Divorce lawyers can help navigate the significant changes to your family unit that divorce may bring. Ending a marriage affects many more people than just the married couple. The entire family’s life is affected. Children from the marriage, children from previous marriages, and extended family such as grandparents might need to adjust to the former spouses’ new situation.
Depending on your family’s circumstances before the divorce, your life could change in several ways. For example, you may need to split up the household to observe the one-year separation period. You may need to get a child custody agreement in place and decide who pays for various child-related expenses. You also may need to divide up jointly owned belongings and assets. A firm that exclusively practices family law and takes a holistic approach to serving clients, like New Direction Family Law, can help with your questions about your family during a divorce.
The Separation Period: Maintaining Different Households
When you divorce in North Carolina, you first need to be separated for one year and a day, before you can officially file for divorce. During the separation period, you and your spouse must live in separate residences. This means different houses or apartments, not just different rooms in the same house. For many families, the separation period means that they must transition to maintaining two households.
Having two households can be a big change for children used to living with both parents, parents accustomed to one set of bills, and relatives wanting to visit. Many divorcing parents decide to sign separation agreements to decide some of the issues arising out of the separation. A lawyer can help you prepare an agreement that discusses issues ranging from paying bills during the separation to providing support payments. A separation agreement can resolve uncertainties that divorcing couples and their families may face during the separation period. Contact New Direction Family Law to learn more.
Child Custody and Children’s Expenses
Other big changes for families facing divorce are suddenly needing to handle child custody exchanges and deciding how to pay for children’s expenses. As part of the separation and divorce, you will need to make an agreement about custody of your children from the marriage. Rather than informally swapping time with the children, it is important to get a formal agreement in place. This could come in the form of a mutually agreed-upon parenting plan or a court-ordered custody arrangement. Divorce lawyers can assist you with custody matters in the course of your divorce proceedings.
In addition, you may need to ask for or pay child support during the divorce. Your child or children have expenses that need to be paid, such as school fees, medical costs, and money to buy clothes and food. You may be responsible for paying child support to your spouse for these expenses, or your spouse may owe you child support. Again, it’s better to have a formal child support order in place than an informal agreement. That way, you can enforce the order in court if need be.
Moreover, when families split up because of divorce, some parents may find it difficult to communicate with the other parent. In high conflict divorces, many families find that a parent coordinator can help make sure the child or children are recognized. Parent coordinators assist with communication and problem solving for families in transition due to divorce.
Dividing Up Jointly Owned Belongings and Assets
Many families have jointly owned belongings or assets that must get divided during the equitable distribution process. This process is part of all North Carolina divorces unless a divorcing couple agrees on a different distribution method. Figuring out who gets the house and who keeps certain family vehicles can be very difficult, so speaking with a family law attorney to know your rights and options is imperative. Other couples negotiate property distribution by signing a separation agreement. Talk to our divorce lawyers to learn about your options.
Let New Direction Family Divorce Lawyers Assist Your Family
When your family faces a divorce that will change your everyday lives, you need top-notch lawyers to assist you. At New Direction Family Law, we pride ourselves on helping families understand legal rights and navigate the difficult transitions that divorce can bring. With decades of combined legal experience, our divorce lawyers are knowledgeable, effective, and compassionate professionals. Contact New Direction Family Law at (919) 646-6561 to schedule a consultation, or visit us at our website.