Do You Need to Establish Paternity for Child Support?

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | May 18, 2022 | 0 Comments

The simple answer is yes; the paternity of a child must be established to request child support. Beyond child support, establishing a legal father for the child also provides other potential benefits for the child, including entitlement to Social Security, death, insurance, and military benefits—...

How Alimony Is Calculated in North Carolina

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | May 11, 2022 | 0 Comments

If you're going through a divorce in North Carolina and you were a "dependent spouse" (meaning your wife or husband was the primary breadwinner in the marriage), you may be wondering what to expect concerning alimony payments. This can be a particular point of stress for both spouses because there's really no way to know for sure how much alimony will be awarded until the judge makes a determination.

Can You Change Your Child’s Last Name After a Divorce?

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | May 04, 2022 | 0 Comments

After a divorce, you may want to change your child’s last name for many reasons, including wanting to share your child’s last name. No matter the reason, the decision to change a child’s surname should not be taken lightly, as a name can be intricately tied to one’s identity. That said, if you want to move forward, North Carolina law paves the way.

What to Do When Your Co-Parent is Uncooperative About Custody & Visitation?

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Apr 22, 2022 | 0 Comments

Maybe your ex is constantly rigid about your arrangement, refusing flexibility even when scheduling conflicts arise. Or maybe they’re constantly trying to rearrange visitation at the last minute, throwing your life into chaos. So, what can you do if your ex is being uncooperative and difficult about custody and visitation but not actually violating their legal obligations?

Who Gets the Dog? How North Carolina Family Courts Decide Pet Custody

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Apr 20, 2022 | 0 Comments

Aside from child custody issues, perhaps one of the most emotionally charged questions in North Carolina divorce cases is "who gets the dog?" Or, more generally, which spouse gets to keep the family pet? The reason is that we typically see our pets as part of the family, and we bond with them just as if they were our children. Unfortunately, the court doesn't see our pets the same way as we do. Let's talk about how North Carolina family courts determine pet custody.

Getting Cold Feet About Your Divorce?

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Apr 13, 2022 | 0 Comments

Divorce is one of the most difficult decisions anyone can make. It can be a confusing, emotional time for those going through it. what do you do when you have these doubts? Is it just “cold feet,” or is it a sign that you need to step back and reconsider?

Does a Cheating Spouse Mean I Win the Divorce?

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Apr 06, 2022 | 0 Comments

Divorce cases can already be contentious. When a spouse has also cheated on you, the case can become even more controversial. But under North Carolina law, most spouses with children must be separated for at least one year and one day before the court will finalize a divorce. There is no legal exception for adultery. Unfortunately, you can’t just file for divorce, claim adultery, and have the court grant your divorce immediately. However, your partner’s adultery can affect the outcome of spousal support, property division, and child custody decisions.

Social Media Mistakes To Avoid During A Divorce

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Mar 25, 2022 | 0 Comments

For better or worse, social media offers a platform for users to share lives with the world, and more than 70% of U.S. adults take full advantage of this platform. Unfortunately, everyday posts take on new meaning when ex-spouses fight over property, custody, and alimony. So to help navigate the social media terrain during divorce, here are some mistakes to avoid.

Common Mistakes People Make in DYI Divorces

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Mar 18, 2022 | 0 Comments

In a perfect world, married couples who decide to divorce could do so amicably and relatively easily. Unfortunately, the reality is often very different. While a DYI divorce may save you money on legal fees, you may be opening yourself up to other issues that could bring you headaches — and additional costs — for years to come.

Emotional Abuse and Divorce: How Do You Prove it and What Will It Mean?

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Mar 16, 2022 | 0 Comments

Divorcing after you’ve been in an abusive relationship is never easy. But while many people bear the marks of abuse on their bodies, the signs of abuse are never as clear if you’re facing emotional abuse. So, how do you approach a divorce after emotional abuse? How do you prove it to the court, and how will it ultimately affect your divorce? This article answers some of the top questions we hear from our clients. 

Appealing a Child Custody Case in North Carolina

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Mar 09, 2022 | 0 Comments

It’s the scenario every parent in a child custody battle dreads: having the court rule against you in your custody case. The idea of losing custody of your child—or worse, losing the ability even to see them—can be nothing short of heart-wrenching. Even more so if you know the parent awarded custody is unsafe for the child. The good news is that if you are not satisfied with the outcome of your child custody case, you may be able to file an appeal. In North Carolina, there are specific criteria that the appellate court uses to review the case, and an appeal may not be the best option for everyone. Let’s talk a bit more about the process so you can be better informed.

Special Challenges of Child Custody Cases Involving LGBTQ+ Parents

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Mar 02, 2022 | 0 Comments

Divorce and child custody can always be stressful and challenging. Unfortunately, child custody cases involving LGBTQ+ parents can raise unique obstacles. Although same-sex marriage has been legal in North Carolina since the 2015 Supreme Court decision of Obergefell v. Hodges, custody laws are largely geared towards heterosexual couples. As a result, you’ll need a family law attorney with experience working with LGBTQ+ parents who understands the issues you may face. Custody issues can arise between same-sex parents, between a former straight partner and an LGBTQ+ parent, and between a biological parent who donated sperm or an egg and an LGBTQ+ parent or couple.

Jane Bolin: First U.S. African American Female Judge

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Feb 28, 2022 | 0 Comments

'I'd rather see if I can help a child than settle an argument between adults over money." - Jane Bolin. Jane Bolin was an amazing woman. As the first African American female judge in the United States, she was a trailblazer in many ways. After her appointment to New York’s Domestic Relations Court, Bolin was the only black female judge in the U.S. for the next 20 years. But after a legal career spanning more than 45 years, she left a legacy for many black women to come.

Can the Person You're Dating Affect Your Child Custody Arrangement?

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Feb 22, 2022 | 0 Comments

It's no surprise that many divorcing couples begin dating during their separation and before their divorce is final. After the divorce, it's almost expected. But if you are divorcing someone and have had children together, the family dynamic naturally becomes more complicated, especially where the other parent is concerned. But to what extent? Can the person you're dating ultimately have an impact on your child custody agreement—or can it have a negative effect on custody negotiations? From a legal standpoint, no. From a practical standpoint, possibly. Let's explain.

Warning Signs You're Headed for a Divorce

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Feb 08, 2022 | 0 Comments

It's not always easy to tell when a marriage is headed for trouble. One spouse is often unhappy in the relationship, while the other is oblivious. Sometimes a marriage on the rocks can be turned around by catching the signals early enough, but often the signs of separation don't become clear until you're already past the proverbial "point of no return." With that said, let's look at some key indicators that you may be headed for a divorce regardless of what you might do to prevent it.

Coping With Divorce And The Challenges Of COVID At The Same Time

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Dec 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

The early months of the COVID-19 crisis put two significant relationship events on hold —marriages and divorces. Now that the U.S. is past the initial shutdown phase, those numbers have taken a sharp turn. Statistics show that in the latter half of 2020, the number of couples seeking divorce increased by 34%. Couples indicate that the increase is due to the irreparable damage caused by pandemic lockdowns. However, divorcing during the pandemic may be just as challenging as staying together without a strategy to cope. 

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