Family Law

Durham-Chapel Hill-Raleigh Family Law Practice

For more information about a practice area, click on the heading.

Divorce
Many North Carolina couples who want to divorce are shocked to find out that they have to be separated for one year before their marriage can be dissolved. However, just because you have to wait doesn't mean you cannot resolve all relevant issues, such as child custody and visitation.

Separation Agreement
A separation agreement is a contract that allows divorcing couples to resolve divorce issues by a contract outside of court.

Child Custody & Visitation
There are two types of child custody in North Carolina: legal custody (the ability to access records and make decisions concerning the children) and physical custody (the amount of time spent with the children).

North Carolina Child Support Guidelines
Child support is typically based upon the North Carolina child support presumptive guidelines. The amount of child support determined by the worksheet is presumed to be reasonable.

Spousal Support
North Carolina courts may order spousal support if one of the parties is financially dependent on the other and the supporting spouse can afford to pay. Two types are available: post-separation support and alimony.

Marital Property Division
Your marital assets and debts will be divided according to the law of equitable distribution. "Equitable" is presumed to be 50-50. However, the court can award one party a greater share of marital assets in some financial circumstances.

Domestic Partnerships
If you are an unmarried couple, either heterosexual or gay and lesbian, North Carolina's equitable distribution laws and financial support laws do not apply to you, which is why pre-planning is so important.

Prenuptial Agreements
Even if you and your future spouse agree on how your assets would be divided should you divorce, this agreement is unenforceable by a court unless in writing as a prenuptial agreement. Again, pre-planning is key.

Appeals
Gray Ellis has successfully represented clients in a number of appeals of family court decisions. Other attorneys consult with him regarding their trial level cases in efforts to avoid appeals.

For more information about a family law practice area: Call Ellis Family Law at 919-688-9400 or fill out the contact form on this site.

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