What to Do During the 12-Month Separation Period in North Carolina

If you are approaching divorce in North Carolina, you have probably already heard about the 12-month separation period. It is an aspect of the state's law that many spouses lament, as it adds a year to the divorce process and makes it difficult to move on with life. However, it is an inescapable reality for the most part, and you will simply need to be patient during this waiting period.

With all that being said, you can actually get started with your divorce before that 12-month period is complete. In fact, there are many things you can do during this waiting period if you want to be proactive. By taking these steps, you can ensure your divorce is resolved as efficiently as possible. When the 12-month waiting period is finally over, you can immediately move forward with your divorce, having set up various elements ahead of time.

If you want to figure out what you can do during this waiting period, your best bet is to contact a divorce attorney in North Carolina. If you would like to make your divorce as quick and as easy as possible, you should select an attorney who is experienced with collaborative divorce. Collaborative divorce is a process that you can begin while you are waiting for the separation period to elapse. We can guide you forward and help you take specific steps right away. The sooner you get in touch with one of our attorneys, the better.

Why Does North Carolina Have a 12-Month Waiting Period?

You might be wondering why North Carolina requires spouses to wait so long before moving forward with their divorces. This is in stark contrast to many other states, where it is possible to fully resolve and finalize a divorce in a matter of weeks. The explanation lies in the state's attitude toward marriage and the importance of family.

Essentially, the state is trying to give you as much time as possible to resolve your differences, hoping you will choose not to divorce. Often, couples actually get back together during this 12-month period and decide not to get a divorce. Although some marriages are broken, you should carefully consider whether you want to go through with your divorce. Is your marriage worth saving? Could you try again?

Speak With Your Spouse

One of the most important things you can do during this period is to communicate with your spouse. This can be difficult, especially if there is a feeling of bitterness and resentment in the air. However, communicating with your spouse effectively allows you to lay the groundwork for a more peaceful divorce when the time comes.

Here are some things you might want to discuss with your spouse:

  • Who will get custody of the children?
  • Who will maintain ownership of the family home?
  • How will alimony be handled?
  • How will child support be handled?
  • How will the property be divided?

If you can civilly discuss these topics, you might want to start drafting a separation agreement on your own. You can begin to a rough draft without an attorney's assistance, which can simplify the overall divorce process when the 12-month period elapses. After agreeing upon the most critical aspects of your divorce, you can contact an attorney with experience with collaborative law. We can then help you draft a finalized divorce agreement.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the North Carolina area for a qualified, experienced divorce attorney, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. We know that the 12-month waiting period can feel like an unnecessary roadblock, especially if you are ready to move on with your life and begin a new chapter. However, there are many things you can do during this period, and it is hardly a case of waiting around twiddling your thumbs. With the proper guidance, you can be proactive and productive during this waiting period, setting everything in motion so that when the time comes, you are ready to move forward with your divorce. We also have plenty of experience with collaborative divorce, and this process is the quickest and most efficient method once your separation period has elapsed. Book your consultation today, and we can get the ball rolling.