No matter how your family structure looks, divorce causes significant changes and stressors for everyone involved. Even the most amicable divorces bring forward issues and emotions that can be challenging to deal with, causing increased tension in a situation that is already fraught with stress. It is important to navigate these situations carefully to preserve your ongoing relationships with your family members and achieve divorce terms that truly work for everyone.
Family law attorneys can provide essential support during the divorce process. Hiring a divorce lawyer ensures that your divorce terms are fair and straightforward, which can help to create a solid foundation for your new family structure. Good family lawyers can be the difference between a high-stress divorce and one that is relatively efficient and peaceful.
North Carolina family law is complicated, but the right family lawyers can help you through the process. Our team at Lehnhardt Price Family Law provides family law and divorce services that are unmatched in the Monroe area. We are your best option for divorce services in North Carolina.
For many years, our team has been providing our clients with personalized, one on one legal services that support the best possible legal outcomes. Unlike other firms, when you work with us, you will spend a significant amount of time with your attorney. This focused attention allows us to truly understand your situation and develop creative solutions to your legal problems. We are a small operation that truly cares about each of our Monroe family law clients.
When looking for divorce attorneys, it is important to find representation that makes you feel comfortable and supported. We provide compassionate, empathetic legal representation aimed at making you feel as safe and empowered as possible. Our North Carolina divorce attorneys will listen closely to your story, your concerns, and your ongoing goals to develop divorce terms that support you in the long run. We focus on creating a new, healthy life for all our divorce clients. Though this time may be fraught with unknowns, we try to make your future as bright and stable as possible.
As with any state, North Carolina has a specific set of rules and laws surrounding divorce. When you are undergoing the divorce process, it is essential that you understand these laws so that you know what to expect. You will likely need to meet specific requirements to move ahead with your divorce.
North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that many common reasons for divorce are not acceptable through the North Carolina court system. For example, you cannot seek a divorce because of adultery, as that is a factor of fault.
Instead, you have two grounds for divorce that you may choose from. They are:
Separation is strictly defined by North Carolina law. Though you do not have to officially file for separation, you do have to live separately from your spouse for the separation to be legally recognized. This means that you must live apart for at least one year before you can file for divorce.
Though this may be frustrating in some situations, it prevents couples from making rash decisions about their marital status. This year of separation helps to ensure that the couple truly wishes to divorce one another before they embark on the process of divorce.
When you go through a divorce, it may be tempting to try to save money by representing yourself. Though this may make sense at first glance, you will likely lose more money through self-representation than you would with an attorney.
An attorney ensures that you get what is fair in a divorce settlement. If your spouse has an attorney and you do not, their attorney will likely negotiate better terms for their client than you will receive. This could mean that significant amounts of your hard-earned money and assets will be allocated to your ex-spouse, causing you to have fewer resources with which to begin your new life.
It is also important to note that many divorces result in difficult conversations and even arguments. This can occur in even the most amicable divorces or between couples who would not normally act this way. Divorce can bring out the worst in people, and it is better for you and your mental health to hire a legal representative. We can fight these battles on your behalf to minimize your emotional stress.
One of the foremost purposes of the divorce process is to divide your marital assets between you and your ex-spouse. You may have more assets than you realize, which can make this process lengthy and often difficult.
Some assets that you may need to divide include:
These are just a few examples of common assets that couples need to divide when they get divorced. There will likely be other assets to address in your unique situation. Your attorney will help you to determine which assets you need to address and ensure that your spouse is disclosing all assets that are eligible for division. In some situations, one spouse could try to conceal assets to keep more for themselves. A qualified divorce attorney will help to protect you from this kind of deceit.
The more assets that must be divided, the longer the divorce process will be. Couples who rent and have no investments will experience a much shorter divorce than those who have multiple mortgages and other assets.
Though not all marriages warrant such an agreement, in some divorces, spousal support negotiations must occur.
Spousal support, also called alimony,is a monthly payment that one ex-spouse makes to the other, either during or after a divorce. This money helps the ex-spouse to establish a new life with a reliable income and allows both parties to maintain their level of comfort and lifestyle after the divorce is finalized. In many cases, these agreements can act as a kind of payment for unpaid labor that occurs in a marriage.
For example, if one spouse worked outside of the home while the other put their career on hold to care for the children and home, the spouse who stayed home is at a disadvantage if they re-enter the labor force. Because of this, the spouse who earns money outside of the home may be asked to pay a monthly stipend to their ex-spouse to compensate them for the work that they did inside the home. This also gives the at-home spouse time and support while they find a job, seek vocational retraining, or go back to school to be able to re-enter the labor force.
In many families, both spouses work outside of the home, making similar amounts of money. In these cases, no spousal support is necessary. However, if both spouses work outside of the home and one makes vastly more money than the other, the high-earning spouse may be asked to pay support to the lower-earning spouse.
If you have children, child custody negotiations will occur during the divorce process. These negotiations are often difficult and emotional for parents, as they must decide how their children will be raised.
In many cases, the court aims to give both parents equal custody. However, the court’s main concern is the child’s safety and well-being. If there are questions about one parent’s ability, housing situation, income, health, or safety, the court may opt to give that parent less custody.
Fighting for custody requires fantastic representation. Your attorney must be able to show the court how capable you are as a parent and why your children would benefit from access to you. Your spouse’s attorney may simultaneously try to slander your character to win full custody. This is a tricky and frustrating situation, to say the least. Our team at Lehnhardt Price Family Law can help to present your case in the best possible manner so that you have a higher likelihood of achieving custody.
The court aims to have both parents contribute equally to the child’s upbringing, even after divorce. This can occur via custody and time or via financial support. If you and your ex-spouse share custody evenly, child support may not be necessary. However, if one parent has more custody than the other, the other parent must make up for their lack of time contribution with child support payments.
For example, if you have your children five days per week and your ex-husband has them for two, he may need to pay you some support to make your contribution more equitable.
In some situations, parents who share custody evenly still need to negotiate child support. The court views your contribution to the upbringing of your children as a percentage of your time and income. If you make far more than your spouse in income and split custody, you are still spending a smaller percentage of your income to care for your children. Child support payments help to make your financial contributions fair.
A: The cost to file for divorce in North Carolina is $225. However, you will also have attorney fees and other expenses associated with your divorce. The final cost of your divorce will depend upon many different factors, including how much your attorney charges. If your lawyer charges hourly, the amount of time your divorce takes will also impact the cost. It is best to speak with potential attorneys about their fees before you hire them to stay on budget and avoid financial surprises.
A: You must be separated from your spouse and live in separate homes for at least one year before you get divorced in North Carolina. The length of the divorce process itself will depend upon how many assets you and your spouse have, whether you have children, and your ability to compromise and work together. North Carolina divorces take time and effort, and they do not occur overnight.
A: Yes. North Carolina law requires that you be separated from your spouse for at least one year before you file for divorce. Though there is no official application to declare a separation, you must live separately for your separation to be legitimate in the eyes of the court. This means that if you separate but still live in the same residence for six months, those six months do not count toward the mandatory year-long waiting period that North Carolina requires.
A: Alimony, or spousal support, will depend upon the income of both spouses, the difference between those incomes, and how long you have been married. The longer the marriage lasts, the more likely spousal support will be required. The exact amount of the support depends upon the paying spouse’s income and whether the receiving spouse has any income of their own. Your attorney will help you to determine what your alimony payments could be if you are eligible for them.
As a full-service family law firm, we have the knowledge and resources to help you with all situations that arise as part of your divorce process. For more information about our services, our team, or how we can help and support you, please contact Lehnhardt Price Family Law online today.