Charlotte Divorce & Child Custody Attorneys

At McIlveen Family Law Firm, we understand that divorce and child custody are two of the toughest challenges an individual can deal with. We know that with so much on the line, it is crucial to work with someone you can trust to protect your rights and best interests.

The family law attorneys at our Charlotte, North Carolina office will work tirelessly to help you through this difficult time in your life and help you obtain the most advantageous results possible.

Our legal team will utilize our decades of experience and vast knowledge of family law to help you with concerns involving divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, mediation, prenuptial agreements, separation agreements, property division, grandparent’s rights, domestic violence or any other family law related matter.

Download Our FREE North Carolina Divorce Guidebook

Our Practice Areas

Our Team

At the McIlveen Family Law Firm we pride ourselves in having a truly top-notch team of attorneys that have intimate knowledge of NC divorce & family law.

Video Education Library

We have dozens of videos created by our attorneys giving tips, advice and answering questions on all sorts of divorce and family law issues and questions.

Schedule a Consultation

Schedule a consultation today! You can contact us by phone or by using the contact form. Our attorneys handle family law cases in Gastonia and Charlotte, N.C.

Child Support Calculator

Our Child Support Calculator will automatically calculate your child support and allow you to download it in PDF format.

High Net Worth Divorce

High income couples going through a divorce face significantly different issues than those divorces involving lower income couples.

Hiring a Divorce Attorney

Getting divorced is one of the most stressful things a person will ever go through. Hiring a divorce attorney doesn’t have to be difficult.

FAQs on Charlotte Divorce

What Is An Absolute Divorce?

An absolute divorce is the dissolution of the marriage bonds created by the wedding ceremony. This type of divorce has several implications, such as a party no longer being allowed to make further claims for property division or alimony. Note that absolute divorce has no bearing on child custody or child support rights. These rights remain with a parent, irrespective of his or her marital status.

Other implications of an absolute divorce include the divorced parties being allowed to remarry, the change of tax status when filing a return, and a party being legally removed from the inheritance of his or her ex-spouse.

How long must I live in Charlotte to file for divorce?

A party must have resided in North Carolina for six months prior to filing for divorce in Charlotte or anywhere in the state.

Is there a required waiting period in before a divorce can be granted?

In North Carolina, both parties must live separate and apart for a minimum of one year before filing for divorce. Only after this one-year period is over can either party petition the court for divorce.

Will my divorce be granted right away?
A divorce will not automatically be granted after the one-year requirement is over. The opposing party must be officially served, and he or she will be given 30 days to either respond to the complaint or waive the right to file. Only then can the court enter a final divorce decree.
When should I contact a Charlotte divorce lawyer?
While you cannot receive the final divorce decree, until you have been living separate and apart for one year, you can begin the divorce process even prior to separation. So it’s important to speak with a good lawyer prior to separating. The reason for this is that moving out of house, leaving the state, or taking the kids with you when you leave can significantly impact your court case.
Are there exceptions to the one-year separation requirement?
For a North Carolina divorce, the only exception to the one-year separation requirement is if it can be established that one party has incurable insanity, and that both parties lived separate and apart for three years.
How do I go about serving my spouse in Charlotte?

To serve a spouse you have several options. You may serve your spouse via sheriff of the county where service is to be made, via certified or registered mail—return receipt requested, or a duly authorized person.

You may also opt to serve your spouse by publication, but only if your attempts with all other acceptable methods were unsuccessful. You may use a newspaper qualified for legal advertising in accordance with state law, and which is circulated in the area where you believe your spouse is residing in.

Where do I file for divorce in Mecklenburg County or elsewhere in the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia Metro Area?
If you live in Mecklenburg County, you will need to go to file a divorce complaint with the Clerk of Court’s office in the Mecklenburg County Courthouse. If you live in Cabarrus, Chester, Gaston, Iredell, Lancaster, Lincoln, Rowan, Union, York or another county you’ll need to file for divorce in the Clerk of Court’s office in that respective county.

FREE North Carolina Divorce Guidebook

  • Understanding the Legal Process
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Money Issues
  • Pitfalls for Military Spouses
  • Separation Agreements
  • Psychological Considerations
  • When Do I Need to Get a Lawyer

Written by Angela McIlveen the Guidebook is meant to give you an overview of NC divorce law in words you can understand (not legalese). It will explain some options, and in general help you prepare for divorce.

Charlotte Child Custody FAQ

What is child custody?
Child custody is a term used to describe the legal relationship between a parent and child, including the parent’s duty to care for the child. Simply put, child custody refers to with whom a child lives with after a divorce.
What factors do the courts take into consideration when deciding on child custody?
Apart from the best interests of the child, Charlotte courts take into account several other factors. These include the physical and mental health of both parents, the age and health of the child involved, and each parent’s home environment, economic situation, and ability to take care of the child.
Are mothers more likely to get custody of a child?
Courts show no preference for either parent when it comes to child custody, as no parent is presumed to be more capable of caring for a child. As with all other North Carolina courts, Charlotte courts determine child custody based on the best interests of the child.
Can my child decide on who he or she wants to live with?
In some instances, a child’s preference on who to live with may be taken into serious consideration if he or she is mature enough and is of a suitable age. The court, however, is not required to follow the child’s wishes and may opt to rule differently if it believes that the child is better off in the custody of the other parent.
Are there exceptions to the one-year separation requirement?
For a North Carolina divorce, the only exception to the one-year separation requirement is if it can be established that one party has incurable insanity, and that both parties lived separate and apart for three years.
When can changes be made to an existing child custody order?
As with child support and spousal support, child custody orders can still be modified. Two scenarios typically warrant a change in an existing child custody order: when a parent violates a court order, and when one or both parents experience a significant change in circumstances. The parent requesting the change must be able to present evidence that shows the modification is justified.
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