Laws govern much of our everyday existence. From traffic to food safety laws, we have statutes that govern our lives. Some of these laws are easy to understand, while others can be quite complicated. For example, navigating through divorce law can be confusing. Hiring the best family law attorney can help you achieve the outcome you need.
What Matters Can A Family Lawyer Help With?
Family law encompasses the legal aspects of relationships. So, before you get married, a family law attorney can draw up a prenuptial agreement to protect your assets. If your marriage is no longer working, a lawyer can help with all aspects related to your divorce. This includes the separation agreement, property division, child custody/support, and alimony.
Additionally, a family lawyer can assist in filing all the necessary paperwork in adopting a child. Often, the adoption process can be frustrating at times. An experienced attorney can guide you through this complicated process ensuring you receive full parental rights.
Divorce Means Making Some Hard Decisions
Usually, it can seem so easy to marry. Generally, the fee for a marriage license is about $60. Then you also need to show proof of your age and social security number.
However, getting a divorce can be very complicated. Although the divorce rate in the U.S. is falling, it’s still quite common for couples to split. Before you can obtain a divorce in NC, you must live physically apart from your spouse for at least one year.
Yet, during this time, you still have bills to pay and need to maintain your credit score. You also need a place to live. Additionally, you may need to decide on the living arrangements for your children.
While you’re separated, you need to start making some hard decisions. You and your spouse will need to divide all your marital assets and liabilities. If you’ve been out of the workforce, your new situation can be financially challenging.
Hiring the best family law attorney can help you find satisfactory solutions to your issues. Even if your spouse is agreeable, hiring an attorney can ensure a favorable outcome.
What Types Of Documents Will My Lawyer Need?
Before making decisions as to spousal support or child support, the court must know your financial position and employment status. As you proceed, you need to give your lawyer certain documents:
- Past 3 years of tax returns
- 401k/IRA/pension statements
- Individual and joint bank account statements
- 529 or other college savings account
- Accurate and complete listing of all assets and liabilities
Moreover, North Carolina is an equitable distribution state. This means you’ll receive what the court deems fair and not necessarily a 50/50 split. Plus, the court makes distinctions between separate, marital, or divisible property.
Separate property is all assets acquired before the marriage or after your separation. It can also include property given as a gift from someone other than your spouse.
Conversely, marital property includes all property accrued during the marriage but before your separation. The court deems pensions, retirement benefits, and IRAs marital property. However, any amount in these accounts before the marriage or contributed by you after the date of separation is separate property.
Finally, divisible property is an asset accrued during the marriage but realized after the separation. Bonuses, commissions, dividends, and interest fall into this classification as well as passive appreciation on all marital accounts.
FAQs To Help You Find The Best Family Law Attorney
Getting a divorce is a highly emotional, stressful process. However, hiring a great attorney can help you deal with the challenges and issues related to your divorce. Thus, we’ve answered some of our most commonly asked questions to help you.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Divorce?
Unfortunately, there’s no exact timetable for a resolution of your divorce proceedings. First, facts and circumstances make each case unique. Also, you must first live separately for a year.
Once you’ve met the living apart statutory requirement, you can then serve your spouse with a complaint. If you and your spouse are agreeable on all issues, your divorce will proceed quickly. However, disagreements can make the divorce process longer.
Certainly, submitting to mediation can help you resolve your issues. A mediator will assist you in exploring multiple solutions to find common ground.
Yet, some couples still cannot work out an agreement with a mediator. Consequently, you’ll need to go to court to settle your divorce. Unfortunately, this is the most time-consuming and expensive option.
How Much Will My Divorce Cost?
Before you hire an attorney, it’s understandable to want to know what the process will cost. Decidedly, it’s difficult to predict the entire price tag of a divorce. Several factors will impact your fees:
- Agreeable/contentious spouse
- Size of marital property
- Custody issues
- Attorney’s experience
Be wary of any lawyers on either extreme. An attorney promising a quick and cheap divorce may not adequately protect your rights. While a lawyer with an aggressive demeanor may avoid compromising leading to a more costly process.
At Morgenstern & Associates, we want what’s best for you. We strive to achieve a favorable outcome that’s in your best interest.
What Makes Your Firm Different?
With over 40 years of combined experience, Barbara R. Morgenstern and Ashley D. Bennington are experts in family law. Both are board-certified specialists with extensive credentials. Moreover, U.S. News & World Report gives Morgenstern & Associates its highest ranking for our local metropolitan area.
Yet, we also try to find solutions that minimize the trauma of divorce. We treat each client with compassion and kindness. Schedule your appointment today by calling 336-203-9110.