Hiring the right lawyer can greatly affect your responsibilities and rights in a divorce case. The legal ramifications of agreements and decisions can have long-term consequences. When searching for experienced, knowledgeable family law attorneys in Greensboro NC, choose Morgenstern & Associates.
A Marriage Is A Contract
As two people wed, they enter into a private agreement to become husband and wife. Upon entering this agreement, each party incurs new rights and legal obligations. This agreement, also known as a contract, is legally binding and enforceable by law.
Sometimes, the agreement becomes too burdensome for one party or even both. Yet, because they have entered into this contract, spouses cannot simply walk away from their responsibilities. To properly dissolve the contract, couples must seek a divorce.
Premarital Agreements Can Redefine Your Legal Obligations
All states have statutes in place governing the division of property when a couple divorces. However, you may be able to change the rules by creating a prenuptial or premarital agreement before the wedding.
Basically, a prenuptial agreement is another type of contract. Generally, it will list all individual property and its distribution upon divorce. Often, couples will also use this agreement to protect themselves from each other’s debts. Having an agreement in place before marriage eases some of the trauma during a divorce.
Many people believe that only wealthy people need premarital agreements. Yet, any marrying couple can benefit. In these days of blended families, you can protect your assets for your children. Plus, you can ensure family heirlooms stay with your relations.
A Separation Agreement Can Make The Process Easier
Another type of contract affecting family relationships is the separation agreement. Sometimes, divorcing couples can negotiate the terms of their divorce without going to court. The separation agreement spells out the conditions of whichever issues the couple agrees upon:
- Child custody
- Spousal support
- Property division
While not required as part of the divorce process, a separation agreement can make the divorce less stressful. You and your spouse can work together to find alternative ways to address your unique circumstances. Without a separation agreement, the court will decide your terms.
What Other Matters Can A Family Lawyer Handle?
Divorcing couples have many issues to sort out. In addition to property division, a spouse may need alimony. Spousal support, or alimony, is a payment from one spouse to the other.
Generally, the court awards spousal support based on needs, income, and expenses. Typically, the court awards spousal support as a way to balance the economic resources of the couple.
While you may need support after your divorce, your spouse may not agree. A divorce firm can help you negotiate an alimony settlement or if necessary, litigate in court. To resolve this issue locally, it’s imperative to find family law attorneys in Greensboro NC.
Another area that family lawyers handle is child custody and support. Custody laws in North Carolina promote the best interest and welfare of the child. Nor do laws or court rulings favor one parent over the other.
However, the terms of the custody schedule will affect your child support obligation. The law deems a parent to have joint custody if the child spends at least 123 nights in their home.
After determining custody, the court looks at income. The court considers all sources of income including bonuses, dividends, and commissions. You can determine your basic child support obligation by viewing the court’s guidelines.
FAQS To Help You Find The Best Family Law Attorneys In Greensboro NC
Finding a good attorney is very different than buying a new appliance. Comparison shopping can be difficult because legal fees vary with each case and by experience. To help you in your search we’ve answered some of our most commonly asked questions.
How Long Will My Divorce Take?
First, before you file divorce papers in NC, you must be physically living apart at separate addresses for at least 1 year. Once you’ve met this statutory requirement, you can file for divorce.
In some states, before the court issues a decree of divorce, you must settle all disputes surrounding the dissolution of your marriage. You must divide all property and debts. Additionally, both you and your spouse must agree on child custody and support. The swiftness of your divorce depends upon the level of cooperation of both parties. However, in North Carolina, parties can get divorced and have none of those issues resolved.
What Factors Determine Spousal Support?
The court does not automatically award spousal support in any divorce. In many cases, neither party will receive alimony. In determining spousal support, judges look at need using several factors in making an award:
- Current income
- Standard of living while married
- Education of each spouse
- Financial needs
- Each spouse’s income-earning abilities
- Debt obligations
Moreover, the state has no guidelines for issuing an amount. Thus, the court has discretion in determining the amount and length of time of the award.
How Do You Hire A Good Family Law Attorney?
In any divorce, you’ll find legal terminology, lots of paperwork, and waiting periods. Family law lawyers can navigate the complex system of divorce proceedings. Yet, finding a lawyer to represent you can be as complex as the proceedings.
Primarily, you want a knowledgeable and experienced attorney with a focus on family law. An experienced lawyer can help you devise a strategy and recommend possible options. When you want one of the best family law attorneys in Greensboro NC, hire Morgenstern & Associates.
U.S. News &World Reports gives Morgenstern & Associates high marks for our firm in the local metropolitan area. Moreover, our board-certified attorneys have over 40 years of combined experience.
However, we’re more than just lawyers with a bunch of certifications. We’re compassionate people who want to help you achieve a favorable resolution with as little trauma as possible. When reasonable, we present realistic alternatives to try to keep costs down.
Are you thinking of divorce? Call us today at 336-203-9110 to talk about the details of your case.