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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. …

How Do North Carolina Courts Address Alimony?

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Separations and divorces are financially difficult. This rings particularly true when one spouse is employed and the other is not, or where there is a significant imbalance in how much each spouse earns. After years of financial routine and joint expenses, and a specific standard of living, separation splits a household into two separate financial entities. Alimony exists for the sake of fairness, and to take some of the unknown out of the equation. In North Carolina, the General Statutes, Chapter 50 specifically addresses a spouse’s right to spousal support. A legal action seeking alimony can be filed by either spouse, at any point before a final divorce decree is entered. It can be an independent action or joined with an absolute divorce petition. Under the law, the spouse who …

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Why Does it Take So Long to Get Divorced?

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Sometimes, people assume that when they decide to get divorced, they can get it done pretty quickly. Unfortunately, there is nothing quick about divorce in North Carolina. In fact, the law and busy court dockets make it impossible to impulsively get divorced. Our point is, that from the time you or your spouse decides “I want a divorce”, you will have to wait quite some time until the time that your divorce decree is signed. There are numerous reasons for this. One year and a day separation. You must be separated for a year and a day before you can file a Complaint seeking a divorce in North Carolina. This means you must live separate and apart from your spouse for a full year and one day before filing a …

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What is in a Divorce Decree?

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Are you in the process of a divorce? Are you attempting to represent yourself? We would highly suggest that you reconsider. The reason we say this is that divorces can be incredibly intense and complex proceedings, especially when there is property that needs to be divided or when children are involved. And significantly, there are highly specific legal requirements of pleadings and orders that the parties in a divorce must adhere to for the divorce to be valid and legally enforceable. One of these orders is the final divorce decree. Contents of a Divorce Decree A divorce decree is the final order that a judge signs and enters, which grants a couple’s divorce. This order can result from an agreement of the parties or following a trial in which the …

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Tips for Testifying in Court

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

In any legal proceeding, one of the most common fears that people have is the idea that they will have to testify in court. These nerves are rooted in expectations built through generations of television and movies. We see Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise yelling at each other, or Law and Order marathons where people are torn apart on the stand by aggressive defense attorneys. While your courtroom experience will not be like this; it is nevertheless important to know what to expect and how to prepare. Consult with your attorney in advance of your hearing or trial. Your attorney can tell you what to expect in your hearing and from your specific judge. This is also a good opportunity for you to get on the same page as your …