If you are seeking a divorce in the state of North Carolina, you may want to find a North Carolina divorce lawyer to help you negotiate during your divorce proceedings. NC divorce lawyers specialize in helping divorcing spouses split their assets in a way agreeable to both spouses, and a NC divorce lawyer can help you to understand your legal rights as a divorcing spouse. This guide will inform you about the ways in which North Carolina divorce lawyers can assist you in the divorce process, and help you to find a North Carolina divorce lawyer in your area.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
While you can file for divorce on your own, NC divorce lawyers will give you the best chance of coming to arrangements that are agreeable for both spouses. Emotions can run high during divorce, and having a NC divorce lawyer to represent you will mean that emotions don't get in the way of successful negotiations.
North Carolina divorce lawyers are trained professionals who can negotiate according to your wishes. If you want aggressive representation, your North Carolina divorce lawyer is obligated ethically to do so (within the bounds of professional courtesy). If you prefer for your NC divorce lawyer to use a softer touch, all you have to do is ask. NC divorce lawyers represent you, rather than telling you what to do.
Your North Carolina divorce lawyer can even advise you before you have begun divorce proceedings. Consulting with North Carolina divorce lawyers before asking for a divorce will help you understand how to best protect your assets. Your NC divorce lawyer can also advise you as to how to find evidence that could help support your claim for child custody or alimony before leaving your house.
In some cases, NC divorce lawyers can help one spouse to seek spousal support (also called “alimony”). Whether alimony is given and how much is given depends on many subjective factors, so having a North Carolina divorce lawyer to help you emphasize your need for alimony can greatly increase your chances of receiving support.
Spousal support determinations largely rest on your job and opportunities for work you may have given up for your spouse. Your NC divorce lawyer can help you to build a case for alimony, and North Carolina divorce lawyers have proven experience negotiating spousal support for many divorcing spouses.
Determining the amount of child support in most cases is done by a formula. NC divorce lawyers may offer the option of a child support calculator on their website to give you a rough estimate of your expected child support payments, but nothing substitutes for a consultation with a North Carolina divorce lawyer. Your NC divorce lawyer can ensure that you understand your rights and options.
If you are seeking child support, North Carolina divorce lawyers can negotiate child support amounts that help you and your child continue to live the lifestyle you were accustomed to before the divorce. Your North Carolina divorce lawyer can also help you understand your options for enforcing child support arrangements.
One of the most difficult parts of any divorce negotiation is figuring out child custody arrangements. Your NC divorce lawyer can help negotiate custody arrangements using several techniques. First, you and your spouse can try to negotiate on your own, without the assistance of NC divorce lawyers. However, if you cannot agree, the state will help you to arrange mediation proceedings with your spouse, your spouse's North Carolina divorce lawyer, you, your NC divorce lawyer, and a third-party neutral mediator.
Mediation proceedings can help you and your North Carolina divorce lawyers to come to an arrangement satisfactory to both parties. Whether you are seeking sole custody, joint custody, or visitation arrangements, your North Carolina divorce lawyer can advise you about your options and what kind of custody you are most likely to get. NC divorce lawyers have extensive experience negotiating difficult child custody arrangements.
Your NC divorce lawyer can advise you even before divorce on how to gather evidence that may help you in custody negotiations. Consulting North Carolina divorce lawyers before you ask for a divorce can help you to prepare as well as possible in advance.
In some cases, if your spouse has been turning your children against you, NC divorce lawyers can help you to show the divorce court judge that your children have Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). A finding of Parental Alienation Syndrome may be able to help you keep your children. Ask your North Carolina divorce lawyer for more details on PAS and how it may affect your custody proceedings.
Finding North Carolina Divorce Lawyers
One of the best and easiest ways to find NC divorce lawyers for your divorce is to ask friends for a NC divorce lawyer recommendation. If you have friends or relatives who have used North Carolina divorce lawyers in their divorce proceedings, they may recommend NC divorce lawyers that are competent and local to you.
If you cannot find a recommendation for North Carolina divorce lawyers and are overwhelmed by the selection of NC divorce lawyers in the phone book and online, you can find a North Carolina divorce lawyer by using the state's Find-a-Lawyer service.
This service, available on the website of the North Carolina State Bar, can help you to find a NC divorce lawyer in your area to negotiate your divorce case. You will be put in touch with a North Carolina divorce lawyer for an initial consultation who will give you an initial consultation for $50 or less. If you want to look at different North Carolina divorce lawyers, you can get multiple consultations for $50 each.
Your First Consultation
NC divorce lawyers can tell you what to bring to your first consultation, but you will also want to bring a pen and paper to write down any answers to questions you may have, as well as information about the fee structures for each of the potential North Carolina divorce lawyers you consult with.
You should keep in mind that NC divorce lawyers are ethically bound to keep your personal information confidential, so you do not need to worry about revealing personal or sensitive information. Even if you choose not to continue working with a particular NC divorce lawyer after your consultation, he or she is still bound by confidentiality rules.
If you have questions for potential North Carolina divorce lawyers before your meeting, write them down so you do not forget them. After finding a North Carolina divorce lawyer that meets your needs, you can negotiate a fee and agree to have representation from one of the NC divorce lawyers working in the state.