Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Important Things to Know About Child Custody Cases in North Carolina

Child custody cases can turn into a trying time for everyone involved, particularly children. However, it is important to remember that the main focus of these cases is the best interest of the child. Some child custody disputes are at the heart of divorce proceedings and sometimes it is for all the wrong reasons.

A couple that is disputing child custody should know that the court is going to examine certain family law areas. First, the court will look at how stable each parent is and that is not just limited to finances. Emotional stability remains just as important. A court will also consider each parent’s level of maturity. These are particularly important topics when filing for joint custody.

In the state of North Carolina, joint custody is not something that can just be agreed upon by parents. It has to be mandated by the court. Joint legal custody will require both parents to share in the decision-making process through a collective effort to accommodate the child’s needs in the best possible way. Joint physical custody refers more towards where the child will spend actual time and how living arrangements will be managed.

Joint physical custody requires something called co-parenting, which basically necessitates a kind of peaceable cordiality between both parents. A history of domestic violence or severe discord between parents will make joint physical custody difficult to obtain. If there were serious pre-existing problems between a divorcing couple, they could likely resurface thus endangering the welfare of the child.

The problem with many child custody cases is that parents carry a lot of resentment and bitterness against their spouse. This could actually work against a parent in child custody cases. Any instance in which a parent tries to leverage children in a court of law exhibits a blatant disregard of a child’s best interest. Parents who do this could find that it severely hurts their chances of a favorable outcome as courts can identify guilty culprits.

Shared custody can also come into play when it comes to child support. Parents who have the child at their home more than a third of the year could see a reduction in their child support payments.

If you are in the midst of a dispute involving child custody in Charlotte, Southpark Family Law can help. Staffed with a team of experienced attorneys, can give you the advantage you need and find a solution that works for you and your family.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

How Dating Could Impact Your Divorce

It may seem natural for people who are getting a divorce to rejoin the dating world. While it may seem like a perfectly normal thing to do, there could be legal issues that come with dating before a divorce. The professionals at are ready to assist you in making valuable decisions.

First, it is important to note that post separation alimony cannot be awarded if a spouse is able to meet their financial demands without any help. In other words, it is not just an easy payday. If you are not a dependent, then post separation alimony cannot be ordered. However, if a spouse has been dating prior to the separation, the petition for alimony could be thrown out altogether.

That brings up the question of should you start dating while you are separated? There is no absolute answer to this question.  However, it will make for a much easier divorce from a legal standpoint if you are not dating anyone. The bottom line is that you are still married by law.

In North Carolina, being sexually involved with someone else when you are married technically classifies as a misdemeanor charge. Some judges will not even care about the fact that you may have started dating someone. However, there is always the chance that you could stand before the one judge who is offended by this and takes it into consideration when rendering a final verdict. It's important to be represented by the best Charlotte family law attorney available. 

Child custody issues in a divorce can also be impacted by one of the spouses dating outside of the marriage. This raises new questions about the living environment that has been established. The new boyfriend/girlfriend immediately factors into the equation as their character is subject to question.

Settlements are also much more difficult to agree upon when one of the spouses has started dating. This reality could make the other spouse resentful and angry, which could ruin any chances of reaching an amicable settlement.

Those going through uncontested divorces may not have to worry as much about dating. Those who have been through long separations also tend to be less affected. But if you are unsure, it is best to seek out your attorney for advice as all situations are unique in nature.

When it comes time to seeking out divorce law Charlotte NC counsel, go with the experience and professionalism at Southpark Family Law. With a long history of success, Southpark Family Law can help you make the best of your divorce.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Fathers Now Have Equal Rights in North Carolina Child Custody Cases

Historically, the general assumption is that courts are going to award child custody to the mother in a divorce. That is not the case anymore as more fathers are being granted more than just visitation rights or limited custody. More fathers are now being awarded sole custody of their children.

The state of North Carolina no longer makes any presumptions regarding the gender of the parent. The best interest of the child is used as the determining factor as to whether the father or mother will ultimately be granted full custody. The knowledgeable attorneys at can help you along your transition.

That does not mean fathers are exempt from running into some difficulty when pushing for child custody. There are certain steps fathers must follow, the first of which is establishing paternity. It is also important to note that paternity needs to be established when there was no legal marriage between the father and mother. And if a father intends to dispute paternity on a birth certificate, he has 60 days after the birth to do so in a North Carolina court.

There are not supposed to be any biases in terms of custody decisions, which traditionally have favored the mother. However, no fault divorce laws have made it rather easy for women to file for divorce. In many cases, men immediately become the defendant in name.

Many child custody cases involving fathers start off with the aim of obtaining joint custody. From there, it is sometimes easier to prove that the father is better suited for sole custody. At times, that can make for a lengthy legal process.

Nevertheless, the new norm is for the court to decide which parent can best meet the needs of the child’s interest. Income, living arrangements and one’s behavior history are all taken into account when making that decision. Fathers should be sure to have all of those aforementioned areas accounted for before entering into a child custody battle.

It is still common for many people still cling to the preconceived notion that courts are going to award custody to the mother in cases of child custody. That is why it is important for fathers to have quality legal counsel by their side when entering into this process.

Southpark Family Law can provide father’s with the legal advantage they need when it comes time for a child custody battle. As the top family law attorney Charlotte has to offer, Southpark Family Law has the experience that clients deserve to have working for them.

Monday, February 6, 2017

How Social Media Can be Used Against you in Family Law

There are a lot of different cases that fall under family law and that includes, divorce, child custody, child support and more. Regardless of what type of family law case you are undergoing, it is important to remember that social media could play a huge part in the outcome.

The popularity of social media has become part of our daily lives and it can also be a form of evidence in courtrooms. Personal Facebook pages and Twitter accounts are ways of showing someone’s character. Many court cases are built upon someone’s character and social media offers a microscopic look at people.

For example, a person’s spending habits can make an impact in a child support or divorce proceeding. Some people hurt their own causes with the things say and post on social media. A person who claims to be poor, yet posts pictures of a new car or recent vacation on social media hinders their own character. In divorce cases where adultery is suspected, social media posts could be used to prove someone’s infidelity.

People need to realize that there is no anonymity anymore when it comes to social media. Posting pictures and commentary on the Internet makes it available for everyone to see. Someone opposing you in a courtroom can use your social media postings against you. A divorce lawyer could find many ways to hamper your credibility through your use of social media.

Child custody cases can also focus closely on a parent’s social media. One of the issues in any child custody case is how a parent’s lifestyle will affect a child. Social media pages are often a blueprint for how people live their lives. Acting irresponsibly on social media can doom a case involving child custody, child support and divorce.

If you find yourself involved in any of those types of cases, it would be wise to use sound judgment when it comes time to post on social media. You could also opt to desist from using it altogether. Social media has become sort of a microphone to the world. Nevertheless, saying something on social media does not just go away, but remains archived. And saying the wrong thing could be used against you.

When it comes time to find a family attorney, go with the team of professionals at Southpark Family Law. With experience working for you, Southpark Family Law can provide you with the legal advantage you deserve.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Plenty of Steps in a Divorce Before Litigation

For most people, the common perception of a divorce involves divorce attorneys and some kind of courtroom. However, a courtroom only comes into play during the last stage of the divorce process. There are many other stages that come before that.

One of the first steps is having the defendant served with divorce papers, more commonly known in North Carolina as the absolute divorce complaint. The defendant has the opportunity to answer the complaint, which could include counterclaims. That defendant’s response could be indicative of how long or short of a process lies ahead.

At that point, the divorce is not even close to litigation. That is when the negotiation process begins with letters and phone calls back and forth, and eventually face to face conferences. This is a time that really starts to determine if family law litigation will be needed.

There can be court orders while a divorce is pending. These are temporary orders such as child support payments, visitation schedules, exclusive use of the couple’s primary residence, and temporary maintenance for one of the parties.

When a divorce cannot be resolved through negotiation, there is a need for judicial intervention, which requires a formal request that basically asks permission for the divorcing couple to go to court.

Once that request is filed, a preliminary conference occurs. There is where all of the issues are put on the table along with reasons why judicial intervention is necessary. Once all that goes through, a trial date is set.

While awaiting that trial date, conversations between attorneys continue in an attempt to arrive at a resolution. Issues that cannot be resolved are referred to as open issues and those are what generally wind up being litigated in a courtroom. Some common types of open issues are child custody, distribution of assets, and alimony.

Open issues are brought into a courtroom where each spouse’s attorney serves as their litigator. It is then when each attorney will present evidence and call witnesses to support their arguments. There is no exact time frame for the litigation process as it varies from one divorce to the next.

If you are planning to file for a divorce, hiring an attorney should be a top priority. A NC divorce litigation attorney at Southpark Family Law will help you through the entire process. Before you have your day in court, make sure to have a trusted Southpark family attorney by your side.