If you are preparing to end your marriage, you are certainly not alone. According to data from the NC State Center for Health Statistics, nearly 3,000 divorces happen each year in Wake County alone. Most people want to finalize their divorce in the most efficient, cost-effective, and amicable manner possible. In North Carolina most divorces are uncontested — meaning, a settlement is reached out of court.
This raises an important question: Do we need a North Carolina divorce lawyer if we already agree on everything? The short answer is ‘yes ’— there are a number of different benefits to retaining a divorce attorney. In this article, you will find an overview of the key advantages of hiring a lawyer to help with an uncontested divorce in North Carolina.
Four Benefits of Hiring a Raleigh Divorce Lawyer for an Uncontested Divorce
1. You and Your Spouse May Only Think You Agree On Everything
As a starting point, it is important to emphasize that you should not assume that you and your spouse actually agree on everything until you have a final settlement agreement in place. In many uncontested divorce cases, a couple who is on relatively good terms thinks that they agree on everything only to find areas of sharp disagreement once they actually dig down into the details.
In North Carolina, a divorce cannot be finalized until you have living arrangements sorted out (who is staying, who is moving), all property and debts have been divided, spousal support (alimony) has been resolved if it is an issue, and any matters related to child custody, child visitation, and child support have been completely worked out.
2. A Lawyer Will Guide You Through the Legal Process and Handle the Divorce Paperwork
Filing for divorce in North Carolina is not easy. There is a lot of paperwork that needs to be completed, submitted, and approved by the court. You do not want issues with the paperwork to slow down the divorce process or otherwise cause problems.
An experienced Raleigh, NC divorce lawyer will make sure that all of the paperwork is handled properly. Your divorce attorney will save you time, effort, and stress and give you peace of mind knowing that your case is proceeding the right way.
3. An Uncontested Divorce Can Become a Contested Divorce
Most couples opt for an uncontested divorce in North Carolina because it is faster, less expensive, and far less stressful. Divorce litigation can drag on. It is always best to work towards a mutually agreeable settlement—especially when the parties are generally on the same page.
That being said, it is possible for an uncontested divorce to transition into a contested divorce in North Carolina. There is a risk of this happening in uncontested divorce cases where the parties opt to forgo seeking professional legal representation. Triangle Divorce Lawyers can help with the goal of making sure your uncontested divorce proceeds as smoothly as possible, proactively addressing any unexpected disagreements before they grow into full-blown disputes.
4. A Divorce Attorney Will Make Sure that Your Mutual Interests are Protected
Finally, a lawyer will make sure that you and your spouse avoid any mistakes that could inadvertently harm both of your mutual financial interests. A divorce settlement must be structured properly. Otherwise, it could cause problems for both parties. As an example, imagine that you and your spouse agree to split up the proceeds of an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) 50/50 as part of your divorce settlement.
Simply making a withdrawal and dividing the money is a major mistake. You need to do it in the proper legal manner, with a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). As explained by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a QDRO is a specialized type of court order that allows parties to a divorce to divide certain tax-protected retirement benefits without penalty. A North Carolina divorce attorney will ensure that this and other similar matters are handled the right way.
Contact Our Raleigh, NC Divorce Team Legal Guidance and Support
Getting divorced is complicated and there is much to consider especially when children are involved. There are many issues that need to be resolved—from filing the right paperwork to property division to child custody and child support (for parents). You do not have to navigate the process on your own.
If you have any specific questions or concerns about uncontested divorce or the divorce process in general, contact the team at Triangle Divorce Lawyers today to schedule your case review.