When a marriage is over, people assume that filing for divorce automatically ends the union. However, you will have to wait to be separated for one year before you can file for divorce. Even though you may be in a hurry to move on with your life, it is not always possible to rush the process. You should work with a divorce attorney in Monroe, NC throughout the process to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible.
How long after divorce papers are signed is it final? The answer depends on whether or not your divorce is contested.
If your divorce is uncontested, it should not be long before it is finalized. Once you have filed your paperwork, you should serve your spouse as soon as possible. They can respond within 30 days after being served.
When the clerk schedules your hearing, you or your lawyer will request the divorce decree. The judge will then sign the decree; the process is complete once the divorce decree has been signed. Keep a copy of the divorce decree as evidence of divorce. It also contains important details such as your child support obligations.
If your divorce is uncontested, you or your attorney cannot really do much to speed up the process once service has been obtained and the court schedules your hearing. Even in the case of an uncontested divorce, you should still seek experienced legal counsel to make sure that your rights are protected.
If your divorce is contested, it will likely take much longer to finalize your divorce. The issue revolves around whether you have been separated for one year; your lawyers need time to gather evidence to prove the date of separation.
You do not have to wait for your divorce to be final in order to:
- divide your assets (equitable distribution)
- determine custody
- determine visitation rights
- determine child support
- and determine spousal support (alimony) if necessary
Those claims are separate from the divorce action and may be heard or resolved before or after divorce. However, equitable distribution and alimony claims must be made, though not resolved, by filing your request with the court prior to a divorce being granted or they will be lost. An experienced family law attorney can raise and preserve the appropriate claims during your divorce action to ensure your rights are not lost.
If you are considering divorce, you should contact a divorce attorney in Monroe, NC. Perry, Bundy, Plyler & Long, LLP is happy to help with your divorce issues. We have over 110 years of combined legal experience and understand that family law issues can be difficult. We do our best to help you feel comfortable and safe. All our attorneys are supportive, passionate, and experienced. We are happy to offer legal solutions and advice when you need them. Contact us today at (704) 631-9396 and book an appointment.