The period where you’re considering a divorce can feel terrifying and stressful. Many people find themselves unhappy in their marriage but also unsure how to financially go through a separation and divorce. We can help! With a board certified divorce lawyer on your side, this period of your life doesn’t have to be scary. Here are our top tips to make sure your ducks are in a row before you separate from your spouse.
Talk to a Board Certified Divorce Lawyer Early in the Process
Here in North Carolina, you need to separate from your spouse for one year and one day before you can file for divorce. During this separation period, however, you can start to work with your former partner to decide how you will split property, where your children will live, and whether either party should receive child support or alimony. Even if your separation is amicable, it’s important to have an experienced lawyer on your side.
In other words, you don’t have to wait until you file for divorce to get a divorce lawyer. You should speak to a lawyer as soon as you are seriously thinking about separating from your spouse. You can even sign a separation agreement to dictate how you’ll live separately before you file for a divorce.
If you live in the Greensboro, NC area, we can help you through your separation and divorce. Barbara R. Morgenstern and Ashley D. Bennington of Morgenstern & Associates are both board-certified specialists in family law. This means they are experts in divorce, custody, property division, and all other aspects of family law. Morgenstern & Associates is ranked as a Tier 1 family law firm in metropolitan areas by US News & World Report. Likewise, Barbara is listed in Best Lawyers in America in family law and family law mediation and in NC Super Lawyers and Legal Elite in family law.
When you work with our firm, you can rest assured that we’ll help you achieve the best possible outcomes.
Copy Your Important Documents and Speak to a Financial Counselor if Necessary
When you separate from your spouse, you’ll need to live in separate homes. Even if you sleep in separate bedrooms, this won’t allow you to qualify for a divorce in North Carolina. One or both people need to move out of the family home.
This can be financially taxing and can mean that one spouse does not have access to important financial documents. Regardless of whether you are the one to leave the family home, make copies of everything for yourself. This includes any kind of financial statements, such as mortgage documents, tax records, and bank statements, as well as other important documents regarding insurance, wills, etc. Additionally, make a copy of your pre-marital agreement if you signed one.
If you were not the primary breadwinner and did not handle the finances in your marriage, it can be hard learning these skills quickly during a separation. In many cases, it makes sense to speak to a financial expert. We can help you learn if you are legally entitled to spousal support or child support during both your separation and divorce.
Keep Your Communications Civil
During a separation and divorce, emotions can run high. Even if things start off amicably, you’ll have to discuss several tough topics with your former partner. You may also both start seeing other people during this period, which can add to the tension.
It’s always in your best interest to keep all communication civil. This is especially important if your communication is in writing through text or email, or if you are being recorded. However, it is also important to be careful about what you say to other people. During a divorce, friends, co-workers, and other people you know can all become witnesses. Even your family members could end up being witnesses in court. If a judge misconstrues the things you say as threatening or unstable, it can hurt your case, especially in terms of child custody.
Generally, you do have confidentiality with a therapist or psychiatrist, though. There are very limited situations when they can disclose information without your permission. So, if you feel like you need to talk to someone to deal with the emotional side of your divorce, this is your best option. It is tempting to have a few drinks and rant with a friend, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Stay civil during your divorce, even when your former partner isn’t present, if you want the best possible results.
FAQs About Hiring a Greensboro, NC Divorce Attorney
Every divorce is different. So, it’s important to speak to a family attorney about your situation. We can’t give you specific advice online, but here are a few general frequently asked questions we get about hiring a board certified divorce lawyer in the Greensboro area.
Do I need a lawyer if my divorce is amicable?
Legally, you do not need to have a lawyer to get a divorce. However, we heavily advise against this. Even divorces that seem easy can be quite complicated. At the very least, you’ll want an experienced lawyer to draw up the paperwork. If your former partner hires a lawyer for this, they cannot also represent you. You need your own lawyer who will work for your best interests. Don’t sign any contract until you have your own lawyer look over it.
What should I look for in a divorce attorney?
The best divorce attorney for you will be experienced in family law and will be a good fit for your situation. We recommend a consultation with our team so you can determine if we are a good fit to represent you. Click here to contact us today and learn more about how we can help you during your separation and divorce.