TOP 5 DIVORCE QUESTIONS IN NORTH CAROLINA ANSWERED
At White Oak Legal we created this guide to answer the 5 most common Divorce Questions we hear. The goal is to provide you with the answers you need to keep you from making a mistake prior to your consultation.
Here are our Top 5 Divorce Questions.Answered:
1. Should I speak to a lawyer before I do anything?
Yes! Seriously, we mean anything. You would be surprised at the things people do to damage their divorce case because they don’t consult a lawyer prior to taking action.
Divorce laws are complex, and not for the faint of heart. What may seem simple on the surface is actually complicated.
If you speak to a lawyer first you significantly reduce the likelihood you will unknowingly comprise your bargaining position.
It’s best to understand all of your options at the start so you and your lawyer can chart the course that is best for you.
2. Should I move out of the house?
In most cases, once you move out of the house you cannot move back in without the consent of your spouse. Not only can you not move back in, but you can’t even come back! I know, your name is on the deed, but in North Carolina we have a criminal statute called “Domestic Criminal Trespass.”
What does that mean?
It means that if you return to the former marital residence after you move out then your spouse can have you arrested. We know, it sounds crazy, but it’s the law in North Carolina. See the answer to Question 1 above, and don’t move out of the house until you consult with a lawyer.
3. What if I already moved out of the house?
If you already moved out of the house all is not lost. We can go to Court and ask the Judge to Order your spouse to move out, and let you move back in.
Also, if you bought the house during the marriage, and even in some cases if your spouse owned the house prior to marriage, you may have a property interest in the house that we will have to sort out later.
You’ve moved out, it’s done, so don’t worry about it, but see the answer to Question 1 above before you do anything else.
4. How do I protect myself financially?
It’s unfortunate, but in some cases one spouse will take all the money, and leave the other spouse high and dry. While the Court generally frowns upon this, and the Court is more likely to treat spouses who do it harshly, it does happen.
We often recommend that a spouse who wishes to leave take 50% of the liquid assets (be careful not to liquidate anything that may create a tax consequence). This protects you from being cut off, and without money to support yourself or your children.
If you worry your spouse will become a spend thrift once you leave we can go to Court and ask a judge to issue an Order that will prevent your spouse from waste of marital assets.
Remember the answer to Question 1.
5. What about an affair?
Whether you or your spouse had an affair, there may be consequences related to alimony, alienation of affection, and criminal conversation. It’s best not to admit anything to your spouse if you have committed adultery.
Admissions can be used against you in Court. Same rule applies if you are aware of an affair. Do not let your spouse know you know they cheated on you. While we have the upper hand is the perfect time to collect evidence (through a private investigator, phone records, credit cards statements, etc.).
Whether you cheated, or were cheated on, this should be our secret for now. Remember the answer to Question 1.
What do I do now?
This is just the beginning, but you’ve taken the first step: Education. We know you may be overwhelmed, but together we will develop a plan that fits your situation, and addresses your specific concerns.
Do you have more questions? Call now to schedule a consultation, or click here to schedule a consultation online.
If you prefer to read more about divorce simply click here.