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Family Law FAQs

Family Law FAQ

General and Misc.

Do I need an attorney for my divorce?

  • Although divorces and family law cases can be filed on your own, an experienced divorce attorney is an essential asset to have by your side to protect your rights, assets, and interests. We have several attorneys at Collins Family and Elder Law Group who can assist you and guide you through this process.

Is there a fee for the initial consultation?

  • Yes, there is a consultation fee to consult with one of our attorneys. Our attorneys provide a wealth of knowledge and strategic value within the consultation, including tailored preparation and legal guidance for your specific needs. Our attorneys at Collins Family and Elder Law Group work as a team, which allows them to share their knowledge and experience and collaborate on a plan for each specific client. 

Can I use the same attorney as my ex?

  • No, even under amicable scenarios, NC and SC licensed attorneys are precluded from representing both parties.

What type of consultations are available?

  • At Collins Family and Elder Law Group, we strive to make this process as seamless and stress-free as possible, and we cater our consultations around each prospective client’s needs. Thus, we host consultations in-person, telephonically, and virtually. 

I want a divorce, but my ex wants to stay married. Is there anything I can do? 

  • You do not need your spouse’s consent to divorce in North Carolina. To proceed with a divorce in North Carolina, you need to live separate and apart from your spouse for a minimum of one year and have the intention to divorce.

What can I do if my ex refuses to follow the Court Order in place?

  • A Court Order is a powerful tool, and you have options if your ex does not follow it. Our attorneys are able to provide guidance on the best course of action. 

How is Collins Family & Elder Law Group different from other Firms?

  • We take a client-centered approach and provide a wealth of resources to make your experience as seamless as possible.  Our firm is a collection of highly skilled women attorneys and staff that handle all types of family & elder law.  Our focus is on the client experience, making sure you are heard, and the case goes in the direction you want. We have a Client Experience Coordinator who provides concierge services to our clients, helping ease the stress.  We are a boutique provider who digs deep and optimizes strategy for each client.

What are the requirements to file a divorce in North Carolina?

  • In order to file for divorce in North Carolina, you and your spouse must continuously live separate and apart for a minimum of one year. You must be a resident of the state for at least 6 months. If you are contemplating filing for divorce, our attorneys can guide you through this process. 

What are the requirements to file for divorce in SC?

  • Separation (living separately) for 12 months.  SC divorces from filing to final ruling are to last no more than 365 days.

Why should I consider mediation?

  • Families choose mediation over litigation in divorce or family law issues for many reasons. Divorce cases are notorious for being heated and emotionally charged. Instead of taking your emotions into a courtroom, where arguments are likely to flare resulting in devastating court-mandated orders, you and a former spouse can resolve issues in mediation. Mediation takes place outside of a courtroom with a third-party, qualified mediator. In mediation and collaborative law, parties can come to mutual agreement on issues that are pertinent to a divorce matter. This method has saved families time, money, and energy, and has allowed families to maintain amicable relationships.

Can I appeal a decision from the court on my family law case?

  • While there may be circumstances that warrant a review and/or appeal of the Court’s decision, it is important to timely consult with an attorney. 

Spousal Support

How do I protect my assets in a separation and divorce?

  • Work with a qualified attorney to create a strong separation agreement, alimony or post-spousal support agreement, etc. and negotiate to protect your assets.

I have relied on my spouse for financial support throughout our marriage – how do I ensure I receive equitable ongoing support during my separation and divorce?

  • Work with a qualified attorney to create a strong separation agreement, alimony or post-spousal support agreement, etc. and negotiate for your share of the assets to maintain your quality of life.

Can my Alimony ever be modified? 

  • There are specific requirements that may warrant a modification of a court order regarding spousal support. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to guide you through this.

Schedule your consultation with us today, we are ready to help.

Custody and Child Support

Am I entitled to child support?

  • North Carolina has uniform Guidelines in place that help determine how much child support should be, and they are based on several factors such as the custodial schedule, and cost of health insurance, work-related childcare expenses, and extraordinary expenses. 

Can my Child Custody Court Order ever be modified? 

  • There are specific requirements that may warrant a modification of a court order regarding custody. To be successful in modifying a custody order, you will have to show the Court that there has been a substantial change in circumstances that warrant a modification of the prior order, and that the modification is in the best interest of the child(ren). Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to guide you through this.

Does my child’s opinion matter to the Judge?

  • While certain circumstances may warrant a child testifying in Court, there are many factors a Judge may want to hear in addition to (or in lieu of) a child’s testimony. If a child is of sufficient age and maturity, their opinion may be considered as a factor the Judge can consider in making his/her decision; however, the weight of a child’s opinion ultimately rests in the Judge’s discretion.

My ex is withholding our children – is there anything I can do?

  • Whether or not you have a court order, you do have options, but they require immediate action. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to navigate you through this difficult process.

How do I establish my rights as a father?

  • Contrary to popular belief, mothers do not always receive primary custody of a child. In fact, many North Carolina family courts channel a considerable amount of energy and time into making a decision that is right for a child in matters involving child custody or visitation. Fathers have legal rights to continue relationships with their children, biological or not, after a divorce or separation.
  • Establishing your rights as a father can be extremely beneficial in many ways. The courts understand that you deserve to be involved in the growth and development of your child or children’s lives. With the help of a lawyer, your father’s rights to custody and parenting time can be preserved through a court-mandated order or through a parenting agreement.

I am considering adoption. How can I prepare for the process?

  • First of all, we commend you for considering such a gracious act. Adoption is one of the most wonderful gifts that you can offer a child, but there are many legal intricacies that you must first be aware of before entering into the adoption process. We have several licensed North and South Carolina attorneys who can identify all of your options and guide you through the process.

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