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Alimony & Postseparation Support • Child Custody • Child Support • Divorce • Equitable Distribution • Separation Agreements • Grandparent’s Rights
Alimony & Postseparation Support
In the state of North Carolina, postseparation support and alimony are only granted to a spouse who is “substantially dependent upon the other spouse for his or her maintenance and support or is substantially in need of maintenance and support from the other spouse.” If there is no such economic dependency, no alimony or postseparation support will be awarded.
Custody of the children is an important issue in many divorce actions. The goal is to achieve a custody arrangement that meets the best interest of the children. Even simply deciding where the children will spend the holidays or who will have parenting time during summer vacations can affect the emotional well-being of a child.
Child support payments in North Carolina are based upon custody categories and an income-sharing method derived from the gross income of both parents. Rarely does the court deviate from the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines, which also take into consideration variables such as childcare, tutoring, health insurance premiums, counseling and other child-related extraordinary expenses.
The divorce process is often a confusing and painful experience for both parents and children. A competent lawyer is essential in helping clients reach fair and reasonable settlements without wasting time and money on unnecessary legal fees and litigation expenses.
Apart from child custody and support, there is possibly no more divisive issue during a divorce than the fair and equitable distribution of assets and liabilities. North Carolina statutes and case law may be specific about which assets and liabilities are to be divided; however, the difficulty lies in the identification of those assets, their valuation, and the separation of “marital” from “non-marital” assets, as well as constantly changing “divisible property.”
In North Carolina, unlike many other states, there really is no such thing as a “legal separation.” However, in order to be divorced in this state, couples must be physically separated for one year. Separation agreements are not required in this state and therefore do not need to be filed with the courts. Still, it is wise to consult with an attorney when drafting a separation agreement, because once both parties sign it, it is considered a binding contract in the eyes of the law and could be used to formalize the division of property and to obtain orders for custody, visitation, child support and spousal support.
The Supreme Court of the United States of America has created a high burden for third parties who wish to challenge a parent for custody. The law presumes that a parent has a paramount right to raise his or her child. There are exceptions to this presumption, however, including waiver of this paramount right by a parent through certain actions. In addition, working within those parameters, North Carolina has provided some limited means by which a grandparent may request that a court award visitation of a grandchild to a grandparent. In each instance, the specific facts of your situation will help your attorney determine your options. It is essential that you seek legal advice regarding any custody matter whether you are the parent, a grandparent, or other non-parent party seeking custody of a child.
The attorneys at our firm are experienced in complicated and complex matters and are adept in handling all aspects of family law cases with both skill and sensitivity.
Board Certified Specialists in Family Law – N.C. State Bar
Legal Elite – Business North Carolina magazine
North Carolina Super Lawyers – Law & Politics magazine
Best Lawyers in America (Family Law) – Woodward / White
AV Rated for superior legal knowledge and ethical practices – Martindale-Hubbell