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Raleigh Bifurcation Divorce Lawyer

If you are concerned it will take months, even years to finalize your divorce due to complicated settlement issues, such as property distribution and child custody, a bifurcated divorce may be right for you. Unlike most other types of divorce, a bifurcated divorce means the divorce is legally finalized before all the details are complete. 

What is a Bifurcated Divorce? 

Bifurcated divorce is a legal process that allows couples to dissolve their marriage into two distinct phases. In a bifurcated divorce, the court separates the marriage dissolution case from other issues such as property division, alimony, child custody, and support. This means that the couple can legally divorce while still addressing the unresolved matters separately at a later time.

In most divorce cases, the couple must have a comprehensive settlement or agreement in place that includes issues like how property will be divided, how joint financial accounts will split, and any determination of child support or spousal support. However, in a bifurcated divorce, the settlement of marital assets is treated separately from the divorce itself. A judge will grant the divorce decree while the couple and their family law attorneys can negotiate terms outside court. If no settlement can be achieved, a trial date can be set to allow a judge to settle the terms.

Timing of Bifurcated Divorce vs Traditional Divorce

In a traditional divorce, all issues, including the dissolution of the marriage, property division, and child custody, are resolved simultaneously. In contrast, bifurcated divorce allows couples to finalize their marital status quickly and deal with other matters afterward.

Stress Reduction of Bifurcated Divorce vs Traditional Divorce

Bifurcated divorce can be less emotionally taxing because it provides couples with closure on the marriage itself sooner. This can be especially beneficial if one or both parties want to move on with their lives without the ongoing legal ties of marriage.

Flexibility of Bifurcated Divorce vs Traditional Divorce

Unlike a traditional divorce, which may involve lengthy court proceedings, a bifurcated divorce provides flexibility in terms of timing. Couples can finalize their marital status and then address financial, property, and custody matters when they are emotionally and logistically prepared.

Benefits of Choosing a Bifurcated Divorce

Divorce is a complex and emotionally charged process, often accompanied by a myriad of legal, financial, and personal challenges. In many cases, couples find themselves in situations where they want to end their marriage swiftly while postponing the resolution of other critical issues. This is where bifurcated divorce can offer significant advantages. 

Emotional Closure

One of the primary benefits of bifurcated divorce is the ability to attain emotional closure sooner. In a traditional divorce, all matters, including property division, alimony, child custody, and support, are typically addressed simultaneously. This can extend the divorce process and keep emotional wounds fresh. Bifurcated divorce allows couples to legally end their marriage quickly, offering a sense of finality and relief.

Timely Marital Dissolution

In situations where both parties agree on ending the marriage but have disputes or complexities surrounding property, finances, or child-related matters, bifurcation can expedite the divorce process. This can be particularly advantageous when one or both spouses wish to remarry or move on with their lives independently.

Financial Independence

Bifurcated divorce provides individuals with the opportunity to regain financial independence sooner. Once the marital status is legally terminated, parties can make financial decisions, investments, and property transactions without the constraints of a marital relationship. This can be especially important for those who wish to manage their finances separately.

Reduced Legal Costs 

Divorce proceedings can be costly, primarily due to legal fees and court expenses. Bifurcated divorce may reduce overall legal costs because it separates the divorce into phases. The initial phase, which focuses solely on ending the marriage, can be less time-consuming and expensive than addressing all divorce-related matters simultaneously. Parties can then address financial, property, and custody issues later when they are better prepared or have more resources available.

Flexibility in Post-Divorce Planning

By decoupling the marital dissolution from other divorce-related concerns, bifurcated divorce offers flexibility in post-divorce planning. This flexibility allows parties to adapt to their new lives at their own pace. It can be especially beneficial for coordinating parenting schedules, finding suitable housing, or navigating complex property division scenarios.

Customized Legal Strategy

Bifurcated divorce enables couples to tailor their legal strategy to their unique circumstances. They can prioritize their immediate needs, such as ending the marriage or securing temporary support, before delving into more intricate issues. This customization ensures that the divorce process aligns with the couple's specific goals and challenges.

Eligibility for Bifurcated Divorce in Raleigh

A bifurcated divorce is a legal option available to couples in Raleigh, North Carolina, but it is subject to specific eligibility criteria and legal requirements. Before embarking on this unique divorce process, it's crucial to understand if you meet the necessary qualifications.

Residency Requirements

Either you or your spouse must have been a resident of North Carolina for at least one year immediately preceding the filing of the divorce petition. This establishes your eligibility to initiate the divorce process in the state. Meeting the residency requirement ensures that your bifurcated divorce can be filed and processed within the jurisdiction of the North Carolina family courts.

Grounds for Bifurcation

In Raleigh, as in the rest of North Carolina, a bifurcated divorce must have specific grounds, or legal reasons, for seeking this particular type of divorce. 

The most common grounds for bifurcation in North Carolina involve the separation of the spouses. If you and your spouse have been living separate and apart for a defined period (usually at least one year), it can serve as grounds for requesting a bifurcated divorce. It's important to note that this period of separation is distinct from the one-year residency requirement mentioned earlier.

In some cases, other grounds for bifurcation may be accepted by the court, such as issues related to the physical or mental health of one of the spouses. It's advisable to consult with an experienced family law attorney to determine if your specific circumstances qualify for bifurcated divorce based on alternative grounds.

Consent of Both Parties

In a bifurcated divorce, the consent of both parties is generally required. This means that both spouses must agree to the bifurcation and the separation of the divorce process into two phases. If one party objects to the bifurcation, it may not be granted, and the divorce proceedings may continue through the traditional route, where all issues are addressed simultaneously.

Why Choose a Bifurcation Divorce Attorney?

While bifurcated divorce is a fairly new concept in divorce law, there are several reasons this may be beneficial. 

Tax Purposes

If tax time rolls around during your divorce, you would have to file as “married, filing separately,” but if you can finalize your divorce quickly, both of you can file as “single,” on your taxes. This can be beneficial in the event of owning a business or if one of you earns significantly more than the other. 

Desire to Remarry

Some divorces can take years to finalize, and during that time, one or both parties may choose to remarry. A bifurcation divorce attorney can help you finalize your divorce quickly so you can move on to remarry. This can also affect factors in the settlement, such as spousal support, so in this case, bifurcated divorce is especially beneficial.

Prevent Delays

In some cases of contested divorce or issues where there are disagreements about the settlement, one party may try and delay divorce proceedings. Finalizing the divorce itself prevents those delays that keep you from moving on.

Trauma and Domestic Violence

In the event of trauma, such as infidelity, emotional abuse, or domestic violence, finalizing the divorce is a step in healing. Additionally, being divorced can offer additional protection in the case of domestic violence. Some victims are willing to forgo their rights in a divorce settlement, such as property and support if it means finalizing the divorce more quickly. However, a bifurcation divorce lawyer can help get a fair settlement without a victim having to stay legally married.

Consult with a Bifurcated Divorce Lawyer in Raleigh

If you would like to finalize your divorce as quickly as possible without giving up the settlement you deserve, the bifurcation divorce attorneys at The Doyle Law Group in Raleigh can help. We can discuss your options and provide you with the experience and expertise you need to navigate this complex issue. 

Our legal professionals can also walk you through other divorce options, such as collaborative divorce or simple divorce to determine which option is best for your case. 

To learn more about bifurcated divorce or schedule a consultation, contact us today by calling  (919) 301-8843 or filling out the form below to get started. 

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