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.)