Charlotte Family Law Attorney
Most family law matters require the advice of an experienced family law attorney. Our attorneys have helped many clients in the past on a full range of legal issues, including child custody, spousal support, and divorce. Our highly experienced Charlotte family law attorneys will do our best to negotiate or mediate a solution outside of the court. However, if the case needs it, our experienced litigation attorneys will fiercely protect your interests at trial.
In order to get a divorce in North Carolina either you or your spouse must reside in the state for six months prior to the complaint being filed. Also, you must establish that you have been separated from your spouse for a continuous one-year period with no intent to resume marital relations. Living separate means no longer living under the same roof, even if you are in different bedrooms. One spouse must move out of the home. This can be a difficult change to make for many reasons, including financial. It is recommended you speak with a family law attorney before making any decisions about who moves out. A divorce often begins with one spouse filing a complaint that is served on the other spouse. The other spouse can then answer the complaint and present any issues of their own.
If there are not many issues at hand an absolute divorce can be the best course of action. There are certain legal requirements that must be met and if those requirements are met, a court judgment can legally end the marriage. There is no fault determined on behalf of either party in an absolute divorce.
Custody of any minor children is often the issue that causes the greatest amount of stress and anxiety on the parties. In North Carolina, judges decide custody issues based on the best interest of the child(ren). There are two types of custody, legal and physical. Custody can be shared or granted to one parent. Temporary custody arrangements can be made during the pendency of the divorce or separation. Factors that are considered in a custody determination include past conduct of the parents, wishes of the children, caretaking capacities and home environments, time each parent has to devote to the child and any claims of domestic violence.
In North Carolina there is a formula used to determine if child support is owed and how much. The formula used differs depending on the amount of time the child or children are with each parent through the year. Child support does not automatically terminate when a child reaches 18 if there are multiple children receiving support. To see if you qualify to terminate or modify child support obligations, come in and meet with us to discuss your particular situation. If you were awarded support and the other parent is not making payments, you can make a motion to withhold their wage
State of North Carolina Child Support Forms:
Please be aware this is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be considered legal advice.
Alimony, either temporary or permanent, can be awarded if one spouse is shown to be “substantially dependent” on the other spouse for his or her “maintenance and support”. There is no automatic right to alimony in North Carolina nor is there a formula like there is to determine child support. The right to alimony and the amount can be decided in a separation agreement or by a judge based on your particular circumstances. Factors that are considered in determining alimony include the duration of the marriage, marital misconduct, earnings and potential earnings of spouses, standard of living during the marriage, spouses’ education and ability to be employed, and the age and overall health of each spouse including any special needs. Especially important in 2018/2019 are the tax ramifications of alimony. Tax ramifications have changed, and all orders entered after 1/1/2019 are subject to that change. Make an appointment today with our family law lawyers to talk about your particular situation to see if this change could affect you.
When it comes to distributing and dividing property in a divorce, North Carolina is an equitable distribution state. This means that the court will identify all the property and debts of each party. The court then classifies them as either marital, separate, or divisible property. Marital and divisible property are subject to the equitable distribution. Once classified, the market value of the property and debt will be determined. If there is a family business involved, the process to determine its value can be complex and burdensome. After making its assessments and determinations the court will divide the property and debt equitably to both spouses. Marital fault, if any, is not a factor to be considered in claims for equitable division.
Often times a separation agreement can be beneficial to both parties. A separation agreement is an agreement that parties reach outside of court. Child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution can all be addressed in a separation agreement. The benefits of a separation agreement include having more control over what happens and not letting a judge determine your fate. Although there are factors that govern the issues during a divorce, at the end of the day many of the decisions are determined at the discretion of the judge. Separation agreements can also be less expensive because the process is shorter and there is not as much court time required as there is in litigation.
Highly Experienced Family Law Attorneys in Charlotte, NC
If you have any family law matter in Charlotte or vecinity including Mecklenburg, Gaston, Union, Cabarrus, Stanly and Cleveland Counties call us today at (704) 800-4220. You may also fill out the online form located on this page and we will contact you shortly. We value your privacy and will keep your information confidential