Raleigh Family Law Attorney
Family law is a legal area that handles sensitive and challenging matters. Whether you are facing a divorce or are involved in a child custody suit, you’re likely not only grappling with the logistical upheaval of your life, but also struggling with the torrent of emotions these cases can give rise to, be it anxiety, depression, fear, or anger.
People who face these situations need someone to fight for their rights and be their voice. At Marshall & Taylor PLLC, we understand how difficult your situation is. Our award-winning attorneys will help protect your rights and advocate assertively and skillfully for your family’s needs.
No matter what your case involves or how complex the matter, you can count on our Raleigh family law attorneys to be by your side during each step of your case. We’ll provide the detailed attention you and your case need and help you get through this emotional experience. See what former clients who were in your shoes had to say about our support and services.
To find out more about our family law services and how we can assist you, call us today at 919-833-1040 to schedule a confidential consultation.
What Is a Family Lawyer?
A family law attorney can help you resolve family law issues, such as divorce, child support, and alimony. The legal services Marshall & Taylor PLLC assists our clients with include:
- Alternative dispute resolution
- Child custody
- Child support
- Domestic violence and restraining orders
- Property division
Getting Divorced in North Carolina
If you want to file for divorce in North Carolina, you and your spouse must first separate for at least one year. A legal separation occurs when both parties physically separate from each other and intend to end the marriage. It’s also a requirement that at least one person is a resident of the state for six months or longer before filing for divorce.
North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state, which means the two requirements listed above are all that’s necessary for moving forward with divorce proceedings. If there was infidelity or abandonment that caused one or both parties to file, they won’t matter as far as securing a divorce.
When you first decide to move forward with a legal separation, you must understand what the term means. You have to physically separate from each other and reside in different residences for a minimum of one year. You don’t have to sign any documents or stand in front of a judge for a separation to become legal; however, preparing a separation agreement could make the process easier for both parties.
A separation agreement includes decisions both spouses agree to as far as their family and property. If you want to avoid any issues down the road, putting all major decisions in writing could save you time and money. If you’re unable to reach an agreement, the court will ultimately decide for you. To avoid giving up control to a judge, you should settle issues regarding property, assets, homes, children, and other matters before filing for divorce.
How to Handle Child Custody and Child Support
One of the most difficult areas of family law is child custody. Even though you’re divorcing your spouse, you will always be in each other’s lives because you have children to raise. If you can’t agree to custody or financial support, a judge will have to decide for you.
Most counties in North Carolina require both parents to go to mediation after filing for child custody. During mediation, you’ll sit with your Raleigh family law attorney and your spouse and their attorney to try to come to a resolution. If you’re still unable to agree to specific terms of child custody, a district court judge will decide who should get custody, the amount of visitation allowed by the other spouse, and how much child support is necessary.
Child support is an important issue during any divorce. Both parties are supposed to care for their children in every way possible, and that includes financial support. North Carolina Child Support Guidelines determine a reasonable amount of money the non-custodial parent must pay every month. The guidelines ensure that child support is fair to both parents and their children.
Various factors the guidelines take into account for both parents include:
- Prior child support obligations
- Number of nights spent with the child
- Extraordinary expenses of the child
- Which parent provides the child with health insurance
- Which parent provides job-related childcare
- Relative gross income for each parent
- If other minor children are living with each parent
This is a complex process, and you want to ensure you’re receiving or paying the right amount of money. Having a Raleigh family law attorney by your side is the best option for reaching child custody and child support agreements that are fair.
What Is Alimony?
Alimony is the money one spouse pays to another after getting divorced. The money is supposed to help the dependent spouse continue the lifestyle they’re used to having and ease the transition from marriage to divorce. There are two types of spousal support available in family law: post-separation support and alimony.
Post-separation support is temporary monetary support that the dependent spouse receives until there’s a final order of alimony. Once alimony gets awarded, post-separation support automatically stops. Alimony can come in a lump sum payment or in specified payments over a specified period.
The factors that determine the amount and duration of alimony include:
- Marital misconduct
- Relative earnings and earning capacity
- Property each spouse brought to the marriage
- Physical, mental, and emotional condition
- Length of the marriage
- Contributions one spouse made as a homemaker
- One spouse’s contribution to the other’s training, education, or increased earning abilities
- Impact of becoming the custodian of a minor child on expenses, financial obligations, or earning power
- Standard of living established while married
- Sources and amounts of earned and unearned income, such as insurance, retirement, social security, etc.
- The necessary time required for the spouse seeking alimony to find work that meets their financial needs
- Federal, state, and local taxes from alimony awards
- Relative assets, liabilities, and debt service requirements
- Relative needs of both parties
You Have Legal Options if You’re Considering Adoption
In North Carolina, any individual over the age of 18 could potentially adopt a child. It’s possible to adopt if you’re not married, and there’s no minimum income amount you must meet. Although seemingly simple, the adoption process is complex and can be an overwhelming experience.
If you decide you want to move forward with adoption, there are multiple options to choose from:
- Independent adoption: Work directly with the biological parent placing their child for adoption.
- Agency adoption: Work with an adoption agency to find a child to adopt.
- Foster care adoption: Adopt a child from the foster care system.
Your Raleigh family law attorney will ensure you choose the right path that works best for you. There are risks to each option and legal procedures you must follow. It can be an emotional and time-consuming journey that takes years to complete, but we’ll be by your side to manage every step of the process.
How the Legal System Defines Domestic Violence
The legal definition of domestic violence in North Carolina is when one person commits any of the following acts upon a person they’re in a personal relationship with:
- Attempting to cause or intentionally causing bodily harm.
- Causing substantial emotional distress by causing the other party or another member of the household fear of sustaining a physical injury.
- Committing a sex crime, such as rape, sexual battery, or sexual offense with a child.
A personal relationship can be between the following:
- Current or former spouses
- A parent and child, someone acting as a parent to a child, or a grandparent and grandchild
- Individuals of the opposite sex who are dating or used to date
- Parents of the same child
- Former or current members of a household
- People of the opposite sex who used to live together or currently live together
If you were the victim of domestic violence, our Raleigh family law attorneys could help you protect yourself. We’ll help you apply for a protective order that can remove the abuser from your home and order them to keep their distance and refrain from contacting you.
Put Your Trust in the Raleigh Family Law Attorneys from Marshall & Taylor PLLC
When you’re involved in a family law case, you very well may be dealing with a traumatic riff or another experience that involves significant emotional, physical, or financial strain. At Marshall & Taylor PLLC, we understand the struggles you have to deal with. We will help you get through your case and also help you get back on your feet.
When you hire us, we’ll guide you through the legal process, provide emotional support, and advise you to make the right decisions for your situation. Our experience and knowledge of family law allows us to reach our clients’ goals and secure the best possible outcome in their case. You can depend on us to fight vigorously for your rights to secure a result that suits your needs.
Our Raleigh family law attorneys are available 24/7 to take your calls and answer your questions. If you want to discuss our services and find out how we can assist you with your divorce or other family law issue, contact us for a confidential consultation. We’ll be happy to meet with you to discuss your case and advise you on the options available. If you choose to hire us, we’ll begin our work immediately and ensure we resolve your matter promptly and favorably.
To speak with us about your family law matter and retain our legal services, call Marshall & Taylor PLLC at 919-833-1040.