For many different reasons, men face some unique challenges when getting divorced. While society has transformed and the laws have changed, there are still some biases against men that remain within the family law system. Men who are getting divorced need to know how to protect their legal rights. If you are ending your marriage in North Carolina, you should know how divorce law for men could impact your case.
North Carolina Divorce Law: Technically Gender Neutral, More Complex in Practice
Under United States law, divorce and family law issues are supposed to be handled in a gender neutral manner. Notably, in 1979, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down an Alabama state statute that mandated that only men could be required to pay alimony to their former spouse (Orr v. Orr). The Alabama law allowed women to escape paying spousal support, even if they were the primary breadwinner. In the decision, the nation’s highest court made it clear that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits states from enacting laws that treat men and women differently. Divorce law must be gender neutral.
Though North Carolina divorce law is supposed to be applied in a gender neutral manner, the reality is far more complicated than that. Ultimately, all legal cases are decided by human beings. Often, divorce cases are resolved after there has been a deep review of the individual facts of the case, and after a number of judgment calls have been made on key issues. This opens up the potential for bias within the system. In certain areas — especially in child custody, child support, property division, and alimony — antiquated views on traditional gender norms could create challenges for men looking for a fair process.
Why You Need a Lawyer Who Understands Divorce Law for Men
In generations past, it would be assumed that the wife would get primary custody of the children, regular child support, and perhaps even spousal support from her former husband. Though North Carolina law no longer makes these explicit presumptions, courts and judges may still have some preconceptions against men. It is crucial that any unjust biases are identified so that men who are getting divorced can assert their parental rights and protect their financial interests.
By working with a North Carolina divorce lawyer who has experience representing men, you can be confident that your case will be handled in the proper manner. Your lawyer will be able to put together the strongest possible claim to ensure that the law is applied fairly. For men going through a divorce, strong advocacy, attention to detail, and proper framing of the case are all critically important.
Speak to Our Wilmington, NC Divorce Attorneys Today
At Speaks Law Firm, we have extensive experience representing men in complex divorce cases. We also handle the full range of fathers’ rights issues. To set up a fully confidential consult with a Wilmington family law attorney who understands divorce law for men, please do not hesitate to contact our Wilmington law office today.