How Does Simplified Divorce Work?

Apr 9, 2019 by

Yesterday, I received a distressed call from one of my fraternity brothers from my college days. He told me that he had been having a lot of trouble in his marriage recently and that his wife was considering filing for divorce. He asked for my help because he is too emotional to think straight, and he needs advice. He did not know if he needed a lawyer or not and asked me to look into it for him so that he could focus on saving his marriage instead of figuring out how divorce works. I did some research and came across the website for the Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq., which had some very helpful information about divorce proceedings.

The website I found was for a lawyer that specifically practices in the area of simplified divorce, which is a subset of divorce law. In New Jersey, a judge can grant a “simplified” divorce if the two parties to the divorce are able to come to a reasonable agreement about the distribution of assets in the divorce. A simplified divorce is an expedited process that allows you and your spouse to stay out of court as much as possible. I had no idea that this was even an option. There are a few criteria that must be met for a simplified divorce. First, there are no minor children involved, which helps because it eliminates custody, visitation, and child support considerations. Also, both parties must agree that the marriage is ended and cannot be saved. If one party does not agree that divorce is necessary, it will make the process entirely more complex and they might contest issues that should be easily resolved. Finally, both parties must be in agreement about the distribution of marital property, which includes debt. If the partners don’t agree on major assets like house or vehicles, it makes the process much more complicated and adversarial than a simplified divorce.

Even though the divorce may be simplified and expedited, it is still recommended to hire an experienced attorney because even though it is a simplified divorce, there is almost never a truly simple divorce. It’s important to hire an attorney, especially if you are on good terms because it creates a new avenue for the communication about what you want and what you are willing to compromise on. You have an objective third party on your side that is your advocate, and they can communicate your wishes to the other party without the high emotion that can come when two people going through a divorce communicate with each other. You don’t want to give up assets or rights of yours that you really want just to keep the peace and keep your divorce amicable. Additionally, in order to resolve your divorce, you need to create a written agreement that will be presented to the judge in court. This document must be exhaustive and crystal clear with as few ambiguities as possible. Therefore, it’s important to have this document drafted by an attorney that has done this before and will not make the same mistakes a first-timer or an untrained legal writer would make.

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Spousal Support in North Carolina

Jan 2, 2015 by

There are thousands of jokes that touch on the subject of alimony, and most of these give the impression that the alimony receiver (usually the evil wife) is taking advantage of the alimony giver (the poor husband). In reality, however, it isn’t as simple (or as sexist) as all that.

In a marriage, especially one that lasts several years, the husband and wife (or partners in same-sex marriages) get used to a certain way of life. In many cases today, both spouses work but one usually earns much more on which the other spouse depends. In the event of a divorce, as the website of the Marshall & Taylor PLLC explains, spouses will have to cope with a change in their financial situation where the spouse who is earning less will no longer have the income of the more affluent spouse to fall back on to make up the difference in the household expenses. There are cases when the less affluent spouse is unable to make ends meet because he or she has become used to a certain lifestyle.

In North Carolina, spousal support is designed to be rehabilitative; it is not meant to punish one spouse. The aim is to help the less affluent spouse gradually adjust to a different lifestyle as a single person, and that at some point spousal support will no longer be necessary. It is a tricky issue because each case is different and takes careful sifting to identify real needs from imagined ones.

In general, divorce courts in North Carolina will grant two types of spousal support: post-separation support (PSS) and alimony. PSS is typically of limited duration. It is in force until such time as a petition for alimony is granted or denied. If alimony is granted, the PSS gives way to alimony, which can be more or less than the PSS, and is of varying duration depending on how the petitioning spouse presents the case and how circumstances pan out in the future.

If your future ex-spouse is giving you a hard time about spousal support, you need to assert your rights under North Carolina law. Consult with a savvy divorce lawyer in your area to help you prepare your case.

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