Our Payne Law team comes to work every morning to make your life easier. When you’re going through a divorce, it’s natural to get caught up in the emotions, the heartbreak, and the anger that brought you to this point. We take it upon ourselves to handle the legal proceedings objectively, ensuring that your emotional state does not affect the case and cause unnecessary grief. Our job is protecting our clients in the complex and tricky proceedings that tend to bring out the worst in people. We guide you every step of the process, from your separation to your final divorce decree.

Before you move out of your marital home – call us! Every move you make can have an impact on the divorce proceedings. Come discuss a plan with us. We can use our expertise to ensure that you don’t forfeit any property rights or worse by taking the wrong actions.

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While, under North Carolina law, a married couple can be considered separated as long as they’re living under separate roofs, but it’s still a good idea to sign a separation agreement. These agreements can make the actual divorce go smoothly. In a separation agreement you can preemptively settle any property or equitable distributions. You can deal with the bigger issues that come up in a divorce up front, with legal representation to ensure both sides are satisfied with the agreement early on in the divorce process.

In North Carolina, an absolute divorce refers to the termination of your marriage bond, created by your marriage certificate. A court will only grant you an absolute divorce if a married couple separates for a year prior to the divorce or in the case of incurable insanity. You don’t need physical proof that you have been separated for a year, but you must remember the date your separation began. And that’s when a separation agreement makes this process easier.

During the divorce proceeding, we can request for an automatic name change. If you want to return to your maiden name, we’ll make it easier for you so you can avoid the numerous forms afterward.

In some rare cases, you may be granted an annulment as opposed to a divorce. An annulment voids your marriage – it’s erased from records and you appear as though you’ve never been married. North Carolina has strict limits on granting annulments, they include: marriages between family members closer than first cousins, marriages in which one party is underage, marriages in which one party is impotent (and medically diagnosed by a doctor) at the time of marriage, if one party in the marriage lacks the mental capacity to understand what the marriage contract entails, and if one party commits to the marriage under false pretenses.

Where many divorce proceedings turn ugly is in the division of personal property obtained during the marriage. Separating “marital” and “nonmarital” possessions can cause conflict between a separated couple, especially with varying interpretations of property issues and laws. Sometimes it’s not difficult, but when it is, court-ordered property distribution may be necessary. We work diligently for our clients to ensure they are satisfied with the outcome of such a difficult legal process.

Looking for legal advice? We are here to help.