View Post

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 …

View Post

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 …

View Post

You’re Separated and Cannot Find Your Spouse

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

North Carolina is an absolute divorce state, meaning that couples must be separated for a period of a year before they can ask a family court for a divorce decree. Unfortunately, a lot can happen when couples are separated for long periods of time. Whether it is by circumstance or by design, once the relationship ends, some spouses stop communicating with each other. We’ve seen scenarios where spouses move away without a trace or simply don’t want to be found. Why is this a problem? Because of concepts known as “service” and “jurisdiction”. Jurisdiction is Latin for “to speak the law”. In essence, for any court in this country to create a valid, enforceable order against a person, it must have personal jurisdiction over that person. If it a court …