The first thing you need is a solid understanding of how divorce law works in North Carolina. This article describes the basic substance of separation and marital dissolution law in North Carolina. With this information, you can better grasp the overall outline of the separation and divorce process in North Carolina. You will then be able to make more informed decisions about how you yourself should proceed, once you or your spouse decide that you should no longer live together. Without this “big picture,” you could stumble blindly through the process, never quite able to recognize whether your expectations for the ultimate bargain are achievable, or at what price.
The section is not, however, intended as a complete reference source that substitutes for the analysis of an experienced practitioner of family law. Each case can involve one, some, or all of the issues discussed in this section. At the same time, factual variations in various couples’ lives make the principles reviewed here of only general applicability. Divorces can, and do, look as different as the people who are divorcing. Given the countless differences among marriages, this section, and indeed this entire website, cannot replace the advice of a skilled attorney concerning your own family. Such advice is most valuable at the stage when you are planning a separation, so that you can avoid action or inaction that will be more difficult to undo or correct later on. Legal advice remains useful, of course, throughout the process of resolving the various issues discussed in this website. But it should not be legal advice that you seek without already having gained a solid grounding in the law of separation and divorce. The “Big Picture” is broken out into each of the major issues. Just follow the links below to find out more.