North Carolina Family Legal Services
From court negotiations to trials, we work hard to protect our clients. Every case deserves the development and implementation of effective legal strategies. This is to get our clients the results they deserve. We recognize that each case is unique and provides us with an opportunity to serve an individual client’s particular needs and desired outcome. During your consultation, we will discuss all available options. Also the factor in the potential cost, and develop and implement the right plan for you.
Our family law attorneys, devote their entire practice to family legal services and divorce matters in North Carolina. This singular focus renders them especially equipped to assist you through this difficult process. They continually strive to provide compassionate and effective counsel and maintain a team-oriented approach. This approach allows us to keep our clients directly involved in their case. Clients can expect professional guidance, defined strategy, responsible use of resources, and expert representation.
A separation agreement is a private contract between the parties. It resolves some or all of the issues arising out of the separation. We review, negotiate, and draft these agreements as a way to avoid expensive litigation. Also to provide clients with the privacy and flexibility afforded by an out of court settlement.
We recommend hiring an attorney assist you in the separation agreement process, even in cases where parties are agreeable. Our attorneys can advise you about your rights and responsibilities, negotiate fairly and firmly, and carefully craft an agreement that will withstand or prevent future court battles. We have the broad expertise necessary to draft effective agreements to accomplish your goals.
Physical and emotional abuse present difficult issues, and we handle all types of domestic violence cases. Our work includes litigating and renewing domestic violence protective orders, defending allegations of domestic violence (including criminal violations), and litigating related issues like child custody, firearms, or therapy, stalking and harassment. A domestic violence order can have serious consequences and should not be taken lightly. If you require a domestic violence order or are defending yourself against allegations of domestic violence, please contact our office today for more assistance.
Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements
In some cases, engaged couples may want to enter into an agreement prior to marriage in order to protect their assets in the event of death or divorce. This is called a prenuptial agreement. Another option, for couples who are already married, is to enter into an agreement. This sets forth the distribution of property acquired during the marriage. This is called a postnuptial agreement. Couples may find these agreements beneficial to resolve issues related to business planning, inheritance, tax liability, estate planning, life insurance, and retirement division.
Financial issues are often a root cause of a divorce. Entering into one of these agreements may remove potential conflict in your marriage or, in the event of a divorce, it can protect your rights and prevent a future court battle.
We believe in Mediation. It is often a person’s last chance to maintain control over the result of his or her case. This is because in a courtroom, the Judge will dictate the outcome. Additionally, mediation is normally more cost effective than litigation.
Some common misconceptions persist about mediation. Many worry they will have to be in the same room as their spouse. Normally, however, the parties are never brought together in our mediations. If this is a particular concern in your case, we regularly use a mediator who actually has entirely separate buildings to ensure that the parties will not cross paths. Many also worry they cannot be represented by counsel at mediation. This is not the case. We will attend the mediation with you to represent your interests while a neutral third-party acts as the mediator. Others wonder whether they have to mediate and if mediation is right for them. Some types of litigation require mediation. If you are considering mediation, please contact our office so we can assess whether you should pursue mediation.
Termination of Parental Rights
A lot of folks believe you can simply “sign over your rights.” This is a common misconception. Unless the Department of Social Services is involved, a termination on one’s parental rights must involve litigation. It may not be accomplished by consent. Keep in mind: while you can terminate the parental rights of another, you cannot terminate your own parental rights.
Termination of parental rights in North Carolina is governed by the juvenile code. It is conducted as a two stage proceeding, first on the grounds for termination and second on the best interests of the child in question. The most common ground for termination is that there has been a willful abandonment of the child for a period of six months or more. Other grounds include abuse or neglect of the juvenile, leaving the child in foster care or placement for more than one year, incapacity for various reasons such as mental illness, and others as listed in the North Carolina General Statutes section 7B-1111.
Many seek a termination when they have a new partner who wishes to adopt the minor child. North Carolina law requires judges to consider the plan for adoption of a minor child in a termination action. Another common reason for termination is to make an estate plan which does not include the absentee parent. While we have successfully litigated on this basis in the past, these situations are very fact sensitive.
A person has a constitutionally protected right to parent their child or children. Therefore termination of this right is very serious and specialized. This process is best guided and handled by our professionals.