Divorce process advice


I’m in the UK looking for a little advice on how to support a very close friend in NC who is about to kick off the divorce process. I have good practical and educational experience of the UK legal system in terms of divorce and family law.

The individual has been having an affair and now wishes to leave their partner. The marriage has been long dead. No sexual relations have taken place, therefore it is not an adulterous case.

Is my understanding correct that;

-The pursuant spouse announces intended divorce to defendant spouse
-Both parties have separation agreements drawn up by an attorney
-Both parties begin living complete and separate lives for 12 months
-Either party (Most likely Pursuant) will file for divorce after 12 months.

If this is correct my concern lies within actions which take place AFTER the parties begin living separate lives. If the Pursuant spouse publicly has a relationship with their new partner after announcing their intention to leave, but BEFORE the divorce is granted - Can this be used against them? Or does ‘living separate lives as if you were single’ constitute the ability to freely and openly engage in a new relationship without fear of further issues?

What is the difference between ‘divorce’ and ‘absolute divorce’?

In a straight forward non contentious case, would either party normally be expected to attend court?

There are children involved and the Pursuant spouse is a full time homemaker with no income - Is childcare/alimony arranged as an entirely separate entity?

My friend will meet with an attorney shortly, however I’m doing my best to support with what limited experience I have of the NC system.

Thank you!

Can anyone elaborate on this? It looks like the process is kicking off immediately!

Relationships that take place after the date of separation but prior to the date of divorce can be used as evidence corroborating that the relationship actually took place before the date of separation. Whether a person should date someone while he or she is separated, but not divorced is a difficult question to answer. We have a video on our website that touches on some of the issues that arise when a party dates prior to divorce.

I’m not sure what you mean when you ask what the difference is between ‘divorce’ and ‘absolute divorce.’ In North Carolina, a person is divorced once they obtain a judgement for absolute divorce, which is a court order signed by the judge.

To obtain an absolute divorce you would not need to appear in court if you hired an attorney to handle the divorce. For other issues (child custody, spousal support, etc.) a court appearance may be necessary.

I think you are asking if child support and alimony are separate from divorce, if so, then yes, these are completely different actions. To get a good understanding of how divorce law works in North Carolina you may consider attending one of our free Divorce Webinars, or having your friend attend one. They are about 45 minutes long and discuss all divorce related matters: child support, custody, equitable distribution, alimony, and absolute divorce. Each of these issues is completely separate.