Order of Operations of the Whole Divorce Proceeding


#1

I live in NC. What is the correct order in which my divorce should proceed? I am thinking of representing myself pro se and filing the papers myself. I know I will need to seek out an attorney for the one pension split that needs to be done (my pension, with half going to my spouse), because I understand that is complicated. But the divorce itself should be uncomplicated, since we are amicable to one another and have hashed everything out. So, the basic elements are 1) agreeing on and writing a separation agreement, 2) have separate living quarters for at least one year before filing divorce papers, 3) filling out all divorce papers and filing them at Hall of Justice, 4) have QDRO paperwork filled out by attorney, then filed. So, is the correct order 1, 2, 3, 4? Or 1, 2, 4, 3? How will I know when it is time to hire and give the information to an attorney for the QDRO for the pension split? Any help is appreciated. Thanks!!


#2

It sounds like you have done your research and are familiar with what needs to be done. 1) and 2) don’t necessarily need to be in that order - you can certainly separate prior to having an agreement in place. You will need to be separated for one year before you can file for divorce; i think you will find our DIY Divorce eBook a very helpful resource. It is a step-by-step guide on how to file for absolute divorce. I would contact the attorney prior to filing for divorce so you can make sure that your divorce complaint contains the appropriate language to preserver the ED claim and provide for the QDRO.