Experiencing marital trouble, contemplating separation, and going through a possible divorce is extremely stressful and emotional. The attorneys at our firm recognize this and strive to listen well, and give sound, reasoned advice and guidance to our clients. The attorneys at our firm have experience with negotiation and mediation, and sometimes we are able to resolve these marital issues in an out-of-Court settlement.
Other times it is necessary to have the Court decide these contested cases in a hearing or trial. Our attorneys are very skilled at interviewing witnesses, hiring expert witnesses, hiring private investigators, preparing for the case for trial, and zealously advocating for the client throughout the trial process.
We represent both men and women, and a sample of the types of cases in this area include:
If a spouse has been unfaithful, the other spouse can file a lawsuit against the cheating spouse’s boyfriend or girlfriend. North Carolina is one of only a few states that allow these types of lawsuits. This type of lawsuit is called alienation of affections, and criminal conversations.
Our attorneys have represented clients who are prosecuting these claims for alienation of affections and criminal conversations, and our attorneys have also defended clients who have been accused of such wrongdoing.
When spouses separate, one of the spouses may need financial support from the other spouse. In North Carolina, we call this post separation support (temporary alimony) for the short term, and then alimony for a longer duration. Whether a client is entitled to such financial support depends on many factors under North Carolina law, and in large part depends on the respective incomes and monthly needs of both spouses.
Our attorneys have vast experience in helping to determine whether a client may receive financial support, in attempting to negotiate a settlement for such financial support, and in litigating that issue in Court if the spouses cannot agree.
When spouses separate, one of the most stressful issues they face involves what will happen to the children, who will care for them, where they will live, and how to support them. Our attorneys believe that the best people to decide these issues are the parents. If the parents (with the attorney’s guidance) can resolve these child custody and child support issues, normally that will be easier on everyone and most importantly on the children.
Sometimes it is not possible to resolve the child custody and child support issues between the parents, and it becomes necessary to fight those battles in Court. Our attorneys are experienced and extremely qualified to zealously represent our clients in Court to fight for custody and/or child support. Prior to and during the trial, it may be necessary to hire counselors, experts or even private investigators. It also may be necessary on occasion to request an emergency custody order.
In North Carolina, divorce typically happens apart from the resolution of all of the other marital issues. In North Carolina, when spouses separate, there are two conditions that must be met before they can get a divorce. First, at least one of the spouses must have lived in North Carolina for at least six consecutive months. Second, the spouses must have lived physically separated and apart from each other for at least one year without resuming the marital relationship.
Often, divorces are relatively simple. However, there are occasions where a complication arises, including a dispute over the date of separation, a question of jurisdiction, when one of the spouses cannot be located, and/or when one of the spouses lives in a foreign country.
Our attorneys are often called upon to step in and fight for someone who has been a victim or domestic violence, or to fight for someone who has been wrongfully accused of committing domestic violence. These types of cases have serious consequences, and can result in a restraining order that can last up to one year or more, and can lead to a person being removed from the home. If you are in a volatile relationship, it is extremely important that you consult with an attorney early on in the process to understand your rights and how to best protect yourself.
When spouses separate, they have property and debts that need to be split up. In North Carolina, we call this equitable distribution. Typically, a spouse is entitled to keep his or her separate property, but the marital property and debts from the marriage are divided between the parties. Sometimes, the distribution of marital assets and debts can be a relatively simple process involving a Separation Agreement. Other times, there may be a need to value a marital home, a spouse’s business or a retirement or pension plan.
Our attorneys have vast experience in helping its clients to sort through these various and sometimes complex property and debt issues, and in litigating those issues in Court if the spouses cannot agree.