The 3 Major Decisions of a Divorce

Divorce can be a complex legal process that involves many issues that can affect your life for years to come. A divorce lawyer can help explain your options, the factors the court considers, and North Carolina law surrounding major decisions involved in your divorce related to:

Children 

One of the most emotionally charged issues involved in your case is likely what will happen to your children. Child custody refers to both the legal right to make major decisions on your child’s behalf, as well as where your child will live. You and your spouse will generally have equal co-parenting rights unless you reach a different decision together or the court makes an order indicating otherwise. When possible, parents are encouraged to create a co-parenting plan and reach a mutual agreement regarding child custody and visitation. If this is not possible, a family law court can make the decision after it undertakes a thorough legal process to determine what is in your child’s best interests. 

Another important consideration related to your children is child support, which the non-resident parent generally pays to the resident parent to help cover the child’s living expenses. Child support guidelines can help determine a fair amount of child support.

Finances

Finances in divorce can quickly become a contentious issue. The financial impact of your divorce is directly related to how your property is divided. Your finances may continue to be impacted by your spouse long after your divorce is finalized if you continue to own property together, have shared debts, pay mutual expenses, or have a support order in place. 

If you and your spouse have very different income levels, the higher-earning spouse may pay alimony to the dependent spouse. You and your spouse can agree on alimony as part of your separation agreement, or the court can make a decision about it. If the court is tasked with making this decision, it considers a number of factors, including any misconduct of either spouse during the marriage, the earning capacity of both spouses, and the length of your marriage. 

Property 

There may be several issues related to your property as part of your divorce, including:

  • What property are you entitled to?
  • What property is your spouse entitled to?
  • What property is considered marital property and what property is separate property?
  • How are retirement accounts affected by divorce?
  • Who will be responsible for paying expenses while your divorce case is pending?
  • How will debts be divided between you and your spouse?
  • Which spouse (if any) will keep the marital home?
  • Do you have a right to an interest in your spouse’s business?
  • How will you determine the value of your assets?
  • How does a prenup affect your property rights?

If the court has to make decisions about property division, it will use equitable distribution. The court divides the property in a way that seems fair, which is usually (but not always) equally.

Contact Kurtz & Blum for Help with These Decisions 

Kurtz & Blum is a well-established law firm that wants to help guide you through the process of divorce. We can answer any questions you have and help you navigate the legal system during this challenging time. Our lawyers have more than 50 years of combined legal experience we will put to good use on your case. Contact us today for your confidential consultation.

Seth A. Blum is a graduate of Tufts University and Duke Law School. He also holds a Master’s Degree from the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy Studies. Seth is an experienced trial attorney who is licensed and has tried cases in both North Carolina State and Federal Courts. Seth is an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at the University of North Carolina School of Law. He regularly teaches other lawyers advanced trial techniques.