Answers To Your Common Divorce And Child Custody Questions
Below, we provide answers to commonly asked questions about divorce and child custody arrangements in North Carolina. Please call our Winston-Salem office at 336-661-8788 if you would like to discuss your situation. You can also contact our experienced family law attorneys online. There is a $200 initial consultation fee for all divorce and family law cases.
What must I do to be eligible for divorce?
In general, you and your spouse must live separate and apart, continuously, for a year prior to filing. Upon a year, you may officially be divorced.
Do I have to wait to settle alimony, child support, equitable distribution, etc. until I am officially divorced?
No, these may be settled at any time. You do not need to wait for the year of separation to occur prior to finalizing these arrangements. It is important to note, however, that if you wish to file for equitable distribution and alimony, you must do so prior to the finalization of the divorce.
Do I need to hire an attorney?
An experienced attorney can help make the difference in a favorable or unfavorable outcome. While an attorney is not required for a divorce, having an attorney is vital in ensuring you and your assets are protected from the state and your current spouse.
What is the difference between joint and sole child custody?
Joint custody is the sharing of custody between the parents, even if it’s on an unequal basis, while sole custody is where one parent alone has custody of the child. In general, North Carolina Courts will default to some form of joint custody, though one parent may have the children primarily. How much time, when that time is exercised, and whether or not one parent will receive sole custody can either be agreed to by the parties or determined by a court.
How is child custody determined when the parents disagree?
North Carolina typically determines custody in this scenario based on what is in the best interests of the child. Factors considered include child’s age, child’s relationship with each parent and history of domestic violence, amongst other factors.