Kernersville Family Lawyer

Family law issues can be complex, stressful, and time-consuming. If your family faces a legal crisis, you might be unsure of the right steps to take.  

While fighting for your rights in divorce, child custody, or spousal support disputes is often daunting, you do not have to face these disputes alone. A skilled Kernersville family lawyer is ready and available to assist you with your case. Our team’s legal advocates have substantial experience with family law and could guide you through the legal process. 

Family Law Matters in Kernersville and Forsyth County Courts

Although people routinely think of family court as a place where spouses present their divorce cases, family law is a broad category involving many different legal actions. Some of the matters that judges hear in the Kernersville area (Forsyth County, North Carolina include:

  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Domestic violence
  • Marital property division
  • Adoption

Each of these family matters has a unique set of rules and legal procedures that must be followed to achieve the best possible outcome. A family attorney could help a party navigate a variety of complex circumstances involving their spouse or children.

Divorce Requirements in Kernersville

Like many states, North Carolina law permits ‘no-fault’ divorces, meaning that neither spouse needs to have a specific reason to seek a divorce. These cases are often resolved more quickly because neither spouse blames the other for the dissolution of the marriage. To proceed under ‘no-fault’ grounds, one party must reside in the state for six months, and the spouses must live apart for at least one year prior to filing a complaint for divorce. 

State law also allows a ‘divorce from bed and board.’ This is not actually a final divorce, but rather a court order declaring a couple legally separated. In this action, spouses may seek relief similar to that in a final or ‘absolute’ divorce, including spousal support and child custody, but neither is free to remarry. It is wise to consult an experienced family attorney in Kernersville to determine whether an absolute divorce or a ‘divorce from bed and board’ is the better option.

The ‘Best Interest of the Child’ Standard in Kernersville Custody Disputes

Child custody is the right to physically care for a child and make important decisions concerning their welfare. Under the General Statutes of North Carolina §50-13.2, a judge must award custody based on what will “best promote the interest of the child.” To make this determination, some of the factors a judge may consider are:

  • The child’s safety and well-being
  • Each parent’s ability to care for the child
  • The stability of each parent’s home
  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • Whether or not anything less than an even custody schedule is appropriate.

In some cases, if the child is sufficiently mature enough, a judge may consider the child’s preferences regarding custody. An experienced family lawyer in Kernersville understands the ‘best interest of the child’ standard and the custody factors and could assist a parent in a contested custody dispute. North Carolina judges are now being instructed to “default” to a 50-50 custody arrangement, and in order to challenge that as not in the best interests of your child, a skilled attorney will be very helpful to your case.

Understanding Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

In North Carolina, domestic violence victims may seek two types of restraining orders to protect themselves and their children. Under a protective order, often referred to as a “50B” order, a victim may seek protection from someone with whom they have a ‘personal relationship.’ To grant the order, a judge must be convinced that the perpetrator intentionally injured the victim, placed them and their family in fear of imminent bodily harm, or sexually assaulted them.

Alternatively, a civil no-contact order, known as a “50C”, may be filed by a person seeking protection from someone with whom they do not have a personal relationship. The victim must have been subjected to unlawful conduct, which includes non-consensual sexual behavior or stalking. The consequences of a restraining order can be significant, and anyone needing such an order or defending themselves against one could benefit from the advice of a seasoned Kernersville family attorney. 

Choose a Dedicated Family Attorney in Kernersville 

Family law matters can be challenging, made even more so if you attempt to navigate them on your own. Complex laws and courtroom procedures can be difficult to understand without formal legal training and extensive experience in North Carolina’s courts. If you are pursuing divorce or any other family matter, consider seeking the support and guidance of a skilled Kernersville family lawyer. Call today to talk with a compassionate family attorney at Apple Payne Law today.

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