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Divorce is often a ridiculously difficult process. Many times the stages of grief one experiences are akin to the death of a loved one, and moves through anger, fear, resentment, resignation, and eventually forward momentum. Having guidance through the process that provides an understanding of the options available to you can help ease you through that stress and into the forward momentum you need.

What is an Absolute Divorce?

Absolute divorce dissolves a marital relationship between spouses.  Obtaining an absolute divorce in North Carolina requires spouses to be physically separated and living apart from one another for at least one year and for at least one partner to have been a resident of the State for 6 months.

Before obtaining absolute divorce it is important to address issues relative to your marital property, your debts, custody of your children, and support for dependent spouses and kids. If you fail to address and resolve these matters before obtaining absolute divorce, you could be forever barred from readdressing or modifying them in the future. We can help you understand and protect your rights under absolute divorce.

How do issues get resolved?

Through thoughtfully crafted Separation Agreements, we can address the needs of your family as it currently exists and preserve your right to modify aspects of the agreement should circumstances change in the future. Issues surrounding marital assets and debt, alimony, and issues surrounding the custody and support of your children can all be resolved through a separation agreement, sometimes also called a property settlement agreement.  Separation agreements can and should be tailored to meet the unique needs of your situation amicably. When that is not possible, your matter can be decided by a judge through trial.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a negotiation conference that offers an alternative method of resolving disputes of all kinds.  In the family arena it is a useful and reliable tool which allows all parties to retain some control over their outcomes through divorce. Mediation can be had at any time in the process, though an experienced lawyer can help you determine the best time to participate.  With a seasoned mediator and lawyer to advocate for your most important needs, issues can often be resolved through mediation settlement without the necessity of court intervention, privately and efficiently.

Do I need an Attorney?

If you are considering divorce, consult with a knowledgeable attorney. Don’t second guess this.  Ending a marriage is tough and confusing enough without the practical advice and skill of an effective lawyer. Always it is those matters overlooked or not considered that cause problems in the future. We can help you avoid future setbacks caused by the decisions you make during the course of your divorce.  Daren can help you through:

  • Separation;
  • Child custody matters;
  • Child support matters;
  • Paternity actions;
  • Adoptions and third-party custody and visitation actions, including grandparents' rights;
  • Premarital agreements and post-nuptial agreements;
  • Alimony;
  • Equitable Distribution (Property Settlement);
  • Enforcement actions for orders and/or agreements; and
  • Modifications of orders for custody and/or child support

If you are considering divorce, schedule your consultation with Daren Gum today and get efficient, effective, and affordable legal services through your divorce.

What is Family Court?

Many jurisdictions in North Carolina provide access to the Unified Family Court, a specialized division of the North Carolina District Court system. Family Court is tasked with handling the unique matters in family-related cases surrounding child custody, child support, alimony and post-separation support, and marital property settlement otherwise known as equitable distribution. Judges in Unified Family Court are specially trained in the process, often having been divorce lawyers before coming to the bench. Judges in Unified Family Court do not rotate and often follow a family from divorce through children reaching their age of majority utilizing a one-judge-one-family philosophy.

Unified Family Court is not available to all counties in Western North Carolina. In jurisdictions where Unified Family Court has not been adopted, family matters are facilitated by the general District Court. Though District Court Judges handle a wide variety of matters, they are no less experienced, knowledgeable, or caring toward the plight of families than judges assigned to Family Court. Family matters in District Court often take longer to resolve than those in Unified Family Court because of the wide variety of matters that might appear on a District Court’s docket at any given time.

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