Family Law

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Does It Matter in a Divorce If One Spouse Was the “Breadwinner” During Marriage?

March 31, 2016

A common refrain that attorneys hear during the divorce process is: “I earned all the money during the marriage, so why should I have to give my ex half of everything I own?” Employment income that is earned during the marriage and before the date of separation is considered marital income, regardless of which spouse earned it. North Carolina equitable distribution laws are based upon the concept that marriage is a partnership in which both…

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Under What Circumstances Can My Spouse Be Required to Pay My Attorney’s Fees?

March 9, 2016

North Carolina law allows a judge to order one party to pay the other party’s reasonable attorney’s fees in certain family related legal matters, including child custody, child support, post-separation support, and alimony. What this means is that, in some circumstances, a judge may order the other party to pay your attorney’s fees, or require you to pay the other party’s attorney’s fees. In awarding attorney’s fees in actions for child custody and/or child support,…

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How Is the Date of Separation Determined (And Why Is It Important)?

February 29, 2016

The date of separation is determined by the actual date that the parties begin living separate and apart from each other in separate residences. Establishing separate bedrooms while living in the same house does not count toward the period of separation. The date of separation is an important date in matters related to divorce. In North Carolina, before a legal action for absolute divorce can be filed, the parties must be physically separated for at…

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Will My Child Support Be Reduced If My Income Decreases?

February 2, 2016

Courts have an inherent duty to protect the interests of minor children. Therefore, child support may always be modified by a court having jurisdiction to ensure that child support is sufficient to meet the reasonable needs of the child and in accordance with each parent’s ability to provide for the child. Regardless of whether parties have a written agreement establishing child support or an existing court order setting child support, either party may initiate legal…

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Closeup image of a credit card with wedding rings on the top of it depicting marital debt.

Is Debt Incurred in the Name of One Spouse Considered Marital Debt?

January 11, 2016

Under North Carolina law, “marital” debt is considered debt that is incurred after the date of marriage and before the date of separation by one or both spouses for the joint benefit of the parties. The fact that debt is established in the name of one spouse individually does not determine whether the debt is a marital debt or a separate debt for purposes of equitable distribution of the marital and divisible property and debts.…

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