NC statute dictates and regulates the rules and circumstances under which you may marry. Moreover, when a couple no longer wishes to remain married, laws specify the way to dissolve a marriage. Many states, including NC, require a period of separation before a divorce can take place. Hiring a lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of legal obligations. When searching for a separation attorney in Greensboro NC, choose Morgenstern & Associates.
What’s The Difference Between Separation And Divorce?
While separation and divorce may appear to look similar, there’s an important distinction. A separation is not a permanent dissolution of the marriage. During a separation, the marriage remains unbroken. Whereas in a divorce, the decree dissolves the bonds therefore releasing both parties from all the legal obligations of the marriage.
Generally, separated spouses are still bound by the legal responsibilities of marriage unless you execute a separation agreement. A separation agreement is a document couples use to divide their assets and responsibilities. Then, once you’re divorced, your rights to your spouse’s property and obligations change under the terms of your divorce.
The Two Types Of Separation
Often, when couples are experiencing problems, they both agree to separate for a time. Sometimes, these couples aren’t yet considering divorce, but need time apart. During this time, they may be working towards getting back together. This trial separation has no impact on your legal, married rights.
Occasionally, couples may separate without ever intending of divorcing or getting back together. These couples may do so for religious or financial reasons. Permanently separated couples may be able to keep their spouse on their health insurance. Also, married couples enjoy income tax benefits and sometimes social security benefits. Staying legally married but separated allows couples to take advantage of these privileges.
Why Do I Need A Separation Attorney In Greensboro NC?
If you and your spouse plan to reconcile, you probably don’t need a lawyer. However, if you plan on divorcing or staying in a permanently separated status, you definitely need an attorney.
Remember, merely living separately doesn’t automatically release you from marital rights. Thus, developing a legal agreement specifying rights and obligations is crucial. Using a lawyer to write up your separation agreement can ensure the protection of your rights.
Furthermore, your separation agreement can address all the issues related to your divorce:
- Property division
- Child custody
- Spousal support
Having an agreement eliminates ambiguities as to your obligations. A clearly written document leaves no room for disagreement or arguments between you and your spouse. Plus, a written, executed separation agreement is a contract fully enforceable under the law.
While a separation agreement isn’t legally necessary, such an agreement can pave the way to an easier divorce. Addressing and agreeing on all the issues avoids the necessity of going to court for your divorce.
FAQs About Separation And Divorce Issues
Unless you’re an experienced attorney, navigating complex family law statutes is challenging. Moreover, the facts of each case are unique. While we’ve answered a few general questions, always consult a lawyer to determine your legal rights.
How Quickly Can I Get Divorced?
First, you must meet the North Carolina statutory requirement of physically living separately for 1 year. Living separately means you and your spouse had different residences and you intended permanent separation. Additionally, you or your spouse must have lived in NC for at least 6 months before filing for divorce.
After you’ve met the legal conditions, the swiftness of your divorce depends on you and your spouse. If you’re agreeable on all issues, your divorce will move quickly. On the other hand, disagreements can drag out your process.
What’s The Difference Between Post Separation Support And Alimony?
Post-separation support and alimony are similar in that they both provide monetary support to a dependent spouse. The court examines several factors before making an award of either one:
- Marital standard of living
- Employment income
- Each party’s income-earning abilities
- Debt obligations
- Necessary expenses
- Financial needs
Generally, the presiding judge has wide discretion in determining the amount. However, post-separation is more of a temporary obligation. Once the court awards alimony, post-separation payments cease.
When you decide to separate, you may be facing financial anxiety. Managing all your expenses on your own may be impossible. Divorcing your spouse is hard enough without the added burden of financial stress. Hiring an experienced lawyer like Morgenstern & Associates can give your assurance when you need it most. Our family law attorneys have many years of experience in all areas of post-separation support and alimony.
What’s The Best Way To Find A Great Lawyer?
Undoubtedly, separation and divorce can be stressful and traumatic. Thus, finding a lawyer expressing compassion and empathy are important traits. By talking over the phone or meeting face to face, you can determine if you feel comfortable with the attorney.
Yet, experience matters too. Separation and divorce agreements require many hours of negotiations and mounds of paperwork. Hiring the right lawyer can keep your divorce process advancing and help you achieve a favorable outcome.
When you need a separation attorney in Greensboro NC, trust the experience of Morgenstern & Associates. Both Barbara R. Morgenstern and Ashley D. Bennington are board-certified specialists with extensive credentials. Additionally, our firm receives U.S. News & World Report’s highest ranking for our local metropolitan area.
Truthfully, the right attorney can help make your divorce easier and less stressful. Call us at 336-203-9110 to discuss the particulars of your case.