At Nelson Family Law, we understand the stress and emotions that our clients experience when they find themselves facing divorce. Our experienced Raleigh divorce attorneys are dedicated to supporting you with solid legal advice, strong representation and compassion. We answer your questions, help you set priorities and goals, inform you about what to expect, and guide you through whatever challenges arise.
Separation Agreements in N.C.
According to North Carolina divorce law, legal separation occurs on the date one or both parties move to a separate address with the intent to permanently live apart. While you do not need a separation agreement to be legally separated, putting a written contract in place serves to document all verbal agreements and avoid future disputes related to equitable distribution (property division), debts, child custody and financial support. You should not move out of the marital home to begin a legal separation without conferring with an attorney about what legal rights and obligations this may trigger.
Mediation and collaborative divorce
The vast majority of divorces never go to trial, but rather, couples are able to resolve their disputes and reach a settlement out of court. North Carolina law provides mediation, arbitration and collaborative law as alternatives to courtroom litigation. Our attorneys will help you understand these paths to divorce and choose a direction that will best meet your goals. Having an attorney work with you to put agreements in writing may avoid court action down the road when you no longer agree about an issue. In these cases, an attorney works to ensure both parties understand and know how to enforce the agreement and troubleshoot any problems that may arise. At Nelson Family Law, we want our clients to move on to have healthy and conflict-free lives so our services are not needed time and again down the road.
While we hope to assist our clients in moving toward an amicable settlement with their former spouse, sometimes conflicts cannot be resolved without going to court. When a trial is necessary, Nelson Family Law is highly qualified to represent your interests in the courtroom.
Our seasoned chief litigator, Suzanne Nelson, has logged over 100,000 hours of court time in her career, and she currently spends most of her hours right here in Wake County Family Court. We have experience handling highly contentious divorces across multiple jurisdictions. Our team will develop your case thoroughly and fight for your interests with sound legal strategies and a formidable courtroom presence.
North Carolina law requires that divorcing couples be separated for one year before filing for final (or absolute) divorce. After the waiting period, one party may file a divorce complaint with the clerk of court and pay the court filing fee. The other party will be served a summons notifying him or her that the action has been filed.
The opposing party is given 30 days to answer the complaint. A hearing is then set, and if uncontested, the judge will grant the divorce. A contested divorce may arise when the parties cannot agree on terms of their divorce. These cases take longer and are often more expensive.
After a divorce is final and under certain circumstances, either party may appeal a court decision or a settlement agreement to a higher court. However, it is unusual for an appellate court to overturn a district court ruling. The attorneys at Nelson Family Law have appellate experience and can assist you in evaluating whether your child custody, visitation schedules, child support or spousal support order will be upheld on appeal. We can evaluate the facts of your case and determine if you have grounds for appeal.
Top-notch Raleigh divorce attorneys
Choosing the right divorce attorney is a critically important decision. Nelson Family Law is a Raleigh divorce firm that handles all aspects of divorce. With our team on your side, you can rest assured that you are hiring experienced problem-solvers who will guide you every step of the way.