Family Law

Image of two people sitting at a desk cropped so that faces are implied. The gavel in the foreground denotes a legal proceeding and the hand gestures of the subjects implies that one spouse disagrees.

What Can I Do If My Spouse Will Not Sign Our Separation Agreement?

May 25, 2016

Separation agreement is a general term used to describe a written contract that spouses enter into to address some or all issues arising from their marital separation. A separation agreement may be a simple agreement that establishes the parties’ date of separation, or it may deal with broader issues, including child custody, child support, alimony, and/or division of marital property and debts. In North Carolina, there is no law that requires spouses to sign a…

Read This Article >>
Image of an Audi sedan with six pick axes stuck into it depicting revenge in divorce. Ouch.

The Danger of Plotting Revenge

March 31, 2016

The stress, anxiety, uncertainty, and emotional upheaval that come with the divorce process can bring out the worst in otherwise good people. Divorce attorneys are well accustomed to hearing clients say: “I want my ex to pay!!!” Usually such comments are innocuous and made as exaggerated expressions of hurt or anger. However, there are some who attempt to abuse or manipulate the legal process for unfair advantage or revenge toward their spouse. In a family…

Read This Article >>
Image of sliced brown bread with stalks of wheat referencing the idea of a "breadwinner".

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…

Read This Article >>
Image of the bottom right corner of an invoice showing an amount due.

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,…

Read This Article >>
Image of a desk-sized calendar in monthly grid view with a person's hand circling a date with red magic marker.

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…

Read This Article >>