Separating from a spouse can be one of the most difficult processes of your life. Even if you have an amicable separation, divorce can get complicated. Most people find that a divorce consultation near me helps. Let our experienced family law team in Greensboro answer your divorce questions. Consequently, you can make the best decisions for your specific situation.
When Do You Need a Divorce Consultation Near Me?
We recommend seeking legal advice as soon as you decide to separate from your spouse. Here in North Carolina, you must physically live apart for at least a year before filing for divorce. However, even during your separation, you may be eligible for alimony and child support. Additionally, you may need to begin the process of dividing your property.
If your divorce is amicable, you may wonder if you need a family law attorney at all. While legally you do not need to hire representation, keep in mind that the divorce process involves negotiations and paperwork. Having someone who can walk you through the process is in your best interest. If your former partner hires a divorce lawyer to handle the paperwork, this person cannot also represent you. Getting the most favorable outcome possible for their client is their job. This means the separation agreement might not be fair to you.
In short, the answer as to when to schedule your divorce consultation is… now! There is no obligation to continue working with our team, but we can at least review your case and answer any questions you may have. Our goal is to ensure a fair outcome while doing as little harm as possible to the family. Ending your marriage is hard enough without the emotional toil an ugly divorce can have on both partners and children.
What Happens During a Separation?
If you’re at the beginning of your separation or just thinking about divorce for the first time, the process can seem daunting. We help you navigate the rough waters step by step. As noted, this starts with physically separating from your spouse for at least one year.
During your separation, you or your spouse (or both) will need to move out of your shared home. Maintaining two households can be expensive, and if you were not the primary breadwinner in your marriage, you may qualify for spousal support (alimony). You must provide your lawyer and the courts with your financial information, including pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements, retirement fund statements, college savings accounts, and a list of all assets and liability. This helps us determine if filing for spousal support is appropriate.
Additionally, during the separation period, a divorce lawyer can help with negotiations regarding any dependents, such as children. You’ll need to agree on a physical child custody arrangement (i.e. where your child or children will live), as well as a legal custody agreement (i.e. who will make decisions about a child’s medical needs, religious upbringing, and education). Depending on the financial situation and the physical custody agreement, you may be entitled to child support. Here in North Carolina, the courts use a child support chart as a starting point, but these amounts are not set in stone. Negotiating child custody can be emotional, so it helps to have a family law expert on your side.
Can a Lawyer Help with Dividing Your Property?
North Carolina is an equitable distribution state. This means that your property isn’t automatically split 50/50 when you file for a divorce. If you can’t come to an agreement about property division, the court will look at several factors to distribute property, including:
- The length of your marriage
- What each spouse contributed to the marriage
- Ages and health of each spouse
- Income and assets
Property division can be complicated. If you have questions, schedule a divorce consultation near me. Our team has experience with divorce proceedings in the North Carolina Triad area, so we can give you an idea of what to expect for your specific situation.
FAQs about Hiring Divorce Lawyers in Greensboro
Before you schedule a consultation with our Greensboro legal team, we’ll check to ensure there are no conflicts of interest. During your consultation, we can review your case and answer any questions you may have. While we can’t give you specific advice in this article, since every situation is different, here are a few questions clients frequently ask about divorce lawyers:
Do I need a divorce lawyer if we never actually got married?
If you were living together and paying for expenses together and have decided to split, you may want to speak to a lawyer about property division. Additionally, even if you never legally married your partner, you need to consider child custody and child support as areas of negotiation during a split . An experienced team like ours at Morgenstern & Associates can ensure you are treated fairly.
How can I ensure I hire the best lawyers in Greensboro?
It’s important that you connect with your legal team, since you will be working together closely throughout your divorce. That’s why an initial consultation is so crucial: you want to ensure you feel comfortable with the attorney you hire.
Likewise, look for a legal team recognized for excellence in their field and that has a track record of positive outcomes for their divorce clients. We have experience in a wide variety of family law issues and our founder, Barbara Morgenstern, has been listed in “Best Lawyers in America” in family law and family law mediation for over 25 years.