Concord Divorce Attorney
Helping Clients in Cabarrus County and the Surrounding Areas
Divorce is a difficult and emotional process. It is important to have a knowledgeable and compassionate attorney on your side to help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights. At The Law Offices of Annette R. Heim, P.A., we understand the challenges you are facing and are here to provide the guidance and support you need.
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in North Carolina?
North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state, which means that you do not need to prove that your spouse did something wrong in order to get a divorce. Instead, you can simply state that you and your spouse have been living separate and apart for at least one year and that you intend to remain separated permanently.
There are two types of separation in North Carolina:
- Physical separation: This means that you and your spouse are living in separate residences.
- Legal separation: This means that you and your spouse are still living in the same residence but are no longer acting as a married couple. You may be sleeping in separate bedrooms, no longer engaging in sexual relations, and no longer sharing meals or household chores.
It is important to note that you must be living in separate residences in order to file for divorce based on one year of separation. If you and your spouse are still living in the same home, you must be separated for at least one year before you can file for divorce.
If you and your spouse have been living in separate residences for at least six months, you may be eligible for a divorce based on six months of separation. However, you must meet the following requirements:
- You and your spouse must have a written separation agreement that resolves all issues related to your marriage, including property division, alimony, and child custody and support.
- You and your spouse must have lived in separate residences for at least six months before you signed the separation agreement.
- You and your spouse must have lived in separate residences for at least one year before you filed for divorce.
Our Concord divorce attorney can help you understand your options and determine the best course of action for your situation.
What Is the Divorce Process in North Carolina?
Here are the steps to getting a divorce in North Carolina:
- File a complaint: The first step in the divorce process is to file a complaint with the court. The complaint must include the grounds for divorce and any other claims you are making, such as claims for child custody, child support, alimony, and property division.
- Serve your spouse: After you file the complaint, you must serve your spouse with a copy of the complaint and a summons. Your spouse will then have 30 days to file an answer with the court.
- Resolve any issues: If you and your spouse agree on all of the issues related to your divorce, such as property division, alimony, and child custody and support, you can submit a written agreement to the court. If you and your spouse cannot agree on these issues, you will need to go to court and ask a judge to decide for you.
- Attend a hearing: If you and your spouse have resolved all of the issues related to your divorce, you will need to attend a hearing before a judge. The judge will review your agreement to make sure it is fair and reasonable and that it is in the best interests of your children. If the judge approves your agreement, he or she will issue a divorce decree.
- Wait for the divorce decree: If you and your spouse cannot agree on all of the issues related to your divorce, you will need to go to trial. After the trial, the judge will issue a divorce decree that includes his or her decision on all of the issues in your case.
Our Concord divorce lawyer can guide you through each step of the process and help you protect your rights.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in North Carolina?
The length of time it takes to get a divorce in North Carolina depends on a variety of factors, including the complexity of your case and whether you and your spouse agree on all of the issues related to your divorce.
Here are the general timeframes for getting a divorce in North Carolina:
- Uncontested divorce: If you and your spouse agree on all of the issues related to your divorce, you can get a divorce as soon as the one-year separation period is over. You will need to attend a hearing before a judge, but the hearing is usually brief and can be scheduled within a few weeks of filing your complaint.
- Contested divorce: If you and your spouse cannot agree on all of the issues related to your divorce, it will take longer to get a divorce. You will need to go to court and ask a judge to decide for you, which can take several months or longer, depending on the complexity of your case and the court’s schedule.
Our Concord divorce attorney can help you understand the process and what to expect.
What Is the Difference Between a Divorce and an Annulment?
A divorce is a legal proceeding that ends a valid marriage. An annulment is a legal proceeding that declares a marriage null and void, as if it never happened.
Here are the grounds for an annulment in North Carolina:
- Bigamy: One of the spouses was already married to someone else at the time of the marriage.
- Consanguinity: The spouses are closely related by blood.
- Impotence: One of the spouses is physically unable to engage in sexual relations.
- Underage: One or both of the spouses were under the age of 16 at the time of the marriage.
- Force or duress: One of the spouses was forced or coerced into getting married.
- Fraud or misrepresentation: One of the spouses lied about something important, such as his or her age, ability to have children, or criminal history.
It is important to note that you cannot get an annulment in North Carolina if you and your spouse have children together. If you have children, you will need to get a divorce.
What Is the Difference Between a Divorce and a Legal Separation?
A divorce is a legal proceeding that ends a valid marriage. A legal separation is a legal proceeding that allows a married couple to live separate and apart without ending the marriage.
Here are the reasons why a married couple might choose to get a legal separation instead of a divorce:
- Religious beliefs: Some religions do not allow their members to get divorced. A legal separation allows a married couple to live separate and apart without violating their religious beliefs.
- Health insurance: Some health insurance plans do not cover a spouse who is legally separated. If you and your spouse are legally separated, you may be able to keep your spouse on your health insurance plan.
- Marital benefits: Some government and military benefits are only available to married couples. If you and your spouse are legally separated, you may still be eligible for these benefits.
- Time to think: Some married couples choose to get a legal separation to give themselves time to think about whether they want to get a divorce.
It is important to note that a legal separation does not end a valid marriage. If you and your spouse are legally separated, you cannot get married to someone else. If you want to get married to someone else, you will need to get a divorce.
At our firm, we uphold the highest standards of honesty, wisdom, and integrity. We understand the importance of trust in attorney-client relationships, especially in sensitive family matters. Attorney Annette R. Heim is dedicated to providing transparent and honest communication, guiding you with wisdom gained through experience, and upholding the integrity of the legal profession. You can rely on us to handle your case with professionalism, honesty, and a steadfast commitment to your best interests.
Attorney Annette R. Heim and her team offer more than just legal representation; we provide unwavering support and compassionate advocacy throughout the entire legal process. With us by your side, you can expect dedicated and knowledgeable assistance from the initial consultation to the resolution of your case. We are here to stand up for you and your family's rights, ensuring that your voice is heard in the courtroom.
We recognize that every family case is distinct, shaped by its unique individuals and circumstances. Our firm is committed to developing customized legal strategies tailored to your specific goals and challenges. By understanding your unique situation, we can provide effective and personalized legal solutions to protect your rights and the well-being of your loved ones.
Attorney Annette R. Heim and her firm understand the emotional and financial challenges that accompany family law disputes. We are dedicated to providing compassionate and empathetic guidance, helping you navigate through the complexities of divorce, custody battles, and domestic violence cases.
Annette and her staff helped me when I needed it most. They listened to me, formulated a simple plan, accomplished it and got me even more than I had hoped for.- Pete H.
Annette has represented us for over 12 yrs. She has a quality of class that you can't find in lawyers today. It's not about the money it's about the people she represents.- Gene G.
During these situations, passions can run high. The best thing to do is to keep your head in the game and focus on the best interests of the child/children. Annette is the one that will help you stay focused on the facts, the case, and your goal.- Kelly F.
Annette Heim came in my life exactly when I needed her. She helped me through the most challenging times of my life.- Daisy T.
Integrity and a considerable amount of ability I would highly recommend using Annette Heim to represent your family and the interests of the family. She represented me when I needed her Professional Integrity and someone to represent me.- Ned F.
Annette is a personal friend and once was my attorney. I am proud to know her.- Richard G.
One of the best law firms in North Carolina they continue to amaze me.- Rick C.
Annette and team they are so kind and she will listen to you and just be honest with you. We highly recommend her services.- Kaleigh R.