There are few other areas of the law that have such a dramatic and life changing impact than family law. This area includes divorce, divorce from bed and board, child custody disputes, child support issues, and equitable distribution.
Our attorneys are experienced in the various topics that arise when family law matters need to be resolved. Have you thought about if you want your child exposed to a member of the opposite sex when your ex decides to have his/her new girl/boy friend spend the night with your child present? What about if you move more than 100 miles from your current residence and the issue of who will transport the child for visitation comes up? What about whether or not you should have first right of refusal if your child needs a babysitter when it is not your day for visitation? We have! Our attorneys will be able to advise you on issues before they arise to help avoid having to go back to court just to clarify an existing court order.
The number one question that we are asked during our free consultation is “can my wife/husband stop me from divorcing from them”. The simple answer is no, but they sure can make it hard and expensive for you! North Carolina is a no fault divorce state. This means that you, or your spouse, can request a divorce and there really isn’t anything to stop them from obtaining it. We offer the best rates around for uncontested divorce (both you and your spouse agree to the divorce). However, what we deal with most often is the spouse that does not agree to the divorce, the division of assets/property, or there are child support/custody issues that must be resolved.
When considering the issues of child custody, it is vital that the first court order is as close to what you are seeking as possible. Child custody orders are extremely difficult to modify once they are established. The reason for this is simple, the laws have been written to make child custody/visitation orders modifiable only after there has been a “significant change in circumstances”. Bottom line, the courts don’t want to be bothered with a parent coming into court every few months to try and change an order that has been entered. To prevent this, you must be able to show that there is a significant change in circumstances before you can even ask the court to change the order. To change custody, you must be prepared to prove two points: (1) there has been a significant change in circumstances and (2) it is in the child’s best interest to change the existing order. Our firm will be able to help you properly prepare evidence and witnesses court the hearing.
For example, if primary custody was given to the child’s mother and after the order was entered, she became a drug addict, you would be able to show a significant change in circumstances to warrant changing primary custody. This is of course, after you show that the change would be in the child’s best interest.
The most common issue our firm deals with is the failed “visitation as agreed upon by the parties” order. This usually occurs when the parents are on good terms when they enter the initial custody order. However, it actually means nothing! There is no set schedule upon which the non-custodial parent is guaranteed to see their child, there is nothing that can be taken to court to enforce. Let us help you establish an initial order that clearly defines each parent’s rights and responsibilities.
If you are experiencing any of these issues you should seek the counsel of a compassionate and dependable attorney to assist you.