Recently, Fox 8 reported about cities across the country where divorce is on the rise. Journalist Mary Kay Blakely compared the psychological toll of divorce to a triple coronary bypass. The article noted that divorce was not only expensive, but also complicated and connected to various medical problems. Thousands of people divorce each year. Around 50% of all marriages in the country conclude in a divorce. The United States ranks twelfth in the world for percentages of marriages that terminate in divorce. If you’re considering separating from your spouse, it’s worthwhile to speak to a North Caroline divorce lawyer to know your options.
The composition of our country’s divorced population has transformed over time. Certain cities have seen a huge increase in divorce. A leading genealogy research website called MooseRoots conducted a study of the percentage change of populations in various cities. In its calculation of this change in each state’s divorced population between 1970-2010, three North Carolina cities appeared on list of the top 25 cities.
The North Carolina city that was highest on the list came in at number 4 of all cities listed. It was Greensboro, North Carolina. The percent of those who divorced in 1970 was 3.02. The percentage of divorced couples in 2010 was 10.83. The percentage change between those years was 260.
The next highest North Carolina city that came in at number 9 on the list was Charlotte, North Carolina. The percentage of divorced copules in 1970 was 3.28, while it was 10.18 in 2010. The percentage of change between 1970-2010 was 209.09. Number 10 on the list was Raleigh, North Carolina, where 3.23% were divorced in 1970 compared to 9.76% divorced in 2010. Raleigh’s percentage change between 1970-2010 was 206.25.
Historically, North Carolina required a plaintiff trying to obtain a divorce to prove fault. Today, North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state in the sense that an absolute divorce is based on separation, rather than fault. An absolute divorce terminates the marital contract such that the parties aren’t married any longer. You must be a resident of North Carolina and you must have been separated from your spouse for a minimum of 12 consecutive months to be eligible. However, neither of the spouses is required to claim that the other is at fault for the marriage breaking down to get a divorce. Even so, the court is allowed to consider the parties’ conduct when dividing assets and debts, determining custody, and determining alimony.
Less commonly employed in North Carolina is divorce from bed and board, which suspends the obligation and rights of marriage. It is a legal separation, but unlike absolute divorce, it doesn’t make the plaintiff eligible for remarriage and it is based on fault grounds. One reason couples might choose to file for divorce from bed and board is to get released from spousal support rights.
Every divorce in North Carolina is different, and divorce is on the rise in the cities on Fox 8’s list for a multiplicity of reasons. It remains important to consult an experienced family law attorney about your particular situation. Numerous sensitive issues may arise during a divorce and the way these issues are decided by a court can affect your future for years to come. If you are planning to get a divorce in North Carolina, you should consult dedicated family law attorneys. Contact the Woodruff Family Law Group at 336.272.9122 or via our online form.
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