Attorney’s Fees: Hourly Rate, Flat Fee, or Contingency Fee in Family Law Cases

There are primarily three ways attorneys charge clients for legal services: hourly rates, contingency fees and flat fees. So what should you expect regarding attorneys fees if you have a family law issue? With most family law issues, attorneys bill by the hour.  This is because it is difficult to estimate how long each case will take.  Hourly rates vary depending upon the experience of the attorney, the average hourly rate in the area in which you live and the complexity of the case and our attorneys endeavor to ensure that clients are charged a fair fee.   Generally, most attorneys … Continue reading

I Want a Divorce in North Carolina

Checklist for obtaining an simple absolute divorce North Carolina: 1.  Husband and/or wife must have been a resident of North Carolina for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. 2.  Husband and wife must be legally married and the date of marriage and place of marriage must be stated in the divorce complaint. 3.  Husband and wife must have been physically separated from one another for more than one year prior to filing the divorce complaint.  Physical separation requires living in separate residences. Living in separate parts of the same house or on separate parts of the same … Continue reading

How Is Child Support Calculated in North Carolina?

  In North Carolina, there are presumptive guidelines, i.e. a formula, for calculating child support in the majority of child support cases.   So what information do you need to calculate how much child support you may receive from the other parent or pay to the other parent in the event of separation or divorce? Here is the required information: Both parents’ average monthly gross income; Any work-related child care expenses; The cost of the child(ren)’s health insurance premium; and Any “extraordinary” expenses such as private school for a child with special needs. In addition to these expenses, you also need … Continue reading

What Does “Best Interest of the Child” Mean in a Child Custody Action?

What does “BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD” really mean? For many lawyers this is the catch phrase that we tell our new clients when we are asked the following question: “How does a Judge decide where my child will live?” It is a phrase that seems simple yet like an onion when it is peeled back it reveals many layers that are neither set in concrete or consistent in weight. I explain to me clients that a Judge will be concerned about a number of different factors and they are as follows, in no particular order of importance and by … Continue reading

Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts if You Are Considering Separation or Divorce

Do get advice from an experienced family law attorney in your area.  Ask your family, friends, colleagues for their recommendations because issues involving separation and divorce are complex and good advice from an attorney you trust is critical. Don’t move out of the marital residence before getting advice from an attorney unless there is violence in the home or other safety concerns that warrant moving from the residence. Don’t sign any agreements or court orders without the advice of an attorney. Don’t discuss affairs or relationships with third parties with your spouse or anyone else other than your attorney. Do … Continue reading

Physical Separation vs. Legal Separation

Clients often ask “what does it mean to be separated?” First, you must be physically separated meaning you and your husband or wife have to live at separate addresses – it is not enough for the spouses to be sleeping in separate bedrooms or in separate parts of the house.  Prior to physical separation, it is advisable to enter into a Separation Agreement to formalize your intention to live permanently separate and apart from one another.  The Separation Agreement will waive certain marital rights, such as estate rights or the right to share in the future assets of the other … Continue reading