North Carolina Family Law Basics (7 part series) Part 1 Divorce Venue and Residency Requirements

This is part one of a seven part series regarding the basics of North Carolina Family Law. My name is Nicholas "Nick" Dowgul and I will be guiding you through differing areas of family law in North Carolina.  Today we're starting off by discussing North Carolina's Venue and Residency Requirements.

In North Carolina, divorces are heard in what is known as District Court.  Each county in North Carolina has its own District Court and the county(ies) where a divorce action may be properly heard is known as the location of venue.  A divorce action can be brought in either the county in which the Plaintiff or Defendant Resides.  

Divorces in North Carolina are not fault based and a NC divorce has essentially two elements necessary to be proven by a Plaintiff in a divorce action in order for a divorce to be finalized:

  • One party must be a North Carolina resident for at least 6 months or more 
  • At least one party must purposefully intend to be separated from the other and have actually done so for at least a year prior to filing a complaint for divorce
  • Keep in mind that the NC appellate court has determined in Mallard v. Mallard that "[t]he words 'separate and apart', as used in G.S. 50-6, mean that there must be both a physical separation and an intention on the part of at least one of the parties to cease the matrimonial cohabitation."  This means that the parties cannot co-habitate with each other and be considered separated under NC law.  Co-habitate does mean living under the same roof.

NOTE: If a custody action is filed it must be in the county in which the child has resided for the last 6 months or more.  Also, if a child moves from out of state to NC then the prior state will have jurisdiction if they lived there 6 months or more.  Once the child resides in NC for 6 months, then jurisdiction will lie in this state.

It Ends! Medicaid, Part IV

It Ends! Medicaid, Part IV

When the Presumptive Approach fails, what options are you left with? Until recently, you might find yourself up the creek. But now, North Carolina law gives you a great way to make sure that Medicaid doesn't get money that was meant for you!

Still Going... Medicaid, Part III

Still Going... Medicaid, Part III

We know that Medicaid's subrogation interest is capped.  But how do you finalize what the lien amount is, and what happens when Medicaid's interest conflicts with the lien interests of other providers?

It Continues! Medicaid, Part II

It Continues! Medicaid, Part II

Yes, you have to tell Medicaid about your settlement.  Bummer, I know.  But does Medicaid have to put you on notice of its own subrogation rights?  Answers within! 

Spoiler alert, though.  It doesn't.  Double-bummer.