Family law is a broad category that encompasses divorce and annulment, child custody and visitation, child support, property division and alimony. Another part of family law deals with specific issues relating to children. Regardless of the legal issue, your family is facing, a Cary family lawyer can help.
Many family law issues overlap, and you may benefit from a conversation with an experienced family lawyer from Triangle Divorce who could explain the law and your rights. A single issue may become a larger case and you may benefit from speaking with someone who understands the law and how it applies to your situation.
Most couples seeking to end a marriage do so through divorce. To obtain a divorce in North Carolina, either spouse must reside in the state for at least six months prior to the divorce action. In addition, the spouses must live separate and apart for at least one year. If the requirements are met, a divorce decree may be final without a waiting period.
Cary courts may grant a no-fault divorce, which means that no reason is given for the failure of the marriage. However, factors involved in the previously used fault divorces remain as evidence in alimony, property and child custody matters, such as adultery, incarceration, cruelty, abandonment, and drug or alcohol addiction.
Another option for ending a marriage is an annulment which sets aside a marriage as if it never happened because the marriage was invalid at the time it occurred. There are specific legal grounds under which a party may seek an annulment:
One of the most important considerations when dissolving a marriage is what happens to the children. When awarding custody, the Court considers the “best interests of the child” and must decide on both physical and legal custody. Physical custody is where the child resides each night of the week. Legal custody is the right to make major decisions in the child’s life. Custody may be granted to one parent (primary) or both (joint).
The court reviews evidence and determines the child custody schedule and how the parents will participate in making major life decisions for the child. If the parents agree on custody, the judge will review the arrangement to ensure it is in the best interests of the child. If one parent has primary physical custody of the child, the other parent (non-custodial) is allowed a schedule for visitation. The schedule may be formulated by agreement between the parties, or by court order after a child custody hearing. A Cary family lawyer could help a party file for the court to decide temporary or permanent child custody.
Both parents share equal responsibility for providing financial support for their child. The court calculates child support using a complex formula called the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines (Guidelines). The amount of child support is based on the gross income of both parents as well as the amount of time the child resides with each parent and specific costs related to the child. The judge has the discretion to deviate from the guidelines if there are family situations that warrant the deviation.
Modifications of child support may occur if the parent who requests the change can show a substantial change of circumstances that affect the child. Some circumstances include job promotion, reduced work hours, job loss, retirement, travel expenses to see the child or a change in the costs of the child’s medical treatment or daycare expenses. Your Cary family lawyer can help you understand the court’s considerations when deciding the future of your child so you can make informed decisions.
Family law is a very broad category and many issues require the application of more than one set of statutes. An experienced Cary family lawyer can explain the complexities of the law, apply the law to your situation, offer advice, provide alternatives, and protect your interests.
Contact us today for a confidential case review. We can speak with you about your situation and help you find a solution that works for your family. Call Triangle Divorce Lawyers now to learn more.