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The Legal Impacts of Reconciliation

In Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

North Carolina is an absolute divorce state, which is a no-fault form of divorce. To obtain a divorce, a spouse needs to demonstrate that the couple has been separated for no less than one year. This means that a couple must live “separate and apart” from each other for one uninterrupted year before either spouse can file a petition seeking the dissolution of their marriage. A lot can happen in a year, especially when it comes to ending a marriage. The decision is a big deal and can be really confusing to process. Some people change their minds and try to work it out again or even rekindle their intimacy while still intending to divorce. It is therefore important to understand what constitutes reconciliation and how it can impact your …

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Common Misconceptions About Divorce in North Carolina

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

The legal process of a divorce can seem like an intimidating concept for many people. It represents an unknown and unfamiliar concept that seems prohibitively expensive and complex. These misconceptions have an unfortunate consequence of keeping spouses in marriages that should have ended long ago. If you are seriously struggling with your marriage, are considering a separation, or are already separated, we urge you not to put your life on hold for the mere reason that the legal aspects of divorce seem scary or expensive. Instead, we hope to dispel some common misconceptions about divorce in North Carolina. Absolute divorce is not based on fault. One common misconception about divorce is that a spouse has to prove that the marriage is ending because of the other spouse’s acts or omissions. …

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How Service by Publication Works

In Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Separations are not often clean events where spouses maturely exit the relationship with a sense of closure. In fact, there are circumstances where spouses completely lose contact with each other. Whether this is because they drifted apart or one spouse simply doesn’t want to be found by the other, this can create a challenge when it comes to legally ending a marriage. People Must Be Served with a Lawsuit For a court in the United States to enter valid orders that affect a person, that court must have personal jurisdiction over her or him. This is a Latin term that has long meant that a court must be able to speak the law as to a person to bind that person to its orders. To gain this jurisdiction, a person …

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What If I Don’t Want a Divorce?

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

The end of a marriage is a sad, and often stunning, change in people’s life circumstances. Their hopes, their expectations, and their sense of normal are thrown into flux. Sometimes, one spouse wants a divorce while the other doesn’t. Whether this is based on hope, personal beliefs, denial, anger, or some other reason, it presents a big dilemma for both spouses. Therefore, a key question in this situation is: What if I don’t want a divorce? North Carolina Is a No Fault State North Carolina is an absolute divorce state. This is a no-fault divorce that a spouse can seek after a married couple has been separated for a period of at least a year. In other words, if two spouses have lived separate and apart for a year, then …

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A Resumption of Marital Relations

In Uncategorized by Sarah Hink

The decision to end a marriage is an incredibly heavy one. It signifies the end of one of your most significant relationships and the dissolution of your family unit. For these reasons, it is incredibly common for couples to reconcile at some point prior to actually going through with a divorce. In fact, because life is fluid and people change their minds about divorce, North Carolina has implemented legislation that a married couple must separate for an entire year before they can seek an absolute divorce. This means that they must be separated and live in different homes for at least a year before they can file a petition to divorce. While some states actually make couples wait a year and a half to seek a divorce, couples in North …

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Am I Prohibited from Dating While Awaiting Divorce?

In Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Couples must be separated for an entire year before they can get divorced in North Carolina. As anyone who has gotten divorced in this state can attest, a year feels like a very long time. During that time, life moves forward and it is natural to want to start dating again. However, this leads to some very common questions: are people allowed to date while awaiting their divorce? Will this have a negative impact on what I’m seeking out of my divorce? These are good questions. Unfortunately, the answer is a little more complex than a “yes” or “no”. While it is generally true that there is nothing to stop you from dating someone new, there are some factors to consider in taking a cautious approach to re-entering the dating …

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What Constitutes Reconciliation During a Separation?

In Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Life is fluid and people change their minds all the time. We see this proven when people find themselves in cycles of breaking up then making up with a partner. Our hearts and our emotions can be unpredictable, especially when there is a shared history and an emotional investment that is hard to abruptly end. North Carolina law requires that couples separate for a year prior to seeking a divorce. This means that at least one spouse intends to separate and that they live separate and apart from one another. What many couples discover is that a year is a long time. This begs the questions: what happens when couples get back together during that year? What are the Effects of Reconciliation? When a couple reconciles during a separation period, …

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The Legal Impacts of Divorce

In Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

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. …