At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we are committed to helping our clients through the emotionally charged and complicated process of obtaining a separation and divorce in an economical and effective manner. Please feel free to give us a call if you would like to speak with one of our lawyers. We handle divorce cases in the greater Charlotte area, including: Mecklenburg County, Cabarrus County, Gaston County and Union County.Absolute Divorce
In many instances, the term “divorce” is used to define several different areas of family law. However, there are really only two types of “divorce:” absolute divorce and divorce from bed and board. In North Carolina, an absolute divorce is also known as a no fault divorce. An absolute divorce is designed to end a valid marriage and render both parties free to remarry. A divorce from bed and board is a judicial separation that does not actually dissolve the marriage bond.
In North Carolina, a spouse seeking an absolute divorce must meet the following criteria:
- The parties have a legal marriage;
- One or both of the spouses has been a citizen or resident of North Carolina for at least six months; and
- The parties have been separated for at least one (1) year and desire to end the marital relationship.
In some cases, an absolute divorce can be sought due to the incurable insanity of one of the parties. In these cases, the actual separation must be due to the incurable insanity and the period of separation must be longer.
The primary effect of a grant of absolute divorce is that the parties have a legal right to marry another person. However, there are also many other important ramifications. A wife has the right to resume the use of her maiden name. In these situations, the wife is not required to change her name, but is simply given the option to do so if she chooses. There may also be serious financial changes which result from the grant of an absolute divorce. Unless there is a valid separation agreement that addresses spousal support and property distribution or pending claims for spousal support and/or property distribution, all property will remain with the individual whose name is on the title. As a result, it is imperative for individuals seeking a divorce to enlist the help of an experienced attorney in order to ensure they are protected financially.
Our experienced family law attorneys frequently handle absolute divorces and are very familiar with the process and requirements. While there may be many services for those who are seeking an absolute divorce on their own, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney who is very familiar with the legal system. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we know that every client’s situation is different. Contact us today and let our attorneys guide you through this process.Collaborative Family Law
In many cases, the collaborative family law process may provide the healthiest outcome for spouses and their families. The collaborative approach is an alternative to judicial resolution of domestic matters.
Obviously, collaborative family law will not be right for every one of our clients, but there are certain factors to determine when it is most suitable. These factors include:
- A client’s goals and ability to be a problem solver in the process;
- A client’s willingness to understand and respect differences in personalities and goals;
- A client’s ability to communicate and show appropriate behavior at four-way meetings between attorneys and clients; and
- A client’s ability to be held accountable during the process and after any agreements are made.
If potential clients have the above qualities, among others, collaborative law may be right for them. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our experienced attorneys will review each client’s situation and help them determine if a collaborative approach is the right decision. We consult with our clients and engage in a thorough discussion about the circumstances of their case and what approach is right for them. Contact us today to see if collaborative family law is right for you.Divorce from Bed and Board
In North Carolina, divorce from bed and board is rather rare and is only used in certain circumstances and situations. A claim for divorce from bed and board is typically asserted to either force a spouse to leave the marital residence, obtain judicial authorization for separation, or allow a spouse to allege marital misconduct. To achieve a judgment of divorce from bed and board, certain circumstances must be met:
- The parties must have a valid/legal marriage;
- One of the parties must have been a citizen of North Carolina for the six (6) months preceding the suit; and
- One of the parties must have committed marital misconduct (examples of marital misconduct include: abandonment, cruel and barbarous treatment, excessive use of alcohol or drugs, and adultery).
The effect of a divorce from bed and board can be very significant. Equitable distribution and other claims which are contingent upon the separation of the parties can be asserted once a judgment of divorce from bed and board is granted. The party granted the divorce from bed and board may convey property without the permission of the other party and a spouse’s rights upon the death of the other party are usually terminated.
At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we understand divorce from bed and board. While a divorce from bed and board is not always the most common option, our attorneys are prepared to help you determine whether it is right for you. Do not hesitate to contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today for a consultation.