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FAQs

Below is a list of frequently asked questions about our services and your rights. Please read them below and call us if you have any questions.

Family Law

Do I have to live in Cumberland County to get a divorce through your firm?

You do not have to live in Cumberland County to obtain a divorce through our firm, although North Carolina law states that at least one of the spouses must reside somewhere in North Carolina for a period of at least six months prior to the filing of a divorce proceeding.

How much does your firm charge for a divorce and separation?

Divorce, as well as other legal matters, range in total costs and fees. Each case is different and has its own intricacies. There is no way to estimate the cost of your case without first understanding the facts of your situation, and even then the cost can fluctuate due to settlements, trials and unforeseen occurrences.

What if my spouse and I agree on the terms of our separation, will I have to go to court?

If you and your spouse agree on the terms of your separation there are avenues to resolve your case without court involvement. We will be able to take the terms of your separation and draft a document which clearly sets out the rights and responsibilities of you both.

If there is already an order in place for custody of my children, can it be changed?

North Carolina law allows for the change or modification of a previously entered custody order, depending upon the facts of your case. A custody order can be modified by agreement between you and the other party to your case, or by filing a proper motion before the court and showing a significant change of circumstance since your last order was entered.

What if my spouse and I are in agreement regarding the terms of child custody?

If you and your spouse are in agreement regarding custody of your children, we can take the terms of your agreement and draft a document which clearly sets out your custody and visitation arrangements, as well as the responsibilities of each of you regarding your children. This document will then be signed by both of you and will become the governing document which you both must abide by.

How is child support determined in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, child support is determined based upon a set of guidelines. These guidelines take into account the income of the mother and father, health insurance premiums, work-related child care costs and any extraordinary medical expenses of the children.

Under what circumstances do North Carolina courts award spousal support or alimony?

Spousal support, also known as alimony, may be awarded to either spouse depending upon a variety of circumstances. The purpose of spousal support is to aid the dependent spouse in accounting for his or her decrease in income due to a marital separation and/or divorce. When considering an award of spousal support, the court will look at both spouses’ earning capacity, employment history, the length of the marriage and the accustomed standard of living, among other things.

How will our property and debt be divided by the court?

In dividing marital property and debt, the court will follow a three-step process. First the court will identify and classify all of your property and debt. Secondly, the court will assign a net value to all of your property and debt, as of your separation date. Finally, the court will divide your property and debt in a fair or equitable manner. The division of your property and debt may or may not be equal depending on the facts of your case.

I heard that Cumberland County courts require mediation, why?

Mediation is used most commonly in property division and child custody cases in Cumberland County. Mediation was developed as a way for both parties to reach an out of court agreement with the help of a third party mediator. It was developed with the belief that if both parties are able to reach an agreement regarding their issues that they will be more satisfied with the outcome than if a judge hands down a decision. Though it is usually required that both parties attend mediation, it is not mandatory that the parties reach a settlement.

Is your firm familiar with family law cases involving the military?

Our attorneys have years of experience with military clients and are familiar with military specific family law issues such as military retirement, Survivor’s Benefit Plans and navigating child custody cases where one or both parents face deployments or relocations.

Personal Injury

Is there an initial consultation fee?

We do not charge a consultation fee for personal injury cases.

What types of compensation are allowed in personal injury actions?

In personal injury cases, you are entitled to compensation for a number of things, to include medical expenses, travel expenses, time missed from work, pain and suffering and mental anguish.

How long will it take for my case personal injury case to be completed?

The time it takes to complete a personal injury case often depends on the nature of your injuries. Many injuries, which are non-permanent in nature, can often be resolved in four to six months. Injuries that are more severe can take substantially longer.

Wrongful Death

Is there an initial consultation fee?

We do not charge a consultation fee for wrongful death cases.

How long do surviving family members have to file a wrongful death claim?

Generally, a person has two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim in North Carolina.

What types of compensation are allowed in wrongful death actions?

In a wrongful death action, a person is entitled to compensation for medical expenses, funeral expenses, net income of deceased, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of companionship and society.

Can creditors make a claim against wrongful death proceeds?

No. Wrongful death proceeds are not considered assets of an estate that are available to a creditor.