5 Reasons to Establish Paternity

Establishing paternity can have benefits for both parents and child, and for unmarried parents, there are two ways to go about this. The first is to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form; the second is via the courts.  Why is it so important to establish paternity? Here are five benefits in favor of doing so. 1. Establishing identity It is important that a child understands where they came from Read More

A Brief Guide to Third Party Custody

Third-party custody is where a person or persons other than the child’s biological parents are given parental rights and take over parental responsibilities. Usually, child custody and visitation rights are decided in court and, where possible, the biological parents will be granted custody rights. If the biological parents are unfit or unable to care for the child, a third party may be granted custody rights Read More

Understanding Common Law Marriage in North Carolina

There are many misconceptions about what it means to be “common law married” in North Carolina. Some couples believe that if they are together for a particular length of time, this automatically makes them common law married, and in being so, they have certain legal rights as a couple. But is this true? And what does common law marriage really mean? What is Common Law marriage? If a couple lives together and Read More

Prenuptial Agreements Aren’t as Bad as You Think

If you are in the process of planning your wedding and your partner requests a prenuptial agreement prior to the wedding date, you may be initially insulted at the lack of romance behind the formality and say, “Let’s call the whole thing off.” But there are many reasons why a couple should consider a prenup, and protecting one’s wealth is not the only reason. The Myths and Misconceptions Surrounding Read More

Understanding “No-Fault” Divorce

In 1999, Park Overall starred in the movie The Price of a Broken Heart, which was based on the true story of North Carolina couple Dot and Joseph Hutelmyer, who were happily married, at least until Joseph got romantically involved with his secretary. Dot sued her husband’s lover for alienation of affection and after the dust settled, was awarded a $1 million verdict. North Carolina is one of six states that still Read More

5 Benefits of a Marital Separation Agreement

Divorce can be complicated and painful, but a marital separation agreement can help make the dissolution of the marriage less bitter and acrimonious because it can ultimately save you both money. A marital separation agreement is an arrangement between a husband and wife that settles the most pressing and divisive issues that come up when a couple decides to divorce. Most often, the issues include child custody Read More

A Brief Overview of Domestic Violence Injunctions in North Carolina

For those living with domestic violence, a problem that can impact those of any age or economic status, the situation can seem hopeless. An abusive partner can control not only finances and transportation but also time by monitoring the whereabouts of a victim throughout the day, making it difficult for those in an abusive relationship to escape their situation. When children are involved, the stakes are even Read More

Seven Ways Your Spouse Could Hide Assets to Receive a More Favorable Settlement

Love and romance sometimes turn to divorce, and even if dissolving of your union seems calm on the surface, in reality, your divorce could be completely acrimonious, especially where finances are concerned. While prenuptial agreement can help protect assets that each spouse came into the marriage with, things might change when it comes to dividing marital property. One spouse may do anything to hide certain assets Read More

Living Together: Understanding Cohabitation Laws in North Carolina

Cohabitation, sometimes called “unmarried cohabitation,” while once quite rare, has become very common over the past several decades. Simply put, cohabitation is when two adults are living together continuously while maintaining a relationship that is similar to a marriage in many ways. This is not the same thing as a roommate. For quite some time, cohabitating couples would live together for a while with the Read More

5 Factors Courts Consider When Determining Child Support

When a couple with children splits up or gets divorced, both parties are responsible for supporting those children. Courts generally assume that a custodial parent, the parent with primary physical custody, pays child support by default. The custodial parent does this through spending money to provide a child with adequate day-to-day care. Non-custodial parents are usually required to pay child support through Read More