Divorce Tips

Should You Pay a Lawyer for an Initial Family Law Consultation?

initial divorce assessment

You will be hard pressed to find a lawyer that doesn’t charge for an initial divorce consultation, or initial divorce assessment as we call it. And there is a simple reason for that – first, if we didn’t charge for this meeting our days would be spent meeting with lots of prospective clients that are looking for free legal advice, but have no intention of actually hiring a lawyer. Second, many spouses would meet with every lawyer in their area in an attempt to “conflict out” any lawyer their spouse would try to go visit. So yes, most family law […]

3 Common Mistakes People Make when Filing their own Divorce

Divorce Mistakes

There are a ton of divorce mistakes that I often see people make when they file their own divorce. When I was preparing to write this post, I did a brainstorm and could find no fewer than 10 major mistakes – any one of which could doom your divorce, cause you major legal/financial trouble, or both. So I went ahead and prepared this video outlining the 3 biggest mistakes I see people make: They file too soon They don’t properly serve their spouse They don’t properly preserve claims for spousal support or equitable distribution in their divorce If you are […]

Does Alimony hurt your ability to qualify for a mortgage?

I recently received an email from a past client that got me scratching my head. Here is the email (with identifying information removed to protect the innocent and so as not to divulge protected client information…): Hey Jim, I just wanted to let you know my current situation so that you can use it as a warning to any of your current or future clients. I have been house hunting lately and went through the process for qualifying for a loan. I ended up getting turned down because the banks limit the amount of debt to 43% of gross income. […]

NCDP 01 : Introduction to the podcast and legal requirements for divorce in North Carolina

NCDP 01 : Introduction to the podcast and legal requirements for divorce in North Carolina

Welcome to the inaugural episode of the North Carolina Divorce Podcast!  This is the “show notes” page, where I will summarize everything that I talked about in the podcast.  Today’s podcast was short and sweet, containing a brief introduction of my law firm and why I started the podcast, who I’m hoping to help with the podcast, and then I move into the legal tip for this podcast.  Today’s tip discusses the legal requirements to obtain a divorce in North Carolina. I hope you enjoy! Right click here to download the mp3

What does it mean to provide Full Financial Disclosure?

What does it mean to provide Full Financial Disclosure?

For whatever reason, a lot of my clients, and I think a lot of divorcing spouses in general, have a hard time with the concept of “full financial disclosure.” Here are the objections I typically receive: That information is from prior to the date of separation, so it isn’t relevant now My husband/wife already has all this information We are splitting everything up on our own terms, so this information is not necessary Many clients, unfortunately, don’t truly appreciate how important full financial disclosure is. If you fail to provide the information that is requested by your spouse’s attorney, or […]

It’s that time of year again… Divorce and the Holidays

It's that time of year again... Divorce and the Holidays

As we flip to the last page of the calendar for 2013, a topic comes to mind that I know is front and center for a lot of my readers. Divorce and the holidays. If you are thinking about divorce, or even going through one already, this can be an extremely difficult time. Perhaps this is your first holiday season after a divorce? Perhaps you just recently separated and are concerned about how much time you will get to spend with your children? Perhaps you are just dreading spending another holiday with your husband/wife’s family?

Should you go to court? How do you decide?

Should you go to court? How do you decide?

Getting a family law or divorce case to settlement is a long, windy road, with lots of points along the way for you to turn off and settle your case. But how do you make that decision?  Should you go to court?  How do you know when it is time to settle your case? The answer to those questions is difficult and one that you will need to talk to your lawyer about, but here are some things you need to think about on your own as well. Recognize that you have choices in your divorce Just because you have […]

Avoid these 5 big mistakes that people make when going to family court

Avoid these 5 big mistakes that people make when going to family court

I talk a lot on this website about resolving cases amicably, out of court. I believe strongly that this is the best way for a divorcing couple to settle their divorce matter. Unfortunately, there are situations where going to court cannot be avoided. This morning I am going to court for one such situation, so I thought that I would address how to avoid 5 big mistakes that people make when going to family court. Being Late. Being on time just seems like a no-brainer to us lawyers (most of us anyway), but so many clients just don’t understand the […]

How to deal with your pro se spouse who WON’T hire a divorce lawyer

How to deal with your pro se spouse who WON'T hire a divorce lawyer

What is it about us divorce lawyers? Why do some people run to us while others view us as Superman would view kryptonite? In my humble opinion, as a lawyer that has practiced family law for 8 years, I think it is this – some people just don’t want to admit that their marriage is over. But we’ll save that story for another day. Clients hire me all the time that have a considerable amount of value in their marital estate (i.e. more than $500,000), but for whatever reason, their spouse is reluctant to get a lawyer. I will send […]

Getting remarried with kids? Maybe you should think again.

Getting remarried with kids? Maybe you should think again.

If you are thinking about getting remarried with kids, I ran across an interesting article today that indicates that getting remarried with kids is not such a hot idea. Entitled “Why Second Marriages are more Perilous”, the article talks about just that. Frankly, second marriages is not a topic that I routinely think about, but it is something that you should consider. Many of my client’s are interested in getting remarried after we finish up their first divorce, or at least they may have started dating again. Frankly, I disagree with the author’s take in this article.  According to the […]