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Some of the most common cases brought to North Carolina courthouses include divorces, child custody and support and marital property division. These and other topics including marriage, adoption, prenuptial agreements are frequent family law issues.
North Carolina's family laws are meant to help resolve often emotional family disputes or concerns over these various topics. Likewise, family law attorneys work with families to navigate these complex laws and protect their rights while serving their interests.
If you have a family law case in Charlotte, Raleigh, Winston-Salem or elsewhere in North Carolina, LawInfo is your source for information and legal help. LawInfo's North Carolina Family Law section includes legal overviews, summaries of state laws and other resources to help you make the right decisions for you and your family. North Carolina family law attorneys can assist you with any of the following topics (and many more).
Like with every other state, North Carolina has a set of requirements that engaged couples must meet to be legally married. These requirements include:
When you and your partner are ready to get married, make sure to plan for applying for a marriage license before your wedding. While there's no waiting period after getting your license, you'll need to have your wedding within 60 days of receiving it before the license expires.
There are no residency requirements for obtaining a North Carolina marriage license. Licenses are also valid statewide, meaning that you don't have to marry in the county where you applied for the license. You can either apply for a license in-person at your local Register of Deeds or on a North Carolina county government website, whichever option is available and preferable.
If your marriage seems to be coming to an end, don't assume that you can simply get divorced for any reason in North Carolina. Like other states, North Carolina has a set of legally acceptable grounds for divorce in addition to a residency requirement.
One or both spouses must have been a North Carolina resident for six months or longer before filing for a divorce. A spouse (the plaintiff) may then file for one of two divorce types:
A divorce from bed and board isn't an absolute divorce in that it is only a legal separation. Neither party has the right to legally remarry until an absolute divorce is obtained.
When a couple gets divorced, they don't necessarily get half of everything they own like most people think. Only a few states use this “community property” legal method of dividing marital property in a 50/50 split. North Carolina, on the other hand, uses the equitable distribution method of dividing marital property.
In equitable distribution, only marital propertyópersonal and real property bought or earned during the marriageóis considered by the court for division and distribution. Property attained from gifts, inheritance, or personal injury insurance payouts during the marriage normally aren't considered, though.
While an equal division of marital property is possible in equitable distribution, property is often divided disproportionately in a manner deemed fair by the court. The court determines a fair division ratio based on a number of factors based on each party's situations and needs. The fault grounds of a divorce are also considered and may lead to the guilty party receiving a smaller percentage of the marital property. Child custody and support are taken into consideration, too.
Whether you need a family law attorney depends on a number of factors specific to your case. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Few couples need a lawyer to get married but attorneys may be required if there's a prenuptial agreement involved.
Individuals often benefit from hiring an attorney when dealing with divorce, child support, and especially child custody matters. Because emotions can run high during some divorces, hiring an attorney to negotiate and resolve difficult issues can be invaluable.
Many lawyers offer free initial consultations, so it may be worth your time to speak with an experienced North Carolina family law attorney if you have additional questions.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified family lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact an attorney in your area from our directory to discuss your specific legal situation.