1. How do I get started with your firm?
A: The first step is for us to speak with you by phone to confirm that we are a good fit for your case. If so, we will typically have you come in and sit down for a face-to-face meeting to discuss moving forward.
2. What are the requirements to file for a divorce in North Carolina?
A: To file for a divorce in North Carolina, either spouse must have been a resident of North Carolina for at least six (6) months prior to filing. Additionally, the spouses must have been separated (meaning living under different roofs) for at least one (1) year prior to filing.
3. How much do you charge to handle my case?
A: Because every case is different, the initial legal fee is typically determined during the free initial consultation with the attorney. Depending on what type of work needs to be done and the intricacies of your case, the attorney will be better able to estimate the initial retainer after meeting with you and learning more about your case.
4. Do I have to go to court?
A: Not necessarily. There are many options for handling all issues in your case outside of the courtroom. In your free initial consultation, the attorney will discuss all options for handling your case amicably, including settlement agreements, mediation, and collaborative law practice.
5. Physical Custody versus Legal Custody – is there a difference?
A: In North Carolina, physical custody deals with the actual parenting schedule and living arrangements for the children. In contrast, legal custody deals with which parent will make the major decisions for the children, including decisions related to medical, educational, and religious issues. There are many factors that influence physical and legal custody. The attorneys at Southpark Family Law can discuss these factors in more detail during your free initial consultation.
6. How is child support calculated?
A: In North Carolina, child support is calculated based on the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. These Guidelines take into account many factors, including which parent has primary physical custody, the parents’ respective incomes, which parents pays for the children’s health insurance, whether work-related child care is needed for the children, and many more. The attorneys at Southpark Family Law can discuss these factors in more detail during your free initial consultation.
7. Am I entitled to alimony?
A: If you are the “dependent spouse”, you may be entitled to alimony if the “supporting spouse” has the ability to pay support. There are many factors that influence the amount and duration of alimony received, which can be discussed with the attorney during your free initial consultation.
8. If property is titled in only my spouse’s name, will I still be entitled to it?
A: In North Carolina, marital property is all real and personal property acquired by either spouse during your marriage and before your separation. It typically does not matter whose name is on the property if it was acquired during that time period. So, the short answer is, yes – you will likely still be entitled to this property if it was acquired during your marriage and prior to your separation.
9. My spouse cheated on me. Do I have a claim for Alienation of Affection or Criminal Conversation?
A: You may have a claim for Alienation of Affection or Criminal Conversation against your spouse’s lover. You typically have to prove that you and your spouse had a happy marriage with genuine love and affection, and your spouse’s lover is the reason that genuine love and affection was “alienated” from you. These claims are intricate and complex, so it will be best to discuss them in more detail with a Southpark Family Law attorney during your free initial consultation.
10. How do I get a Domestic Violence Protective Order?
A: You can seek a Domestic Violence Protective Order from someone with whom you have a “personal relationship” that has caused or attempted to cause bodily injury or placed you in fear of bodily injury or continued harassment. Speak with an attorney at Southpark Family Law during a free initial consultation to further discuss the definition of “personal relationship” and what constitutes domestic violence.