We understand that the fallout from a romantic relationship or marriage can be a stressful occurrence, and even more stressful when children are involved. It is very common that former spouses and parents have a very difficult time agreeing to terms because of the amount of emotion and potential contempt resulting from the relationship. However, one big secret in the family law world is that when parties can peacefully agree the legal fees are significantly cheaper than when parties fight. The difference can be tens-of-thousands in legal fees.
Traditional family law firms and family lawyers want their clients to fight, and perhaps encourage it. Why? Because they can continue to bill you for the amount of court appearances and documentation that will ensue.We are different! While we could do the same thing; we believe it is more beneficial to everyone involved if the parties can maturely and amicably agree to reasonable and fair terms.
Therefore, our firm is limited to representing family law clients who are seeking consented agreements and will not be looking to fight with their former lover. We offer reasonable prices to handle domestic disputes and we even provide mediation counseling services to allow parties to discuss their issues with one of our attorneys to help them find middle ground.
In an ideal scenario, the parents are able to work together to reach an agreement on how to share custody of their children. In cases where the parents can agree on a custodial arrangement, the agreement should be formalized to avoid future disputes.
Both parents are required to share the financial responsibility to support their child/children. Child support payments are generally based upon the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines and take into consideration the parties’ gross incomes, the number of children, health insurance and child care costs, extraordinary expenses, and the custodial schedule.
North Carolina follows the rule of 'Best Interest of the Child', which clearly means that the legal system tries to implement an environment that is in that child's best interest. Any responsible parent knows that arguing, fighting, and making the custody battle about personal issues is not in the best interest of their child.
North Carolina is an "equitable distribution" state. This means an equal division of all marital property is typically considered "equitable" although the court may consider factors that may make an equal division inequitable.
Marital property includes all property acquired from the date of marriage to the date of separation - with the exception of property that was inherited by or gifted to a particular spouse. Property is generally considered marital property if it was acquired during the marriage with marital funds (typically funds earned during the marriage by either party) regardless of which spouse has his or her name on the title.
In North Carolina, parties must be separated for a period of one (1) year before they may seek an absolute divorce. In addition, you or your spouse must be a legal North Carolina resident for at least six months before filing. If these criteria have been satisfied, you can file a lawsuit in District Court asking for a divorce.
When a marriage comes to an end, there are many issues that must be resolved and agreed upon by the spouses. A separation agreement in North Carolina may address and resolve any or all aspects of financial support (post-separation support, alimony, child support), children's issues (child custody, visitation) and the equitable distribution of property.
There are two types of spousal support: post-separation support and alimony. Post-separation support is temporary support that is usually paid until an award of alimony is granted or denied. Alimony is ongoing financial support paid from one spouse to the other for a term and amount agreed upon by the spouses or ordered by the court.
Spousal support is typically paid when one spouse is financially dependent (the dependent spouse) upon the other spouse (the supporting spouse). The amount of support is based on many factors, including the parties' financial needs, their accustomed standard of living, their incomes, and their reasonable expenses. Many other factors, such as marital misconduct, may be considered. Unlike child support, there are no "guidelines" or formulas for the appropriate amount of alimony.
Domestic Court Filing Fees:
District Court (Custody & Visitation): $125
Divorce w/ Name Change: $235
Name Change: $120
Counterclaims & Crossclaims: $150