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What should you do after you file for divorce in North Carolina?

On Behalf of | May 5, 2024 | Divorce

If you’re facing the end of your marriage, it’s crucial to take proactive steps to help ensure a smoother transition into your newest phase of life.

Filing for divorce in North Carolina can be a daunting first step. While the emotional weight of the situation is undeniable, there are also practical matters that need attention.

Understanding service and waiting periods

Once you’ve filed the official complaint, try to make sure your spouse is properly served with the documents. This typically involves the sheriff or a certified process server delivering the summons and complaint. North Carolina enforces a mandatory 30-day waiting period after service is complete. This allows your spouse time to respond and allows both parties to consider mediation or other forms of dispute resolution.

Gathering financial information

The next crucial step is compiling a comprehensive financial picture of your marital estate. This includes gathering documents related to:

  • Income: Paystubs, W-2s, tax returns
  • Assets: Bank statements, investment account statements, retirement account statements, deeds to property, vehicle titles, etc.
  • Debts: Credit card statements, loan documents

This information is essential for equitable distribution of marital assets and debts during the divorce settlement.

Considering child custody and support (if applicable)

If you have minor children, child custody and support become significant elements of the divorce process. The Tar Heel State prioritizes the best interests of the child when determining custody and visitation arrangements. Start gathering documentation that demonstrates your ability to provide a stable and loving environment for your children. This could include daycare records, school transcripts and extracurricular activity schedules.

Exploring dispute resolution options

While litigation can be an option, it’s often expensive and time-consuming. Thankfully, you may consider alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation or arbitration. A neutral third party can facilitate communication and negotiation between you and your spouse, potentially leading to a more amicable and cost-effective resolution.

While navigating a divorce on your own may seem appealing, consulting with an experienced legal team is highly recommended. They can provide invaluable guidance on any concerns you may have throughout and after the divorce, which can be important, given how much is at stake.