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Divorce in Rutherford County
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Online Divorce in Rutherford County
Please note: OnlineDivorce.com is not eligible to provide legal advice. This service is intended for the preparation of divorce paperwork in Rutherford County, and all over the US. All the information below is for informational purposes only.
Spouses who strive for a peaceful separation by reaching an agreement on all issues can file for an uncontested divorce in Rutherford County. An uncontested divorce is the fastest and easiest way to get divorced since litigation is unnecessary.
Instead of a divorce trial, before filing for divorce in Rutherford County, the spouses should resolve important matters such as the distribution of property, child custody, visitation, finances, etc., and sign a Marital Settlement Agreement out-of-court. If the judge reviews and deems the terms of dissolution to be fair, the dissolution will be granted with minimal drama.
In some simple cases, the spouses can even get a no-contest divorce in Rutherford County without a lawyer. A do-it-yourself divorce is a valid and cheap option, though it requires some effort with the paperwork. That is where OnlineDivorce.com becomes a viable option to assist with the process. OnlineDivorce.com gives those who want to obtain an inexpensive and quick divorce in Rutherford County assistance with divorce papers matters. With this service, you can fill out the documents on your own without having to seek information about Family Law.
OnlineDivorce.com collects the divorce papers needed for your particular case and completes them at an affordable price. The printable court-ready divorce documents will arrive in your email within just a couple of days. Since paperwork is the most crucial and difficult step of any uncontested dissolution, OnlineDivorce.com speeds up the length of the whole process by preparing the necessary divorce forms quickly and accurately, allowing you to avoid undue stress and effort.
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Valid grounds to get divorce in Rutherford County
North Carolina is a no-fault state, so neither spouse has to use fault-based grounds or prove the other party's misconduct to apply for divorce in Rutherford County.
Under the North Carolina General Statutes, Sec. 50-6, one no-fault ground for divorce is "Separation without cohabitation for at least one year (with no hope for reconciliation and no resumption of marital relations)." Wherein, if it turns out that the parties have renewed the marital relationship/spent the night together/etc., this one-year timeline may be reset.
Another no-fault ground for dissolution of the marriage is "Incurable insanity, which caused the parties to live separate and apart for three consecutive years." This ground must be proven by the testimony of licensed physicians before the court.
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When getting a divorce in Rutherford County, spouses who have minor children can write a parenting plan that outlines how they are going to allocate their parental rights and liabilities after separation. The judge will typically approve the parenting plan so long as the best interests of the children are met.
If the parents cannot come to an agreement on their own, the court will intervene to resolve issues.
Both joint and sole custody to either parent may be awarded in a divorce with children involved. When it comes to child custody, North Carolina courts are guided by the best interests of the child. The matters of legal and physical custody are considered on a case-by-case basis, after weighing the factors including but not limited to:
the child's preferences provided that he or she is mature enough;
the child's safety, education plan, and other reasonable needs as well as the parents' ability to provide such needs;
the child's relationship with each parent, siblings, and other family members;
each parent's schedules, distance, parenting skills, and financial condition;
any history of domestic violence, negligence, or substance abuse;
the mental and physical health of all the parties involved.
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Rules for child support in Rutherford County
Child support is the amount of money needed to meet the reasonable needs of the children. Child support payments must cover food, clothing, health insurance, reasonable education expenses, and in some cases, extraordinary medical expenses, and travel costs.
In Rutherford County, North Carolina, child support is determined by using the official North Carolina Child Support Guidelines, unless the parents agree to a different amount.
Child support may be ordered via the spouses' request to approve their Voluntary Support Agreement or through a court order that includes child support.
The factors the court considers when assigning child support obligation are:
the reasonable needs of the child;
the standard of living maintained before a separation;
any joint or shared custody arrangements;
each parent's ability to pay;
each parent's needs;
any prior obligations of a parent to pay child support or alimony;
and any other relevant factors.
The amount of child support can be calculated by using the Child Support Worksheet which helps to generate an appropriate North Carolina child support obligation for each particular case, taking into account each spouse's financial information including incomes, taxes, and retirement contributions.
Rules for spousal support in Rutherford County
According to the North Carolina General Statutes, Sec. 50-16, either spouse may move for alimony. The court awards alimony to the dependent spouse upon the condition that one party is a dependent spouse, the other party can pay, and the award of alimony is equitable in a particular case. For example, in a divorce in Rutherford County, if a dependent spouse has committed adultery, the award of alimony typically cannot be considered fair and relevant.
In general, the court determines the amount and duration of payment of alimony on a case-by-case basis after weighing all relevant factors, including:
each party's income and earning capacity;
each spouse's age and health;
the length of the marriage (alimony requests in divorces after 10 years of marriage or more have more chance of being granted);
each spouse's contribution to the education or increased earning power of the other spouse;
the standard of living established during the marriage;
each spouse's separate property;
each spouse's reasonable needs;
and any other factors concerning the financial circumstances of the couple that may deem essential.
Uncontested Rutherford County divorce with children
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Property division in Rutherford County
North Carolina is an equitable distribution state. According to the North Carolina General Statutes, Sec. 50-20, in a dissolution, "there shall be an equal division by using net value of the marital property and the net value of the divisible property unless the court determines that an equal division is not equitable." So, all the spouses' marital assets should be divided equitably (even if not equally), and the separate property of each party, which includes property owned before marriage, inherited property, and gifts from someone other than the spouse, shall remain with the initial owner.
If an equal distribution is not deemed fair, the court considers the following factors in determining how property must be divided in a particular divorce case in Rutherford County:
each spouse's income, separate property, and earning capacity;
each party's liabilities;
the length of the marriage;
each spouse's age and health;
any equitable claim to, or direct or indirect contribution made to the acquisition of such marital property by the party not having title;
the liquidity of the marital property;
and any other factors which may be relevant for a particular case, and anything the judge considers as significant.
Mediation support in Rutherford County
In Rutherford County, North Carolina, mediation, as well as parenting classes, can be ordered in all suits with custody issues involved, and primarily if parents dispute child custody. Mediation is committed to encouraging the peaceful and mutually-beneficial negotiation between the parties so that they can create their Parenting Plan and avoid litigation as well as any traumatic experiences for their child.
How to file for divorce in Rutherford County | Step-by-Step
The spouses must meet North Carolina residency requirements to get a divorce in Rutherford County. According to the North Carolina General Statutes, Sec. 50-6, either the plaintiff or defendant in the suit must be a resident in the State for at least six months before filing for divorce. The couple may terminate the marriage in Rutherford County if one of the spouses currently resides there.
In Rutherford County, the plaintiff has to file the Petition (Complaint), Summons, and other relevant forms with the local clerk of court. Family law Complaints are filed in the District Court Division of the North Carolina General Court of Justice.
There is no one standard form for the Complaint, so if the plaintiff wants to file for property division or alimony, he or she has to include these requests in the Complaint.
The petitioner must pay a court filing fee.
After filing the petition, the plaintiff should learn how to serve the other party with copies of the divorce forms. In Rutherford County, the serving process can be accomplished with the help of the sheriff, who will personally serve the defendant with the papers, or via certified mail, FedEx, or UPS. The plaintiff is not allowed to deliver the documents on their own.
Upon receiving the papers, the defendant has 30 days to file an Answer. After the waiting period has passed, a date for the court hearing can be set. In an uncontested case, the spouses can obtain their divorce right away after the hearing.
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Filing fees for divorce in Rutherford County
How much a divorce can cost in Rutherford County depends on whether the spouses contest the case, whether they use the help of legal representatives, and many other individual circumstances. In any case, a legal proceeding always starts with a court filing fee. The average filing fee in North Carolina is $225, and it is mandatory for all petitioners except those qualified to file as indigents.
How long will it take?
How long it takes to finalize a divorce in Rutherford County will depend on numerous factors. Contested proceedings can be very long-drawn because of all the court hearings. However, if both parties agree on all legal issues that judges consider when reviewing a case, they can end a marriage in the shortest possible terms.
An average amicable dissolution in North Carolina typically takes a little over 30 days (if the spouses have already been separated for a year). But the exact length of a divorce procedure cannot be predicted.
Filing for divorce in Rutherford County | Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a divorce cost in Rutherford County?
The cost of any termination of the marriage in Rutherford CountyCounty starts with a court filing fee, which is mandatory for all petitioners. At the same time, the rest of the possible expenses vary significantly from case to case. Contested suits are typically much more expensive since the attorneys charge hourly fees. An uncontested divorce can be arranged for a so-called flat fee, or with the help of an online divorce service, or even without any assistance and payments (Pro Se, or DIY-divorce).
How do you file for divorce in Rutherford County without a lawyer?
Filing for divorce without a lawyer is called Pro Se legal representation. It is a legitimate option, though it is not advised for spouses involved in a contested proceeding, or for those whose situation is complicated. As an alternative, the spouses who proceed as self-represented litigants may use the help of professionals just in particular aspects of their case (for example, document preparation, evaluation of the business, parenting classes).
What forms are required for an uncontested divorce in Rutherford County?
The most common legal forms the petitioner has to file to terminate the marriage in North Carolina include:
Divorce Complaint (No Children) and Complaint
Domestic Civil Action Cover Sheet
Certificate of Service
Acceptance of Service
Affidavit of Service by Registered or Certified Mail
Judgment for Absolute Divorce and Divorce Judgment
Certificate of Absolute Divorce or Annulment
If the spouses have minor children, the following forms must be filed along with the Complaint:
Child Support Worksheet
In the process of separation, many additional legal forms may be required, depending on the case circumstances.
Can I file for legal separation in Rutherford County, North Carolina?
In North Carolina, legal separation is called Divorce from Bed and Board (a "DBB"). A DBB is available only under fault-based grounds like adultery, cruelty, drug abuse, etc. DBB is an option that allows spouses to separate due to extreme circumstances even if they do not meet requirements for dissolution. After separating based on the DBB order, the spouses have to wait one year to end the marriage legally.
When is it allowed to remarry after a divorce?
In North Carolina, either party is allowed to remarry right after an absolute divorce is granted. Nevertheless, the former spouses typically do not remarry for at least 30 days, which is the permitted period for appeal of the judgment.
Divorce in Rutherford County online
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We complete the necessary forms for clients based on their answers given in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to understand family law or read through complicated instructions to figure out how to fill out the forms themselves.
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We save our clients time and money - if divorcing spouses agree regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer to handle their divorce forms and don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.
We guarantee 100% court approval on divorce papers prepared through our website or your money back - we have 21 years of experience in completing divorce forms so clients can be sure the court will accept their documents without issues.
Divorce Courts in Rutherford County, North Carolina
Rutherford County District Court
229 N. Main St., Rutherfordton, North Carolina 28139
With a contested divorce, spouses will have to go through numerous steps before the divorce is finalized, including:
prepare, file, and serve (deliver) the divorce petition
respond to the petition
interview and hire an attorney
pre-trial legal motions and hearings
settlement proposals and negotiations between attorneys
if settlement fails, prepare for and complete a court trial
appeal, if you dispute the trial judge’s decision(s)
Prepare to pay exorbitant attorney's fees - at least $2000-3000 depending on your case’s complexity.
Hourly rates vary with different attorneys and average $250-300 per hour. In rural areas, attorneys
may charge less. However, if you live in a large city, local attorneys may charge up to $1000 per hour.
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hidden fees, e.g., for any, even the simplest, revisions
outdated divorce forms causing court rejection
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