An Overview of Family Law and Child Custody in North Carolina

An Overview of Family Law and Child Custody in North Carolina

Feb 24

Family law regarding divorce in North Carolina does not require any wrongdoing on the part of either party. But according to the website of Marshall & Taylor, P.C., there are many ways for a marriage to become intolerable without either party doing any actual wrong. This is what is called a no-fault divorce, and most states subscribe to this type of divorce.

However, most no-fault divorce states do not require a period of separation as grounds; North Carolina requires a couple who want a divorce to live separately for at least one year before they can make a petition. The only other basis for a North Carolina divorce is incurable insanity. To be eligible to petition for a divorce, at least one of the spouses has to have residency of at least 6 months in North Carolina.

It is important to note that an absolute divorce can be finalized by the court even if no provisions or agreements have been made outside the dissolution of the marriage. This includes the terms of the property division, spousal support, child support, and child custody agreement. Once the divorce is final, these concerns may no longer be addressed. By default, there are no provisions for spousal support or alimony, and equitable distribution of property will apply. Any other arrangement must be presented before the court before the divorce decree is signed.

Mediation is required to negotiate the terms of the divorce, especially property division and child custody, before the case is presented in court. However, if the spouses both waive mediation or there is good cause to dispense with it such as time constraints, then it may be skipped.

A most important factor in a North Carolina divorce is the question of child custody. Without a written agreement, the court is empowered to decide which way the best interest of the child lies. This is determined by a number of factors, including the role played by each parent in raising the child, the proposed living arrangements, and the existing relationship between parent and child.