Divorce is a major life event with great emotional and practical impacts. While you live and experience the full range of grief, fear, anger, excitement, and denial that comes with divorce, it is worth noting that there are also great legal impacts of divorce.
North Carolina is an absolute divorce state, meaning all that has to be proven to a court to obtain a divorce is that one spouse has lived in the state for at least six months and that the couple has been separated—having lived separate and apart—for a year. Once a court has entered a divorce order, you are divorced and your marriage is legally over. It is therefore important that before you obtain a divorce, you have a basic understanding of the impacts of getting divorced.
- The timing of your divorce is a big deal. If you have not already filed for, or already obtained, alimony or an equitable property division, you have waived this relief. You are required to file these claims prior to the entry of the divorce order—making it critical that you slow down and speak with an attorney before an absolute divorce. You do not want to forego your legal rights to an equitable division of marital property or alimony—this would be financially devastating. Notably, pending claims may still be addressed by the court.
- You can legally file for a name change. This is a big, personal decision but comes with the freedom of divorce. Whether it is for personal or professional reasons, you can choose to keep or revert back to a previous last name.
- Divorce means that you are legally single. This means that you can get married again.
- You can change your tax filing status from married.
- Unless otherwise ordered, pending, or agreed to, you will no longer be entitled to health insurance on your spouse’s insurance policy.
- If your ex-spouse has no will and passes away intestate, you lose your right to inherit as you are no longer married.
- Significantly, you are not absolved of joint debts to third parties or contracts that you entered into, which remain enforceable against you after a divorce.
Contact New Direction Family Law
The timing of your absolute divorce matter a great deal when it comes to property division and alimony. Do not rush your divorce and waive your important legal rights. Instead, contact New Direction Family Law to make sure that your legal rights are properly preserved and advocated. Let us help you get thing right. Call New Direction Family Law today at (919) 719-3470 to set up an initial consultation or visit us at our website.
Sarah J. Hink
New Direction Family Law