(For a printable version, click here.) We are having serious marital problems. When a husband and wife face serious marital problems, they often have difficult legal questions that must be answered. The couple should first try to resolve their differences with the help of a neutral third party such as a minister or a marriage counselor. Lawyers are bound by the Rules of Professional Conduct which prohibit representing both sides in an adversarial — or potentially adversarial — situation.This brochure offers some suggestions and general rules of North Carolina law. If you are not able to resolve marital problems, CONSULT A LAWYER before you or your spouse leaves the marital home. Can we be separated and continue to live in the same house? In order to be separated, the husband and wife must reside at different residences.There is no law requiring a couple to sign a separation agreement.
If both parties committed adultery before the date of separation, alimony is at the discretion of the court.
What if my spouse is ordered to pay alimony and does not abide by the court order?
If a party ordered to pay refuses to do so, the intended recipient may ask the court for an order holding the other party in contempt of court.
The only other ground for divorce in North Carolina is a spouse’s incurable insanity with a separation of three years. It is always wise to consult an attorney about a divorce, even though the divorce may appear to be simple and uncontested.
Divorce cuts off the rights to alimony and equitable distribution.