01. Family Law
Divorce can be difficult. This is especially true when there are other things to consider like who’s going to care for the children, will I be able to take certain things when I leave, how will I support myself or the children, or will I be able to safely leave? We are here to lighten the burden of these issues and to help focus on solutions that are right for your family.
The following areas are among those that we have experience representing our clients’ interest in family law cases:
• Divorce and Separation
• Equitable Distribution
• Child Custody
• Child Support
• Separation Agreements
• Post-separation Support and Alimony
• Domestic Violence Protective Orders
• Parent Coordinators
Fill out an intake form and we will provide you with information on scheduling an initial consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Separation Agreement required to get a divorce?
No, separation agreements are not required for legal separation in North Carolina. Although it is not required in some cases it may be recommended to have one if both parties agree on the terms of any or all of the family law issues, they may have including child custody, property division, spousal support, and/or child support.
How long does it take for the divorce to be finalized?
It typically takes about 60 days from the filing of the lawsuit for Absolute Divorce for the divorce to be granted by the Court. Once the Civil Summons and Complaint has been served, you have 30 days to file a response and/or any counterclaims that you may have. If you have been served with a Civil Summons and Complaint speak to an attorney immediately to protect your legal rights.
What is the difference between legal and physical child custody?
Legal custody gives the parent(s) the right to make major decisions regarding the minor child i.e. where the minor child will go to school, what medical care the minor child will receive, etc. Physical custody is where the child will live on a regular basis.
Does Child Support have to be paid even if I cannot visit my child?
If you are under a court order to pay child support, you must pay the court-ordered amount even if the other parent is preventing you from visiting the child.
Can I withhold the child if the other parent doesn’t pay child support?
No, under North Carolina law, child support and child custody are two separate legal issues. A parent’s failure or refusal to pay child support is not a basis for the other party denying visitation.
Can my spouse and I resolve issues related to our divorce without filing a lawsuit?
A lawsuit must be filed to obtain an Absolute Divorce, but all other issues i.e. child custody, child support, spousal support, property division can be resolved outside of court.
Can I force my spouse to move out of the marital home?
The easiest way to begin a marital separation is for one spouse to voluntarily move out of the marital home. If neither party is willing to leave the home, then one of the party’s can file a “divorce from bed and board” when there have been marital misconduct on the part of the other spouse. The court would conduct a hearing and if the court finds that offending party committed marital misconduct, then the court can require the offending party to vacate the marital home.
How is child support determined?
North Carolina Child Support Guidelines provide a formula for determining child support obligations.
How is child custody determined under North Carolina Law?
After a claim for child custody is filed, the parties must attend mandatory mediation. If parents are able to agree in mediation, then the judge will adopt the agreement as a court order. If the parents are unable to agree, then the court will set the matter for trial before the judge. The standard that the judge will use to determine custody is “the best interests of the child”.