Charlotte Separation Lawyer

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Charlotte Separation Lawyer


Divorce can be a source of grief and turmoil for many individuals, both financially and emotionally.  At Sussman Law Firm, PLLC, we know how stressful the process can be and we work hard to ensure our clients achieve the best and quickest resolution possible. Regardless of whether you have decided to file for divorce, or if you are the one being served with divorce papers, as your Charlotte separation lawyer, we collaborate with our clients to minimize the emotional, financial, and personal strain on both parties as well as their children. En Español

State law requires that married couples be physically separated for one year before they can petition the court for an absolute divorce. An absolute divorce itself dissolves the marital bonds between the parties. However, an absolute divorce does not solve all the other issues that come about with a separation, including post separation support, alimony, equitable distribution, child custody, and child support. North Carolina is a no-fault state which means that fault is not considered or needed to be granted an absolute divorce.


Important Aspects of Separation

Parties are free to begin dating other people after the parties are legally separated and it will not be considered marital misconduct. Evidence of the dating relationship can be used to corroborate marital misconduct during the marriage though if it was before the separation.

An absolute divorce does not solve all the other issues that come about with a separation including, post separation support, alimony, equitable distribution, child custody, and child support. One form of relief that is permitted during the formal absolute divorce process is that a party can resume the use of their maiden name if requested and granted within the divorce decree.

Claims for post separation support, alimony, equitable distribution must be filed before a divorce decree is entered or they are barred from being brought as an action. These claims can be filed immediately upon separation and before the one-year divorce period. It is important to quickly upon your separation to ensure you get maximum benefits that you are entitled to under the law. Working with an experienced lawyer to negotiate the terms of your separation is invaluable.

Post-Separation Support in Charlotte

One of the most common types of relief sought during the one-year separation period is temporary alimony or post-separation support. This type of support is controlled by North Carolina General Statute § 50-16.2A and allows either party to seek financial assistance from the other spouse.

When determining whether a particular spouse might be a good candidate for temporary alimony, a court might consider factors like:

  • The standard of living the spouses are accustomed to
  • The current income of each spouse
  • The spouses’ earning abilities
  • The spouses’ debt obligations
  • The spouses’ living expenses
  • Each spouse’s legal obligation to support other people (usually children)

Most of the time, one spouse will be granted post-separation support if their income does not meet their needs and the other spouse is able to pay. However, if a court discovers that a spouse engaged in marital misconduct, they might not be able to collect any temporary alimony. N.C.G.S. § 50-16.1A explains that marital misconduct includes adultery, abandonment of the other spouse, cruelty, and reckless spending. It is usually a good idea to seek advice from a Charlotte attorney before beginning a post-separation action.


Divorce From Bed and Board as a Form of Separation

If a spouse does engage in marital misconduct, the other spouse might be able to seek a form of separation known as a “divorce from bed and board.”

Getting divorced from bed and board does not end a marriage, but it does require the at-fault spouse to move out. The at-fault spouse also loses their right to inherit property from the mistreated spouse.

N.C.G.S § 50-7 only allows a court to issue a divorce from bed and board for misconduct like abandonment, cruelty, wrongful eviction, drug or alcohol abuse, and adultery.

Spouses cannot agree to get this kind of separation. Instead, the mistreated spouse must file this action in court and explain the misconduct they experienced. If you believe that a divorce from board and bed might be the best type of separation for you, a knowledgeable Charlotte attorney could help you pursue this.

Hire a Charlotte Separation Attorney to Protect Your Rights

Although you cannot begin formal divorce proceedings for a year, it is still wise to hire a Charlotte separation lawyer early to advise and assist you during the initial phase. You may need court intervention before beginning the divorce proceedings, but legal representation could help you avoid further issues during your separation process.

Schedule a consultation with our dedicated legal team to learn about your legal options and make sure you protect your best interests.

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