Divorce Representation

The family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are devoted to helping our family law clients through the emotionally difficult and complex proceeding of separation and divorce. We strive to do so in a reasonable and efficient manner, while still keeping our client’s best interests at the forefront of the case. Our law firm handles divorce cases across the state of North Carolina, including Marvin.

While the term ‘divorce’ operates to describe many various areas of family law, there are really only two types of divorce in Marvin, North Carolina. The first is known as “absolute divorce” while the second is known as “divorce from bed and board.”

Absolute Divorce

Under North Carolina law, an absolute divorce is also referred to as a no-fault divorce and the purpose of an absolute divorce is to end a valid marriage and allow both parties to freely remarry should they wish to do so. When a spouse is seeking an absolute divorce in Marvin, North Carolina they must meet each the following elements in order to be successful:

  • The couple is legally married;
  • At least one of the spouses has been a resident or citizen of North Carolina for a minimum of six months; and
  • The couple has been physically separated a minimum of one year and a day with at least one spouse having the desire to end the marital relationship.

Sometimes incurable insanity of one of the spouses is another way by which an absolute divorce can besought. In such a scenario, the actual and physical separation between the couple must have been caused or attributable to the incurable insanity of one party and the period of time required for separation is longer than one year.

An absolute divorce, essentially gives the parties the legal right to be married again to another person. There are other important legal effects, as well. This includes the parties’ being able to restart the legal use of their pre-marriage name. Additionally, unless a valid separation and property settlement agreement specifically speaks to spousal support and property distribution (or any pending claims on these issues), all property will remain with the individual whose name is on the title.

Of note, absolute divorce does not have any effect whatsoever on either parent’s rights regarding their children. This is because child support and child custody are independent legal claims from the marriage. Specifically, the claims to child custody and child support does not depend upon marital status and can be brought by parents whether they are married or not.

Divorce From Bed and Board

In Marvin and other parts of North Carolina, a divorce from bed and board is rare; it is typically used only under particularly limited situations. Typically, a divorce from bed and board is asserted to remove a spouse from the marital residence, to allege marital misconduct of one of the spouses, or obtain a judicial authorization for separation. In order to succeed and obtain a judgment of divorce from bed and board, the following elements are required:

  • The couple is legally married;
  • Prior to filing, one or both individuals has been a resident or citizen of North Carolina for at least six months; and
  • One of the spouses engaged in some form of marital misconduct.

Examples of marital misconduct in Marvin include adultery, excessively using of drugs and alcohol, cruel and barbarous treatment, and abandonment. Divorce from bed and board can have significant legal effects. This is because equitable distribution and other family law claims cannot be brought until the parties have separated, which sometimes requires a judgment of divorce from bed and board to be granted. The moving party who obtains a divorce from bed and board may convey property without permission from the other spouse. Likewise, divorce from bed and board puts an end to a spouse’s rights upon the death of the other party.

Collaborative Family Law

In many cases, the collaborative family law process provides the best and least stressful outcome for feuding spouses and their family. The collaborative approach is a method that is use as an alternative to judicial resolution of family law matters. While collaborative family law is not right for every case, there are certain factors that can be analyzed to see if it will work for you. These include the client’s goals and ability to be an active problem solver during the process; willingness to understand and respect differences in goals and personalities; ability to communicate and behave appropriately in four-way meetings with attorneys and their clients; and ability to be held accountable during the process as well as after any agreements are made.

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC we understand and are well equipped to handle cases involving absolute divorce as well as divorce from bed and board. While a divorce from bed and board is an option that rarely is utilized, our attorneys are prepared to help guide you through the process and determine the best strategy for you. Reach out to Arnold & Smith, PLLC today for an initial consultation regarding your Marvin family law matter.