In North Carolina there are two requirements to file for divorce.
- Husband and wife have been living separate and apart for one year (separate residences, not just separate bedrooms); and
- Husband or wife has lived in North Carolina for the last six months preceding the filing of the lawsuit for absolute divorce.
Under North Carolina law, an isolated incident of sexual intercourse between the spouses with no intention to resume the marital relationship is not a resumption of the marriage and does not end the separation of the parties.
A formal separation agreement or order is not required to file for an absolute divorce in North Carolina. Child Custody/Visitation and Child Support issues may be raised at any time, however, if there are outstanding property or debt division issues (Equitable Distribution of Marital Property) or Spousal Support issues (Alimony or Post Separation Support, including health insurance coverage) and these issues are not raised (requested to be determined by the court in a filed court pleading) BEFORE THE DIVORCE IS GRANTED then the right to have these issues determined by a judge are WAIVED. Any rights to Alimony or Post Separation Support are then lost completely. Ownership rights as to property and responsibility for debts revert to title meaning that the person who has possession of property that has no title is the sole owner thereof and the person whose name is on the title to property that has title now has the ownership of that titled interest normally as sole owner or joint owner. Debts will the responsibility of the party or parties that contracted the debt.
Therefore when a husband or wife allows an absolute divorce, without raising these additional issues that party gives up all rights that he or she may have to alimony, post separation support, attorney’s fees and equitable distribution of property, including retirement income, such as IRAs, pension plans and 401(k) plans which are usually titled in the name of only one party.
Call 704-868-2292 to schedule a consultation regarding your family law matter.