Child Support

Divorce and Child Custody in Cary

One of the scariest parts of getting divorced is the legal limbo that you go through while waiting for matters of Child Custody to get sorted out.  Whether you live in Cary or Raleigh, if you choose to get this sorted out in the courts, you will be in front of one of the family law judges in Wake County District Court. Child Custody is probably one of the most stressful and highly litigated aspects of divorce that I see, and with a 12 week old son at home, I can understand why.  One of the biggest joys I get […]

How to prepare for divorce tip #11: Who moves?

Today’s divorce tip involves a commonly asked question, especially in North Carolina – Who moves?  I encourage all of my clients to at least consider the possibility of a collaborative divorce, and if you go that route, this is one of the many issues that can get worked out during the “four-way” meetings that are the hallmark of the collaborative process. In North Carolina, if you want a divorce, you must separate from your spouse for at least a year.  Practically speaking, this poses a number of problems – not the least of which is how to pay for two […]

How to prepare for divorce tip #5: Prepare a Budget

Whether you are considering a Collaborative Divorce (which I recommend) or an “old school” divorce, which only really benefits the lawyers involved, I would strongly suggest that you start to develop your budget.  One of the great things about the Collaborative process is that this budget will be “forward looking” as opposed to “backward looking”.  In other words, in a litigated divorce, the parties are trying to replicate the marital standard of living, which means looking back at how you spent money while you were married.  This would make sense if you were going to stay living together and didn’t […]

How to Prepare for divorce tip #3: Account for the Family Finances

In this third of a series of “How to Prepare for Divorce” Tips, I recommend that you begin gathering information about your families finances.  One of the primary functions of the divorce process is to make a division of the assets and debts of the marriage. In order to get a fair division, you must know what there is to divide. This is a three-step process: A.    Determine what you own. Many of the assets of the marriage will be obvious – the home in which you reside, financial accounts, vehicles, recreational vehicles, etc.  Others may not be so obvious […]

Amnesty for Child Support?

Tomorrow in Asheville, North Carolina, the child support enforcement office is holding an amnesty day for those individuals who have outstanding warrants for their arrest for non-payment of child support, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports. People who have outstanding warrants are encouraged to come to the child support office to make payments without fear of being arrested.  They may make a payment of 10% of the total amount due, or a full monthly payment, whichever is greater. Personally, I have mixed emotions about this.  I would hope it would provide incentive for people to come out and pay their support obligations.  […]

Do I need a Consent Judgment?

One of the questions I get most often is whether or not my client needs a consent judgment.  To answer that question, it probably is best to explain what a consent judgment is.  A consent judgment is nothing more than a court order that is agreed to by both parties to a lawsuit.  In order to get a court order, you must have a lawsuit filed, which means there has to be a complaint, an answer, and some type of motion or request for the court to set a hearing and sign the order (i.e. approve it). What if you […]

What should you bring to your meeting with a Divorce Lawyer?

I often get asked about what documents or other information my clients should bring with them to their initial assessment with my office.  Some lawyers will tell their clients to bring “anything you thing would be helpful to help me understand your case,” although that is a pretty general statement, and doesn’t help the client. Here is a list that can act as a starting point for you to gather information for the first meeting: Tax Returns are an essential element of Divorce Planning – Not only do they show how much money you and your spouse make, but they […]

But I don’t want to be a Daddy…

Apparently, there is a movement going on to push forward legislation that would allow men who tell their girlfriends, ahead of time, that they don’t want to be a Daddy to “financially abort” themselves from any responsibility for the child if the girlfriend gets pregnant.  At first I didn’t really believe the title of the article, but then I read more about it here. The proponent of this idea is Professor Frances Goldscheider, who teaches sociology at Brown University.  She says, “While I thought I was a feminist all my life, when I started studying the family and fatherhood in […]

Why I don’t accept all clients who call me…

There are many attorneys who practice what I call “threshold law” – which means that they will accept any and all clients that come to see them.  I am not one of those attorneys.  I have seen these attorneys practice law – they miss deadlines and court appearances, are often unprepared for meetings, fail to return phone calls, and seem to have the bar on their tail quite a bit.  Not only that, but they open themselves up to potential malpractice claims. Throughout the years, I have intentionally limited the number of clients I will accept at any given time.  […]

What to do when you know it’s over

I’ve spent a great deal of my time advising clients about what they should do when they finally decide that a divorce and/or separation is their only option to get out of a bad situation.  In my Divorce Guide I even outline a 12 step process that all people who are thinking about divorce should follow. Janet Langjahr, who writes the always informative Florida Divorce Law Blog, has come across a great story from Australia that details some things that clients should do when they know their marriage is over.  Among the list of things you should do are: Secure […]