Family law attorneys at Greene Crow & Smith, P.A. are well aware that family law is a particularly sensitive area of legal representation. When law and family matters intersect, feelings run high and compromise is even more difficult than usual. If you are a North Carolina resident dealing with the dissolution of marriage, arrangements involving divorce, paternity or domestic violence, or are in need of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, contacting our competent, caring lawyers is a productive first move.
Common Family Law Cases in North Carolina
Our team is adept at complex negotiation and litigation. We are also good listeners and want to understand the elements that make your case unique. We have the knowledge and experience to navigate the turbulent waters of separation and divorce, and we also realize the tremendous importance of protecting any children involved.
Recognizing that restructuring a family is an emotional, as well as a legal, undertaking, we strive to keep tensions low while fighting hard for your best interests. If you are considering separation or divorce, or if your spouse is moving in that direction, we are here to give you responsive, responsible support. Contact our office today for a consultation.
Separation & Family Law in North Carolina
Although a separation agreement is not required for a legal separation in North Carolina, it is a good idea to have one to clarify how funds and debts will be distributed, to establish whether one spouse will be paid alimony or continue to inhabit the family home, and where the children (if any) will live. There are two prerequisites for the state of North Carolina to consider you legally separated:  you must live separately and  at least one spouse must intend for the separation to be permanent.
Divorce in North Carolina
You are only eligible to file for divorce, also known as “absolute divorce” in North Carolina, after living in a separate home from your spouse for at least a year and a day. During that time, at least one of you must have intended that the separation be permanent. It is essential to know that you must wait a year to file for divorce, even if you can prove fault on the part of your spouse. Other important points to know are that in order to file for divorce in North Carolina:
- One spouse must currently live in North Carolina and must have lived in the state for at least 6 months before filing for divorce.
- Even if your spouse does not agree, you can file for, and be granted, a divorce.
- Though your spouse does not have to sign or file any court papers or be in court for the divorce hearing, she or he must receive proper legal notification of the divorce.
Because the divorce laws in North Carolina are atypical, it is more crucial than ever to have a family law attorney familiar with state law to make certain you are not taken advantage of in the divorce process and that all decisions are legally binding.
Distribution of Assets and Alimony
Unless you file for equitable distribution of property and/or alimony at the time you file for divorce, the court will assist you with neither. This means that if you don’t have a strong attorney to protect your rights, you may end up with a lower percentage of marital assets or paying a larger proportion of debts than you deserve. Without a sharp legal advocate, you may also be stuck paying more or receiving less alimony (spousal support) than is appropriate.
Regardless of marital status, in North Carolina, either parent may file for custody of a child under the age of 18 and may seek support for that child. Without the firm intervention of our family law attorneys, you might lose custody or reasonable visitation rights.
All parents throughout the country are required to support their children. If you have custody of a minor child, you are entitled to child support from the noncustodial parent since you are providing for the child’s needs on a day-to-day basis. On the other hand, if you are a male who is uncertain of whether or not you have parental responsibilities, our attorneys can facilitate a paternity test to determine whether the child in question is yours.
Domestic violence is a terrifying aspect of family law with which our attorneys are all too familiar. After finding that domestic violence policies and practices across the state of North Carolina varied too widely to be implemented properly, in 2007, the NC District Court Response to Domestic Violence was created to establish consistent standards of response.
Over the following years, amendments to legislation and procedures have been established to better protect family members from the uncontrolled, malicious behavior of intimates. If you are suffering the overwhelming sense of powerlessness that results from domestic violence, get in touch with Greene Crow & Smith so we can connect you to the resources you need while we begin getting you legally extricated from this dangerous situation.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Family Law Agreements
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements may at first seem to be simple documents designating how marital assets will be divided if spouses someday come to a parting of the ways. In reality, they almost always involve intense emotions as well as complex legal arrangements. In order to protect your financial future, our family law attorneys will use their considerable negotiation skills to get you a fair deal.
Contact Our Experienced North Carolina Family Law Attorneys Today
At Greene Crow & Smith, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of you and your children, whether you are seeking proof of paternity or feel trapped in the horrors of domestic abuse. Our agility as negotiators and aggression as litigators will provide you with the legal support you need in matters of alimony, child support, and distribution of assets. More than that, we will always remember that while we are seeing to it that your best economic interests are served, we are careful to help you preserve the relationships most dear to you. Contact our office for a consultation today!