Most people assume a family law legal practice is all about divorce and not much else. While divorce is a large area for attorneys who practice family law, it only scratches the surface of the ways in which an attorney working in this field helps families in North Carolina.
If you are getting a divorce in the Greenville, North Carolina, area, it is a good idea to become familiar with all the elements of divorce you may encounter. One of the most misunderstood of these elements is spousal support, which is also known as alimony. To many divorcing parties who still need financial support, alimony feels wrong, as if it is just a way to take advantage of a former life partner. To those who are faced with paying spousal support, it can often feel like an unfair situation.
If you are contemplating a divorce, spousal support or alimony may be in dispute. You may be the spouse who believes you will need such payments, or you may be the person from whom your former spouse is seeking alimony or support. It is important that you understand the different types of payments that may be ordered in your divorce and what may affect whether they will be ordered.
Filing taxes often confuses people, but parents in North Carolina who have recently gotten divorce may want to pay attention to certain tax considerations before April draws nearer. For example, a parent who qualifies for head of household filing status may get a lower tax rate than single filing status affords, and other information may also be useful.
Married couples who are considering a divorce should be aware that certain criteria must be met before any documents can be filed. One spouse must be a resident of the state for at least six months, and the couple must complete a one-year separation prior to the initial filing of the divorce. During the separation phase, although they are living apart, the couple is still considered to be legally married.
Many North Carolina couples try to protect their assets in the event of a divorce by entering into prenuptial agreements before marrying. Although courts normally give these agreements weight and usually follow them, there are some circumstances in which a court will refuse to enforce a prenuptial agreement.
There are numerous reasons that an individual might use in seeking to divorce a spouse, but it is important to understand and comply with state requirements related to the proceeding. In order for a court to consider a divorce action, either the plaintiff or the defendant must have been a resident of the state for at least six months prior to the filing. If both spouses are residents of the state, the action may be brought in a court with jurisdiction over either of the locations involved.
Estranged couples in North Carolina often have questions about the transition from separation to divorce and its effects on alimony, child support and other matters. Typically, most couples can file for divorce after they have been separated for a period of one year, but there are exceptions to this rule depending on the facts of the case. In the meantime, parents need not wait for divorce to establish child support payments. If they can come to an agreement regarding payment and custody terms, that agreement can direct their actions until a subsequent divorce.
An uncontested divorce is the least complicated type of divorce in North Carolina and involves a few basic steps. First, one party files court papers to ask for a divorce along with details of property division, alimony and child custody if applicable, then the other party is notified of the filing. A hearing is then scheduled, with both spouses notified of the hearing date, and finally, a judge signs the decree at the hearing granting the divorce.
North Carolina fans of actor Terrance Howard may have heard that he is claiming that he cannot pay $325,000 in spousal support to his ex-wife Michelle Ghent as required by the terms of their divorce settlement agreement. Although Howard continues to star in blockbuster hits, he insists that all of his money goes directly to his first wife of 14 years, Lori McMasters, in the form of alimony and child support for the former couple's two children. After taking her share, McMasters supposedly writes Howard a check for just under $6,000 each month to cover his own expenses.