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Is Trial Worth It?

In Child Custody, Separation & Divorce by Carly Baker

Contrary to what many people believe, divorcing couples rarely end up going to trial to resolve their legal issues. In fact, in the vast majority of cases, issues like child custody, child support, equitable distribution, and alimony are settled between divorcing spouses in the conference room of an attorney or mediator’s office rather than in a courtroom. This is because despite the intense emotions that arise around these issues, attorneys will give their clients a realistic answer to the question: Is trial worth it? If the primary reason that a client wants to take his or her case to court is angerjustice, or vengeance, then the answer is no, trial is not worth it. This is true for a multitude of reasons, including: Going to court is expensive. In addition …

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What is a Child Support Consent Order?

In Child Support by Elizabeth Stephenson

When separated parents can agree to the critical issues of child custody and child support, their children benefit. Both public policy and common sense tell us that it is far better for children to see their parents act in a mature, harmonious manner than it is to see their parents fight during an already difficult period of time. We encourage our clients to attempt to reach amicable agreements and believe that it is important to understand their options when it comes to agreements. Separation Agreements One option to effectuate an agreement regarding child support is a separation agreement. This is a legally binding contract between parents following their date of separation in which they can agree to property division, child custody, spousal support, and/or child support. With such an agreement, …

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Why Would a Court Reject an Agreement?

In Child Custody, Child Support, Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

When it comes to family law matters that arise when couples decide to divorce—such as property division, alimony, child custody, and child support—there are several scenarios in which a resolution can be reached. This includes: (1) abiding by an existing prenuptial or postnuptial agreement; (2) reaching a separation agreement; or (3) filing a lawsuit and asking a court to issue an order resolving the issues. Further, even when filing a lawsuit, the parties can reach an agreement for the court’s approval before the matter actually goes to trial. In North Carolina and across the country, it is far more common for couples to reach some form of agreement than to take issues to trial. This is because lawsuits and prolonged legal battles are incredibly expensive, as are the trials themselves. …

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The Risks of Informal Custody Arrangements

In Child Custody by Sarah Hink

In our practice, we’ve discovered that it is incredibly common for separated parents to go without any sort of formal agreement or court order regarding custody or visitation. Instead, these parents will have some sort of informal, spoken or unspoken, understanding about where the children live and how visitation is supposed to work. For some parents, this works out. Unbeknownst to these parents, they are taking a great risk. As family law attorneys, we have seen it all when it comes to child custody cases. The reason that informal arrangements are risky is that without any formal order or agreement, there is nothing in place to stop one parent from refusing to allow the other to see the child. On the other side of that coin, there is nothing that …

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What is Joint Legal Custody?

In Child Custody, Parenting by Sarah Hink

Child custody issues comprise some of the most emotional and bitterly contested battles that our family law firm sees. The reason is obvious for anyone with kids: nothing in the world matters more than their safety, stability, and happiness. Physical Custody versus Legal Custody There are essentially two types of custody recognized by North Carolina family courts: legal and physical custody. Physical custody is what most people envision when they think of custody. It can be described as whom the child lives with, where the child lives, and when the child sees each parent. In contrast, legal custody encompasses the rights and duties of parents in making major parenting decisions regarding a child. These decisions include a child’s education, health and medical decisions, activities, and religious upbringing. Beyond the types …