Family Law FAQs
FAQ: Answers to Frequently Asked Family Law Questions
Divorce is the equivalent of a nuclear bomb going off in someone’s personal life. Not only is it initially devastating to those involved, but there is often a great deal of “radioactive fallout” that is associated with the dissolution of a marriage. As lawyers, we are sometimes asked to fight for every last legal claim our clients can raise, but sometimes it is our job as “counselors at law” to advise a different course of action. Some cases require fighting to the bitter end at all costs, while in other situations it is advisable to seek an amicable settlement so each individual can put the pieces of his or her life back together as quickly as possible. Family law issues are often very complicated and delicate for those individuals affected, and require the skill of an experienced lawyer who can handle their issues with competence and compassion. At Rowland & Yauger, we take our roles as Attorneys & Counselors at law very seriously, and will work with you to determine the best course of action in your individual case.
Can Fathers Get Custody?
Certainly. In North Carolina, both parents are presumed to be fit and capable. However, each case is different and dependent on many factors. If you are a father and want to seek primary custody of your children, don’t be afraid to pursue that if you believe it is in the best interests of your child or children.
How Will Cases Involving Children Be Decided?
When children are involved, everything comes down to one thing: What is in the best interests of the children?
Can You Waive Child Support? Is There Wiggle Room?
There is a State-set formula governing child support, which is called the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. If both parents agree, you can choose to deviate from the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. In other words, if the parties are in agreement, it is possible to pay more or less than what the guidelines suggest. Additionally, if there are extraordinary expenses or circumstances, the court can consider those factors as well, or the parties could negotiate those factors by agreement.
What About College Costs?
Child support is at issue typically until the child is 18 and/or graduates from high school. Neither parent is legally obligated to pay for college, but it is something that can be discussed and negotiated as part of a marital settlement.
What Is Marital Property?
Anything acquired during the course of the marriage is marital property unless it was inherited or was a gift. Generally speaking, if an asset is commingled with marital assets, it becomes martial property. This also goes for any debt accumulated throughout the marriage.
How Is Property Divided?
Marital property begins with a presumption that it will be split 50/50 unless there is a compelling reason not to do so. There are a number of factors that the court can consider if property division is before the court that can lead to an unequal division of property. However, as part of a marital settlement, the separating or divorcing parties can agree on any division of property they deem equitable or that they agree to.
We Are Separated. When Can We Divorce?
Before you can file for divorce in North Carolina, you will need to live separately and apart for one year, and be a resident of North Carolina for at least six months preceding the filing of an action for divorce.
Do I Have to Have Legal Representation to File for Divorce?
No, but it is a good idea. If you don’t file correctly, you could jeopardize substantial legal rights. It is well worth sitting down with one of our experienced attorneys to discuss your legal rights before determining your course of action.