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Although divorce happens all the time, nobody is really prepared when it comes. Most never expect that they would one day be calling on the services of a divorce lawyer or child custody lawyer.

Despite the fact that nobody is prepared for them, divorces still continue to happen all the time. Currently, the national divorce rate is pegged at 6.9 per 1,000 total population. According to this study, the yearly divorce rate in North Carolina is even higher, at 10 per 1,000 total population.

Divorces are usually an emotionally challenging experience. This is especially so when child custody is an issue to be determined. It is difficult to deal with on any day. Yet, what most do not know is that having a qualified child custody or divorce lawyer on your side can be all the difference between a forgettable experience and the outcome you desire.

At the Law Office of Kathryn Johnston Tart, we have established a reputation for providing a clear resolution to difficult divorce and child custody issues. We understand that divorce can be a turbulent period for our clients and we pride ourselves on delivering service that is thoughtful and considerate. We have helped many clients with divorce and child custody cases like yours to get the positive resolution they desire.

This article explains what you would need to keep in mind before attempting divorce proceedings and how best to go about it.

Legal Issues to Consider Before Filing a Divorce

It is important to consider your options carefully before filing for divorce. There are many to that you must first put into consideration.

For instance, attempting divorce proceedings without properly filing your legal claims can cause difficulty. Failing to resolve matters about alimony or child custody may also leave you with the wrong end of the deal. This may result in the loss of your right to spousal support or even your share of the marital estate.

It is important that you avoid these common mistakes that anxious spouses make when seeking a divorce by considering the following:

Are Children in the Equation?

Children often impact the entire divorce proceedings. Child Support and issues of child custody rank high on the items that complicate divorce and render everything messy. So it is important that you settle these issues before starting the divorce process.

Creating a divorce settlement agreement that outlines the Child Support process would help ensure that you work out the amount of income to be furnished by each party towards the support of the need of the children.

You can also use a prior agreement to prevent the needless battles about who will keep custody of the children or other issues relating to visitation.

Division of the Marital Estate

Property division arrangements must be filed before divorce. Here, you and your spouse will have to work out a formula on what is to be considered marital property, income and marital debt and how these are to be divided between you two.


This is also an issue that must be settled before a divorce, before you lose all your spousal rights. Although spousal support for the dependent spouse and the procedure it is to take are matters that have to be determined by the court after consideration of several factors, a prior resolution can help matters significantly.

Grounds for obtaining divorce

Generally, a person may start divorce proceedings on either of two grounds: fault or non-fault grounds. What this means is that, under various circumstances, partners may institute divorce proceedings for reasons of the fault of a partner or even for no ‘reason’ at all.

Fault grounds include: adultery, alienation, abuse, cruelty/violence, desertion, drug/alcohol addiction, incurable insanity. Fault grounds will vary from state to state though.

Is There Any Difference in Divorce Laws in North Carolina?

In Harnett, Johnston, Sampson and other counties in North Carolina, grounds for a no-fault divorce may be as a result of “irreconcilable differences” or something similar. This means that you do not have to prove fault on the part of either partner in North Carolina.

There are requirements to filing for divorce in North Carolina. To begin with, North Carolina law requires that you must have resided in the State for a minimum of six months before you can be eligible to file for divorce.

Divorce on the Grounds of Living Apart?

In North Carolina, you can get a divorce on the ground of living separate and apart. Living separate and apart means that even though you’re legally married, you and your spouse have not been engaging in traditional marital relationship. It means that you live apart from one another, and have gone so apart that you do not have any intention to reconcile.

Married couples that have lived separate and apart for at least twelve months may be granted a divorce on these grounds when divorce proceedings are initiated by either spouse.

How Long Does the Whole Divorce Process Take?

Usually, if the process moves along without significant issues relating to child custody, support or alimony, the divorce process in North Carolina can be completed in about 360 days.

But, when there is disagreement on any number of issues, the process can take a significantly longer period.

Filing Fee for Divorce in North Carolina

Filing divorce papers in Harnett, Johnston, Sampson and other counties in North Carolina will cost you only $225.00. This is quite reasonable compared to other states though.

Note that this does not include the costs for legal fees. Contact a legal office in North Carolina for further info.

Picking a Divorce Lawyer: Do NOT Add Salt to Your Injury

While divorce itself may be unsavory and emotionally tasking, the process of divorce itself doesn’t have to be.

Top amongst what could go wrong in a divorce process is picking a complicated law firm or the wrong divorce lawyer. With a qualified divorce lawyer that has the experience to handle your case, you can look forward to a stress free resolution.

Here are a few tips to finding the right divorce lawyer or firm that will steer you through the trying times.

Assess Your Situation

It is normal for you to question whether you need a divorce lawyer. This may especially be the case if you and your spouse are on the best terms possible. But, odds are that you will still need the services of a qualified child custody or divorce lawyer. Serious issues can arise in the most unexpected places.

You need a lawyer even more when there are child custody issues to be settled or when your finances or assets are entangled together and complicated.

Even if you want to avoid the whole divorce battle in courts and would instead want an out-of-court mediator, there are many qualified lawyers who are professionals in this regard and can help you achieve a swift, confidential resolution.

What Exactly Do You Want?

This is one topic you should discuss at length with your lawyer. Obviously, ‘sticking it till it hurts’ should not be why you want a divorce. Make sure you are clear on issues like child custody or support, alimony, and who gets what are quite important too.

Depending on your particular situation, what you want out of the divorce is important in determining how smooth your divorce will go. Finding a divorce lawyer who’s on the same page with you is important to ensure a smooth resolution.

Set Up A Budget

Of course, not only should you live within your means, you should also divorce within your means!

Different firms will offer different rates no doubt. But the key thing is not just to go for the cheapest or even the most expensive rate: the key is to find an excellent firm with reasonable rates.

Interview Your Lawyers

Before you hire your divorce lawyer, you should ask them a few questions yourself. This will aid you in determining the one you can trust with such a delicate and important matter like divorce.

You want one who has your best interest at heart, not one that will treat your case as just another payday. Questions you can ask may relate to the expertise or experience and the professional history of such lawyer.

Note that whatever you do, it is very important that you choose a divorce lawyer you’re most comfortable with.

Contact the Best Divorce and Child Custody Lawyers

Contact divorce law offices like the Law Office of Kathryn Johnston Tart for your divorce matters in  Harnett, Johnston, Sampson and surrounding counties in  North Carolina.

At KJT, we provide undivided attention to the individual needs of every single client. We see our clients’ problems as our problems and this is why we always strive for the best possible resolution.

If you would like more information about the divorce process in North Carolina, please get in touch with us at 1-910-892-3112. You can also email us at legalassistant@evanc79.sg-host.com.