Our Charlotte, NC Divorce Lawyers are standing by ready to help with your family law matter. At McIlveen Family Law Firm, we understand that divorce and child custody are two of the toughest challenges you can have in life. 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. It is our goal to get you the best results possible. We also strive to deliver an excellent experience even in this difficult time in your life. Whether you are in need of Charlotte family law attorney, a family law lawyer, or a child custody lawyer, we can help.
Our attorneys also handle Charlotte mediation and collaborative law cases. Mediation often proves to be an excellent way to settle your case without going to court.
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.
Our Charlotte, NC office is conveniently located at 400 S. Tryon St., Suite 950, Charlotte, NC 28202.
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FAQs on Charlotte Divorce and Family Law
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 a divorce.
Will my divorce be granted right away?
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 divorce attorney prior to separating. The reason for this is that moving out of the house, leaving the state, or taking the kids with you when you leave can significantly impact your court case. We have experienced family law attorneys in Charlotte, NC. A divorce lawyer can help you navigate the divorce process, protect your rights to property and retirement, and help you achieve the results you want.
Are there exceptions to the one-year separation requirement?
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 by a duly authorized person. It’s crucial that you understand how service works and that you serve your spouse using the correct method. Different methods of service are allowed for different types of pleadings. Using the wrong method of service will delay the divorce process and it can even have your case dismissed.
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?
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, Iredell, Union, or another county you’ll need to file for divorce in the Clerk of Court’s office in that respective county.
Do I Need a Divorce Attorney in Charlotte, NC?
While there is no requirement that you retain a divorce attorney in Charlotte for your court proceedings, it is smart to have a good family law attorney on your side. The court personnel cannot give you legal advice about your divorce case. Many people come to us after their divorce decree has been signed by the Judge not realizing that they have waived their right to seek alimony or have their property divided through equitable distribution. We have also had people sign agreements without an attorney and find out that they gave up much more than they meant to by signing the separation agreement paperwork. Consulting with a divorce attorney should help you decide whether you want to handle the process yourself or hire a good divorce attorney to handle it for you.
What is Family Court?
The Civil District Court hears all family law cases. In some counties, there are special family court divisions that where family court judges hear all of the family court cases. A major goal of the family court is to assign your case to one judge. The judge assigned to hear your case will hear all issues related to divorce, custody, child support, alimony, equitable distribution, and domestic violence. The following counties have family courts in the greater Mecklenburg County area:
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 and who makes decisions for the child after a divorce. Legal custody describes the decision making power a parent has to make decisions for their child. Physical custody describes where the child will live.
What factors do the courts take into consideration when deciding on child custody?
NC child custody laws require the judge to use the best interest of the child standard to determine custody. Therefore, Mecklenburg County Courts are required to consider the best interests of the child. The court can consider 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.
Do Mecklenburg County judges favor mothers in custody?
Courts show no preference for either parent when it comes to child custody. As with all other North Carolina courts, Mecklenburg County Court Judges 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. NC laws do not say when a child is old enough to testify in court about where the child would like to live. It is in the court’s discretion whether the judge will hear testimony from the child.
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. In order to modify an existing child custody order, the court must find there has been a substantial change in circumstances impacting the minor child. A substantial change may be found when a parent frequently violates a court order, or when one or both parents experience a significant change in circumstances. The change must impact the minor child. The parent requesting the change must be able to present evidence that shows the modification is justified. A good child custody lawyer can walk you through the steps for filing for a modification of custody and the lawyer should be able to explain the Mecklenburg County Court Judge’s likelihood of finding there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Modification of custody cases are always more difficult than initial custody cases.
"There is no one more organized, thorough, and all around tiger!" I have used Angela on several occasions, and honestly there is no one more organized, thorough, and all around tiger when it comes to killing them in the courtroom. She knows her stuff....she won't waste your time or money trying to do something that she doesn't thing will work. She's upfront and absolutely professional. Not just Angela, but her whole staff. Ice worked with and met several people at her firm, and you will not be sorry!