North State Law has over nine years of experience in litigating a wide range of cases. Over seven years of those have been practicing family law in North Carolina. Our experience extends to divorce, child custody, child support, equitable distribution, post separation support, alimony, and protective orders (DVPO and 50(c)). The firm also handles stepparent adoptions and termination of parental rights.
As most people are aware, a couple cannot obtain a divorce in North Carolina until they have been purposefully and intentionally separate and apart for a year and a day. This requirement creates an opportunity to resolve issues like child custody, child support, equitable distribution, post separation support, and alimony in a separation agreement, if possible. If those issues cannot be resolved between the parties voluntarily, then they will need to be litigated and a district court judge will make a decision.
Child custody is the hottest button area of separation and divorce and for obvious reason. In North Carolina, parents are required by the court to attend mediation. Mediation will only occur after each parent completes mediation orientation. Both mediation orientation and mediation can be conducted virtually. The most important thing to remember in regard to custody is that a custody schedule and how a child is raised shall be in the child’s best interest.
Thankfully, in North Carolina, child support is relatively straight-forward. What I mean by that is the state has taken out some of the leeway for argument by having a child support guideline worksheet, which can be found here. The worksheet is an algorithm that advises one parent the amount of child support he or she is required to pay the other for child support.
Marital property and debt in North Carolina are settled by equitable distribution. That means there is a presumptive 50/50 split of marital assets and debts. Now, that presumption can be rebutted if certain factors come into play.
Post Separation Support and Alimony
Post separation support is a way for a dependent spouse to be supported by a supporting spouse during the course of the yearlong separation time period. Once that time period has ended and prior to the divorce entry, Alimony can either be agreed upon or ordered by the court. Both causes of action require that one party be found to be a dependent spouse while the other spouse found to be the supporting spouse if each spouse meets the respective statutory definition.
Whether parties were in a romantic relationship or not, there are ways for court ordered protection against an abusive or harassing ex or another person. North Carolina has no contact and domestic violence protective orders available to people who have been physically abused by another, harassed by another, or have had interactions from another person that violate the chapter 50b or 50c statute.
North State Law understands that separation can be stressful so we strive to resolve matters when resolution can be obtained. To that end the firm also drafts pre & post-nuptial agreements and separation agreements. We always stay prepared to present your case in court and we vigorously advocate for our clients when it’s apparent that a compromise will not come to fruition.