Uncontested Divorce Lawyers
For many couples in North Carolina, a failing marriage means more than just emotional hardship. It also means figuring out how to responsibly end the marriage while they are struggling financially. Because they fear that they can’t afford to hire an attorney to handle their divorce, they may stay in an unhealthy marriage.
At Kurtz & Blum, PLLC, our experienced divorce attorneys offer efficient and streamlined divorce options for those who are able to reach an amicable divorce in North Carolina. For an uncontested divorce in Raleigh and surrounding communities in Wake County, contact us to learn more. You may be surprised at how straightforward and simple we can make the process, helping you and your spouse move to forward with your lives.
What Is an Uncontested Divorce and What Are the Benefits?
North Carolina law is designed to encourage divorcing couples to reach agreements outside of court and to resolve their differences without the need for protracted and lengthy litigation. Consider some of the tangible benefits of getting an uncontested divorce.
- Cost – You will no doubt save thousands of dollars by working with an attorney to go through an uncontested divorce as opposed to taking your divorce case through litigation.
- Time – You will save months and maybe even years by working out your differences with the help of a Raleigh divorce lawyer instead of fighting it out in court.
- Privacy – When two people cannot agree on things and must litigate their divorce, it becomes public record. Every pleading, motion and other document filed in the case will become a part of the record of your dispute and available for public inspection. In an uncontested divorce, an experienced attorney will work with you and your spouse to carefully draft the necessary documents and avoid embarrassing or unnecessary public allegations that could have unintended consequences later on.
- Stress – An uncontested divorce in Raleigh will also be far less stressful than taking your case to court. Where possible, most experts agree that a fair, equitable and privately negotiated divorce is almost always preferable to a lengthy and drawn out litigated divorce.
No-Fault vs. Uncontested Divorce
You may have heard the term “no-fault divorce” in North Carolina. You may wonder whether a North Carolina no-fault divorce is the same thing as an uncontested divorce. In short, no. They are two different things.
A no-fault divorce just means that the parties do not need to allege grounds such as adultery, mental cruelty, abandonment, and drug or alcohol abuse in order to obtain the divorce. Instead, they merely need to establish that they have lived physically separate and apart for at least 12 continuous months and that at least one spouse intended to separate.
On the other hand, an uncontested divorce means that the parties are not litigating or going to court to fight over the terms of the breakup such as alimony, property distribution, child support or child custody. Instead, they are reaching an out-of-court settlement regarding how the marriage will end.
Many people in Raleigh and throughout North Carolina can reach amicable divorce terms even if they have children together. Of course, there are additional steps required to protect the children and set forth how they will be cared for after the marriage is over.
The Uncontested Divorce Process In North Carolina
It’s important to note that in North Carolina, even if you both wish to get divorced and there are no disputes over property distribution or alimony, you will still need to get legally separated and live apart for a full year before you will be granted an “absolute divorce.” An attorney can help you to set forth the terms of a separation agreement as you go through that period.
Once you have made the decision to retain the services of an experienced North Carolina divorce attorney, here is what you should expect:
Initial planning – First, you will meet with your attorney and discuss your goals. You should be prepared to bring the following with you to this meeting:
- A list of all your debts and assets, including retirement accounts, bank accounts, real estate, and vehicles
- A list of any heirlooms or specific items you want to keep
- Any questions you may have about the divorce process.
Separation agreement – Once your attorney has obtained all the necessary information from you (and your spouse), an agreement can be drafted that sets forth the terms such as:
- Who will continue living in the marital home
- Who will remain responsible for property taxes and mortgage payments
- How will other marital assets and debts be distributed
- Who will get which car, who will assume the payments.
If children are involved – If there are children in the marriage, you will also need to reach a joint parenting agreement, which can serve as an agreement regarding parenting time, visitation, support and other matters involving the children.
Signing – Once both parties to the divorce have fully reviewed, commented, ask questions about or suggest edits to the agreement, a final draft can be prepared for their signatures. You and your spouse will appear and sign the agreement before a certified notary public.
Finalization – After a year of separation has passed, you can contact Kurtz & Blum, PLLC, to finalize your absolute divorce by filing the necessary paperwork in court. Remember: Even if you and your spouse reach an amicable agreement, a North Carolina judge will still need to enter a final order making the divorce final.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney in Raleigh Today
For help with uncontested divorces and more, contact Kurtz & Blum, PLLC today. Our attorneys have the experience and refined skills needed to make your divorce as seamless and straightforward as possible.