Chapter 50 - Absolute Divorce / Resumption of Maiden or Premarriage Surname
Effects of Absolute Divorce / Resumption of Maiden or Premarriage Surname
50-11. Effects of absolute divorce.(a) After a judgment of divorce from the bonds of matrimony, all rights arising out of the marriage shall cease and determine except as hereinafter set out, and either party may marry again without restriction arising from the dissolved marriage.
(b) No judgment of divorce shall cause any child in esse or begotten of the body of the wife during coverture to be treated as a child born out of wedlock.
(c) A divorce obtained pursuant to G.S. 50-5.1 or G.S. 50-6 shall not affect the rights of either spouse with respect to any action for alimony or postseparation support pending at the time the judgment for divorce is granted. Furthermore, a judgment of absolute divorce shall not impair or destroy the right of a spouse to receive alimony or postseparation support or affect any other rights provided for such spouse under any judgment or decree of a court rendered before or at the time of the judgment of absolute divorce.
(d) A divorce obtained outside the State in an action in which jurisdiction over the person of the dependent spouse was not obtained shall not impair or destroy the right of the dependent spouse to alimony as provided by the laws of this State.
(e) An absolute divorce obtained within this State shall destroy the right of a spouse to equitable distribution under G.S. 50-20 unless the right is asserted prior to judgment of absolute divorce; except, the defendant may bring an action or file a motion in the cause for equitable distribution within six months from the date of the judgment in such a case if service of process upon the defendant was by publication pursuant to G.S. 1A-1, Rule 4 and the defendant failed to appear in the action for divorce.
(f) An absolute divorce by a court that lacked personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse or lacked jurisdiction to dispose of the property shall not destroy the right of a spouse to equitable distribution under G.S. 50-20 if an action or motion in the cause is filed within six months after the judgment of divorce is entered. The validity of such divorce may be attacked in the action for equitable distribution. (1871-2, c. 193, s. 43; Code, s. 1295; Rev., s. 1569; 1919, c. 204; C.S., s. 1663; 1953, c. 1313; 1955, c. 872, s. 1; 1967, c. 1152, s. 3; 1981, c. 190; c. 815, s. 2; 1987, c. 844, s. 3; 1991, c. 569, s. 2; 1995, c. 319, s. 8; 1998-217, s. 7(a), (b); 2013-198, s. 24.)
50-11.1 - 50-11.4* 50-11.1. Children born of voidable marriage legitimate.
A child born of voidable marriage or a bigamous marriage is legitimate notwithstanding the annulment of the marriage. (1951, c. 893, s. 2.)
* 50-11.2. Judgment provisions pertaining to care, custody, tuition and maintenance of minor children.
Where the court has the requisite jurisdiction and upon proper pleadings and proper and due notice to all interested parties the judgment in a divorce action may contain such provisions respecting care, custody, tuition and maintenance of the minor children of the marriage as the court may adjudge; and from time to time such provisions may be modified upon due notice and hearing and a showing of a substantial change in condition; and if there be no minor children, the judgment may so state. The jurisdictional requirements of G.S. 50A-201, 50A-203, or 50A-204 shall apply in regard to a custody decree. (1973, c. 927, s. 1; 1979, c. 110, s. 11; 1999-223, s. 10.)
* 50-11.3. Certain judgments entered prior to January 1, 1981, validated.
Any judgment of divorce which has been entered prior to January 1, 1981, by a court of competent jurisdiction within the State of North Carolina without a conclusion of law that the plaintiff was entitled to an absolute divorce, but which is proper in all other respects, is hereby rendered valid and of full force and effect. (1977, c. 320; 1981, c. 473.)
* 50-11.4. Certain judgments of divorce validated.
Any judgment of divorce entered as a result of an action instituted prior to October 1, 1983, upon any grounds abolished by Chapter 613 of the 1983 Session Laws as amended by Section 217(O) of Chapter 923 of the 1983 Session Laws, which is proper in all other respects, is hereby rendered valid and of full force and effect. (1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 952.)
* 50-12. Resumption of maiden or premarriage surname.(a) Any woman whose marriage is dissolved by a decree of absolute divorce may, upon application to the clerk of court of the county in which she resides or where the divorce was granted setting forth her intention to do so, change her name to any of the following:
(1) Her maiden name; or
(2) The surname of a prior deceased husband; or
(3) The surname of a prior living husband if she has children who have that husband's surname.
(a1) A man whose marriage is dissolved by decree of absolute divorce may, upon application to the clerk of court of the county in which he resides or where the divorce was granted setting forth his intention to do so, change the surname he took upon marriage to his premarriage surname.
(b) The application and fee required by subsection (e) of this section shall be presented to the clerk of the court of the county in which such divorced person resides or where the divorce was granted, and shall set forth the full name of the former spouse of the applicant, the name of the county and state in which the divorce was granted, and the term or session of court at which such divorce was granted, and shall be signed by the woman in her full maiden name, or by the man in his full premarriage surname. The clerks of court of the several counties of the State shall record and index such applications in such manner as shall be required by the Administrative Office of the Courts.
(c) If an applicant, since the divorce, has adopted one of the surnames listed in subsection (a) or (a1) of this section, the applicant's use and adoption of that name is validated.
(d) In the complaint, or counterclaim for divorce filed by any person in this State, the person may petition the court to adopt any surname as provided by this section, and the court is authorized to incorporate in the divorce decree an order authorizing the person to adopt that surname.
(e) For support of the General Court of Justice, a fee in the amount of ten dollars ($10.00) shall be assessed against each person requesting the resumption of maiden or premarriage surname in accordance with this section. Sums collected under this section shall be remitted to the State Treasurer. (1937, c. 53; 1941, c. 9; 1951, c. 780; 1957, c. 394; 1971, c. 1185, s. 23; 1981, c. 494, ss. 1-4; 1985, c. 488; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 565, s. 1; 2005-38, s. 1; 2010-31, s. 15.9(a).)
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