to work or within a specific school district.
Open personal mail and financial accounts
You should open checking and savings accounts in your name before you separate from your spouse and start the divorce process. You should consider opening these accounts at a bank other than the one where you held a joint account with your spouse. You may also need to open a new credit card account. Again, do this in your name only. You should also get a new mailing address. You want all financial-related mail and legal mail to go directly to you. We suggest a Post Office Box address. You can start receiving mail at this address before you separate from your spouse. A P.O. Box also won’t reveal where you live after separation (if you wish to withhold that information from your spouse).
Make changes to legal documents
If you wish, you should make changes to remove your spouse from your will, living will or healthcare power of attorney. It’s not something you want to think about, but you could be involved in an accident or suffer a health crisis during separation. You will want to have your legal documents in order. You may also want to make changes to your life insurance coverage or other policies in which your spouse is named as a beneficiary.
Notify your child’s school, daycare or relatives looking after your children
You may wish to keep your divorce private. That’s understandable. However, when children are involved, it’s a good idea to inform their school or daycare about your situation. A teacher may be sensitive to your child’s needs during this situation. The school or daycare should also know which parent will be picking up a child and making decisions for the child. The same applies if your child is being looked after by a relative during the day.
Meet with a divorce lawyer
The most important step is to meet with a divorce lawyer. Do your research. Find a lawyer that you believe has the skill, knowledge and experience to guide you through your divorce. You also want a lawyer who will take the time to listen to you and understand your needs and goals. Schedule a consultation. Get to know the lawyer and allow the lawyer to get to know you. At Charles R. Ullman & Associates, we believe that the initial consultation is one of the most important steps in the process. We can meet at our Raleigh office or a more convenient location. Our consultations are always completely confidential.
Divorce is not only emotionally difficult, it is a complex process. To ensure you understand of all your legal options, you should speak with an experienced Raleigh divorce attorney. There are several concepts specific to North Carolina you should know before you begin your divorce process.
North Carolina is a No-Fault Divorce State
North Carolina is a “no-fault divorce” state. This means that you do not need to prove marital fault such as adultery, cruel and abusive behavior, economic fault or habitual drunkenness or addiction in order to obtain an absolute divorce in our state. Instead, you need to establish one of two grounds: separation for one year or incurable insanity.
At Charles R. Ullman & Associates, our law firm’s Raleigh, NC Divorce attorneys can help you determine whether you qualify for a North Carolina no-fault divorce on either of these grounds. We can also help with the paperwork and all other aspects of the divorce process.
We have the skill, experience and compassion it takes to meet your goals. We welcome the opportunity to have a confidential discussion of your case. Call us today or use our online contact form to schedule a confidential consultation at our office in the historic Wyatt House in downtown Raleigh. We serve clients throughout Wake County.
Tips from Our Raleigh Divorce Attorneys
It is important to be informed about the documentation you should gather before you proceed with your divorce, and about what information your spouse may use against you. Our experienced attorneys will help you better understand how each of these factors plays a role.
Consider your social media presence. Any information on your social profiles, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, can be used as evidence against you.