Are you planning to file for divorce in North Carolina, but you’re not sure what to expect? Read on to learn more about the answers to some of the most common NC divorce questions most people have before sitting down with an attorney.
How Is This Going to Work?
It can feel overwhelming to think about getting divorced. Imagining the process is a lot to take on, and the legal parts definitely ARE overwhelming. Knowing that you have the right lawyer at your side to guide you through the process can ease some anxiety. You start by working with your lawyer to determine the best path to reach your goals. Sometimes that involves court, but it doesn’t have to. Once you’re comfortable with the plan for the way forward, you and your lawyer will work together to follow that path. You will almost certainly need to gather paperwork, and you’ll definitely communicate with your NC divorce lawyer regularly.Your lawyer is the one who manages all the details and paperwork for court, and your divorce attorney will keep you informed about these concerns.
How Long is All This Going to Take?
Putting yourself and your children in the best possible position can take some significant time, but this is something that needs to be done right. If it’s possible for a settlement to be negotiated, the time can be significantly shorter than what may be the case if you go to court. For custody cases, our courts aspire to have temporary orders in place within 60 days, but orders for permanent custody can take months to get in place. Again: the most important factor is that you and your children get an order that promotes your best interests.
How Much Will it Cost?
This is a critically important question that needs to be addressed during your first consult with your lawyer. While there’s no one way to determine how much your divorce will cost, your lawyer should be able to give you an estimate based upon what you discuss regarding the level of conflict, the issues surrounding the end of the marriage, special needs for your children, and other factors. If you go to court, there are filing fees and costs along the way, and you can expect to explore the options of spending money to collect information about your spouse that may have been hidden or is otherwise unknown to you. Since there are so many individual aspects of your case that will influence the time period for divorce and your overall cost, you’ll want to sit down with an NC divorce lawyer sooner rather than later to get an idea of what your case expenses could be.
What Are My Next Steps?
Talking to an attorney in an initial consultation is the first step you should take when filing for divorce. It gives you a chance to ask questions about the process and explain your case’s specifics to an experienced divorce lawyer. Meeting with an attorney does not obligate you to file for divorce but is an important step for preparing you for what divorce looks like and helping you understand how to proceed.
Will I Stay in My House?
The answer to this question is often determined in the very early stages of the separation and divorce process. If staying in your house is important to you, you should consult with an attorney as soon as you come to realize that you are in fact going to separate. In the short term, it’s usually the case that one spouse stays in the home with any children. Whether the ultimate distribution of the house is arrived at by settlement or through the court process, the short term usually has broad effects on the long term.
How Will My Divorce Affect Where My Kids Go to School?
If possible, we recommend keeping kids in their current school. When considering the issues involved in child custody, the court operates on the best interests of the child standard, which means judges closely examine the specifics of each case in making decisions. When it comes to divorce, it is unavoidable that there will be an impact on your children, but it is important to make every effort to ensure that your children’s academic paths aren’t adversely affected.
What About Religious Holidays with the Kids?
Most child custody arrangements swap holidays for major events every other year. You can also divide holidays, for example, keeping the kids in the morning and then letting the other parent pick them up for the afternoon. Holidays are handled in child custody arrangements documented during a divorce.
My Kids Have Friends in the Neighborhood. I Can’t Take Them Away from That.
There are many factors to consider in determining whether or not you should move from your neighborhood. Wherever possible, consider efforts to keep children’s lives stable during this time and after the divorce. However, it’s not always possible to keep things the same, so in those cases, prepare your children for what’s next with honest conversations.
At McKnight Law, We’re Fluent in the Emotions of Divorce and Child Custody
We know just how hard it is for you to approach the divorce process. We know that you’re worried about how this will impact your family. It’s why we work so hard to understand your needs and concerns at the outset of your case so that we can support you through the whole thing. You deserve an advocate at your side during this time so that you can work towards the next chapter for your family. Speaking to divorce lawyers is essential, however, when you want to learn more about starting the process.
Call (919) 413-7002 to schedule an appointment to sit down and talk with divorce attorney John McKnight. If you decide divorce is the best option for you, John will be involved in all aspects of your case. As a boutique law firm staffed by two experienced attorneys, you can rest assured that you will work with authentic, honest, and transparent professionals when you choose McKnight Law. A trusted name in the community, John has worked on political campaigns and served on the Boards of Directors for the Wake County Bar Association and the Wake County Women’s Center. His active volunteerism and willingness to serve have earned him recognition from people from all walks of life in Wake County, offering an advantage you might not receive from other firms that don’t have the same community presence.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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Raleigh, NC 27607