Mooresville Family Lawyer

Mooresville Family Lawyer

Mooresville Family Law Attorney

Every family has itsshare of challenges from time to time. But few compare to the legal challenges that many families may confront. Divorce, separation, annulment, and child custody are just a few of the situations that families may experience.

They can be emotional, stressful times. But those feelings can be eased with the help of an expert family law attorney. With the guidance of a Mooresville family lawyer, you can make the decisions that are best for you while having someone in your corner who will help you work through the difficulties of the case.
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Family Law in North Carolina

The most common cases that family lawyers face are those that involve the dissolution of marriage. However, there are many other areas of family law that could impact you. According to the North Carolina Judicial Branch, family law cases cover many different aspects of the family, including:

  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Termination of parental rights
  • Neglect, abuse,or dependency allegations
  • Domestic violence
  • Visitation and child custody
  • Financial issues surrounding divorce and separation like alimony, child support, and property division

Divorce in North Carolina

North Carolina has complicated divorce laws that outline specific grounds for divorce and residency requirements for couples who are seeking to separate. The residency requirement states that at least one spouse must have been a North Carolina resident for at least six months. Once they have reached that requirement, they have two filing options for divorce.

Absolute Divorce Grounds

In an absolute divorce, both spouses have lived separately for more than a year. The other situation for this type of divorce is that both spouses have lived apart for three years and plan to continue to live apart because one spouse is considered incurably insane. This must be proven through the testimony of two doctors. An absolute divorce is considered the standard divorce option. This is considered no-fault and therefore only carries habitation requirements.

Divorce From Bed and Board

Through a divorce of bed and board, which is considered legal separation, both spouses are not allowed to remarry until an absolute divorce has been granted. Grounds for this type of filing would apply if either spouse:

  • Abandons their family
  • Maliciously forces the other spouse out of the home
  • Uses cruel or barbarous actions to endanger the life of the other spouse
  • Uses shame, humiliation, or other indignities to make life unbearable for the other spouse (alcoholism or substance abuse would also fall into this)
  • Commits adultery

This process is considered an at-fault divorce, and one of the above requirements must be met. If there is no legal proof, then a court can rule against a divorce from bed and board. Often this type of divorce is used when one spouse will not agree to separation.

Through a divorce of bed and board, spouses will approach the separation the same as an absolute divorce in which spouses must set child custody, child support, spousal support, and separation of properties. This process could also result in greater impacts on the unsuccessful spouse, while the spouse who successfully obtains this divorce retains their rights.

One of the unique aspects of this process in North Carolina versus other states is that if a spouse seeks to move to an absolute divorce from this stage, they may request a jury trial. Conversely, if the spouses reconcile, then the decree is automatically terminated; this can include if the spouses begin living together again.

Other Forms of Family Law

Outside of divorce cases, here are other types of cases that family lawyers can assist with.

  • LGBTQ+ issues. The legalization of same-sex couples in North Carolina has been a huge push forward to redefining family. With this inclusion, however, same-sex marriages must also follow all the laws of marriage, child custody, and separation as heterosexual couples. This can include the legal adoption of a same-sex spouse’s child.
  • Adoption. The adoption process can often be complicated. Whether a couple wants to adopt a child from their biological parents or a stepparent wants to adopt a child of the other parent, the legal process has many steps. However, just as adopting a child is a way of trying to help them, the legal process is designed to provide an opportunity to serve the needs of the child.
  • Domestic violence. Although this can cross into criminal court as well, the civil side falls into family law. Most commonly, a family lawyer will help an alleged victim navigate the process of filing for a protective order against the abuser. This could also mean filing to have minor children protected under the same order too.
  • Assisted reproduction law. When a couple wishes to expand their family and does so in non-traditional ways, they may seek the help of a surrogate or donor. In these situations, it is important to understand both medically and legally how the process works and the rights that are granted to all parties. While it is important to speak with a medical professional about the process, it is equally important to speak to an expert attorney about the legal process.
  • Prenuptial agreements. If you hold valuable assets prior to marriage that you wish to protect should the marriage end in divorce, it is important to set the legal parameters ahead of time. Using a family law expert to help through the contractual process will help ensure your assets are protected.

Why You Need a Mooresville Family Lawyer

Any type of family law case benefits from the expertise of an attorney. Keeping yourself focused on the day-to-day during the process can be difficult. Balancing a household, a career, and different elements of a family are all difficult enough. Utilizing an attorney keeps the complications of the court system and the legal process as a secondary focus for you because you know that your attorney has it as a primary one.

Working with a Mooresville family lawyer can significantly improve the positive outcomes of the case. Their expertise will save you time and possibly money, as you don’t need to spend time “figuring it out.” An expert team, like Lassiter & Lassiter, Attorneys at Law can help with all aspects of your case, from analyzing evidence to completing the appropriate documentation. We can help protect your rights and prepare the best case possible for you.

Family Law FAQs

Q: How Much Does a Family Lawyer Cost?

A: Fees for a family lawyer can range from $100 to $350 per hour. It is important to understand that total costs are determined on a case-by-case basis. Cases involving divorce may differ from cases that involve adoption, for example. Attorney fees generally do not include any court filing costs; however, an attorney will explain their fee structure to you. While the cost may seem high, it can save you more in the end.

Q: What Is a Family in Terms of the Law?

A: Generally, a family is considered a group of persons who are connected by blood, affinity, or law within two or three generations, including parents and their children. It also defines a group of people living together and having a shared commitment to a domestic relationship. These definitions can be through birth, adoption, or marriage. Family law can be complicated because of the broadness of the definition.

Q: At What Age Can a Child Decide Which Parent to Live With?

A: While in many states, the generally accepted age is 14, in North Carolina, there is no set age before 18. At 18, a child is a legal adult and can therefore make those decisions; however, prior to that age, the court has an obligation to decide custody based on the needs and in the best interest of the child. A child has a right to express their own opinions. However, the court (or a parental agreement) will ultimately decide.

Q: Who Has Full Custody of a Child?

A: Custody in North Carolina can be quite involved. There are many different ways that a parent can have custody. There is physical custody, where the child physically lives with the parent, and there is legal custody, where the parent has the decision-making rights. Both physical and legal custody can be sole or joint, meaning awarded to one parent or shared between the two. However, the combination of these plays an impact on the child, and a court order will determine what seems to be in the best interest of the child.

Contact Lassiter & Lassiter, Family Law Attorneys

Family law is complicated and carries many challenges and potential consequences. While everyone hopes that cases involving family disputes can be amicable, that is not always the case. Knowing the rights and protections that you are entitled to are important in protecting you during your case.

No matter which area of family law you may be facing, you don’t have to go at it alone. The expert team at Lassiter & Lassiter, Attorneys at Law, is here to help you and know how to look after your best interests. Before you start the journey into your family law case, contact our Mooresville office today. Get the support that you deserve.


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Call our office at 704-873-2295 or email us today.

Attorney Mike Lassiter grew up in Statesville, makes his living serving the people of Statesville and published a book capturing the changing landscape of small town life across North Carolina and Iredell County. His keen sense of history, dedication to the area and 30 years of legal experience make him an ideal attorney for your legal needs.

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