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LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37833
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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Have been separated from husband for over a year - he lives

Customer Question

Have been separated from husband for over a year - he lives in Columbia SC, I live in Raleigh, NC with our young daughter. Want to self-file for divorce with child support and custody agreement. Is it wiser to file divorce papers first and then file the separation/child custody agreement prior to the issuance of the divorce? Or should I file everything together with the court?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 4 years ago.

Good afternoon Nicki,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Had you not lived separate and apart for a year, and you could not therefore sue for divorce on a fault ground, then you would need to file for custody and support initially.

However, as you have been separated for the prerequisite time, you will want to file for the divorce and in the same action, ask for custody of your daughter and support for her. There is no need to duplicate your efforts by filing separate divorce and custody actions. When you file for divorce, the court automatically mandates that you deal with all child custody and support issues in the divorce case.

Soon after you file for divorce, the court will hold a Temporary Hearing at which it will issue temporary orders concerning child custody and support that will remain in place until the final decree of the divorce---at which time a permanent custody and support order will be issued.

You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

I wish you the best in your future,