When families undergo transition, there are complex legal issues that arise. Our firm focuses on protecting your rights and ensuring you receive the best outcome possible.
We provide comprehensive representation and can assist you with:
• Child Custody
• Equitable Distribution
• Alimony/Child Support
• Pre Nuptial Agreements
• Domestic Violence
As with all our work, we handle your case in a confidential and respectful manner, and work with you to develop a strategy that will best accomplish your goals.
If you’re contemplating divorce, or have recently separated from your spouse, it’s vital that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. The better prepared you are from the beginning, the better chance you have of receiving a favorable outcome, and avoiding the mistakes people make while going through this difficult process.
If at all possible, you should talk to an attorney before you do any of the following:
- Tell your spouse you’re thinking of getting a divorce
- Tell your spouse you’ve had an extra marital affair
- Leave the marital residence
- Separate with your spouse
- Take any action regarding your assets
There are so many important life changing decisions and vital financial matters wrapped up in the dissolution of a marriage. Though you can research the laws of the state and the usual practices of the court online, each case is unique. Research will never replace the advice and guidance of a skilled attorney who is familiar with your particular circumstances.
Properly timed legal advice can eliminate problems before they occur, and allow a stressful situation to go much smoother. It can also take away a lot of the anxiety and uncertainty that surrounds the divorce process, which can be a highly technical and complex legal matter
Overview of Divorce in North Carolina
North Carolina is a no fault divorce state. This means that you can get a divorce, for any reason, and no one has to be shown at fault for the marriage to be terminated. The requirements for a divorce are that the parties have lived separate and apart for at least 12 consecutive months without resuming marital relations during that time, and that your paperwork is correctly processed through the court system.
Of course the divorce decree simply shows that the marriage bond created by your wedding ceremony is terminated. It does not address the distribution of your assets, child custody, child support, spousal support, or any other legal issues.
To get more personalized advice, contact our law office for a free consultation today.
NC Divorce FAQ
Overview of Child Custody
Child custody in North Carolina is determined either by a written agreement between the parents or through a court order. Should you go to court, a judge will always make his ruling based on what is in the best interest of the child. The factors that will be considered include, but are not limited to:
- the mental and emotional well being of each parent
- the environment the parent can provide the child
- the parent’s caretaking abilities
- the roles each parent has played so far in the children’s lives
- the amount of time the parent can spend with the child
- the presence of siblings
- the age of the child
- prior acts of the parent (like neglect or abuse)
- alcohol or drug problems of the parents
- the adult relationships of the parents
- religious factors
- the willingness of the parents to allow the child access to the other parent
Until a formal order is in place, either parent could try and change the custodial arrangements simply by moving the child’s place of residence. In fact, a parent could legally move a child out of state without any legal repercussions, providing they weren’t moving them solely to avoid the jurisdiction of the courts. This is why it’s imperative to work on getting a formal agreement in place as soon as possible.
NC Child Custody FAQ
Overview of Child Support
Child support is available in North Carolina until a child reaches the age of 18, or is emancipated from his parents. There are a few exceptions where the support could be extended past that period, for instance if the child reaches his 18th birthday before he’s graduated from high school.
Child support in North Carolina is determined by guidelines based on the combined gross income of the parents, and the number of children in the household. Judges in North Carolina have the discretion to deviate from the standard guidelines when they feel it’s warranted. For instance, in cases where there may be abnormally high medical bills, or long distance travel expenses related to visitation.
NC Child Support FAQ
Overview of Equitable Distribution or Division of Property
The division of marital assets through the courts is meant to be as equitable as possible. In theory, this means that the assets are divided 50/50. Marital assets refer to property that was acquired by one or both spouses during the marriage, and was still owned on the day of separation. Keep in mind that property also refers to debts that are owed as well.
One thing that is excluded from marital property are any gifts or inheritances received from a third party to one spouse, either before or during the marriage. Also, most property owned by a spouse prior to the marriage remains their sole property, though there are instances where the other spouse can gain equity in the asset during the marriage.
Equitable distribution will really depend on the individual circumstances in your case. Contact our law firm to set up a free consultation.
NC Equitable Distribution FAQ
Overview of Alimony
Alimony in North Carolina changed dramatically in 1995. In the past, if a couple could not come to terms on alimony payments, the matter would have to wait to be settled by the judge after equitable distribution had been settled. Now, there is a way for a spouse to receive “postsepearation support” prior to an official award of alimony.
Only spouses who are substantially dependent upon the other spouse for his or her maintenance and support is eligible for these type of funds. The duration of the support varies, typically with younger, more employable spouses receiving shorter terms of support.
NC Alimony FAQ
Domestic violence happens in many homes throughout North Carolina. If you’re one of the 44 million women in the US whose lives have been touched by domestic violence, there are resources available to help. The law in North Carolina allows for swift and effective relief for you and your children.
Read through our FAQ section, and visit the resources we’ve listed at the bottom of that page.
NC Domestic Violence FAQ