©2018 by Spidell Family Law

Counties Served:

Alamance, Davidson, Forsyth, Guilford, Randolph

FAMILY LAW SERVICES

The institution of marriage has changed over the years, as the United States rate of marriage has decreased with co-habitation, legalization of same-sex marriage and more effective co-parenting. The traditional view of "family" has also changed over the years- more and more families consist of  single  parents, unmarried couples, same-sex couples and grandparents raising their grandchildren. With the change in the view of family, our court system has changed as well. Attorney Spidell is experienced in family law mediation, negotiation and court processes.

 

Attorney Spidell can walk you through each step of your family law case. 

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SEPARATION AGREEMENTS

When a married couple decides to separate, it can be for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons we hear- "we have grown apart", differences in how money is earned and spent, and differing parenting styles that ultimately drive a Husband and Wife apart. Less common are issues like adultery, mental health or addiction. Whatever the reason you are considering separation from your spouse, the process can be emotional and difficult to navigate and many clients simply do not know where to start.

One option in resolving pending marital issues, including child custody, child support, spousal support and property division is through a Separation Agreement and Property Settlement. This is a binding contract between the parties, which governs the terms of the parties' separation and is often more amicable and less time-consuming and costly for clients. 

  

Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your separation. 

DIVORCE

"I want a divorce"- this can be a heartbreaking phrase to hear from your spouse. Sometimes you may be aware that it is coming, and other times it takes you by complete surprise. Either way, Spidell Family Law is here to make the process easier for you. The process of filing for divorce can be confusing and it is important to hire an attorney who is competent and understands the process to make sure your divorce is done correctly and cost-effectively.

CHILD CUSTODY & CHILD SUPPORT

Spidell Family Law knows first hand how emotional a child custody case can be. In fact, Megan's inspiration for going to law school and focusing her career on family law was her very own family. She has testified as a witness and experienced family court first hand. This unique experience sets Megan apart from many other family law attorneys. Her family has been there, and she knows how to help you through it, with compassion, integrity and knowledge.

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CHILD CUSTODY

Most people know someone, either a family member, friend or colleague, who has gone through a custody dispute, but when it is your own custody case, your own children involved, Spidell Family Law knows how scary and emotional it can be. Attorney Spidell has been practicing family law her entire career and can guide you through this process.

North Carolina courts deal with two different areas of custody- "legal" custody, which is the decision making power for your children, and "physical" custody, which is where the children spend their physical time. 

Our courts are moving toward "shared" custody, when possible and appropriate. The Court's primary concern when making a custody decision is the "best interests of the child". The factors the Court considers are discussed in more detail below. Attorney Spidell has negotiated and settled hundreds of custody cases during her career. Similarly, she has tried hundreds of other cases in Court with successful results.

CHILD CUSTODY FACTORS

When making a determination of what is in the best interests of the child, the Court considers numerous factors including:

  • The criminal records of either parent

  • History of domestic violence between the parents 

  • Abuse of the child by either parent

  • Alcohol or drug abuse by either parent

  • Introduction of a new significant other to the children

  • Involvement of the parents in medical educational decisions for the child

  • A parent's willingness (or unwillingness) to allow visitation and access to the minor child

  • Many other factors

CHILD SUPPORT

One of the primary concerns that parents have when bringing a child into the world is, "how can we afford a child?" This concern grows even larger when parents decide to live apart. Calculating child support, and determining which parent should be responsible for costs such as daycare or health insurance can be complicated. 

 

Luckily, North Carolina has adopted the Child Support Guidelines for calculation of child support. These Guidelines look at both parents' gross monthly income, the number of overnights spent with each parent, who pays for health insurance and work-related childcare expenses, and takes into account other extraordinary expenses such as specialized education and travel expenses between parents' homes. 

In some cases, including cases involving higher incomes, there may be reason to deviate from these Guidelines.

If you have a child support case or are interested in obtaining child support from the other parent, please contact our office to set up a free consultation. 

FINANCIAL MATTERS IN DIVORCE

Whether you are seeking spousal support from your spouse, or needing to divide a complex estate through property distribution, Spidell Family Law can help.

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SPOUSAL SUPPORT

When separating a marital estate, it is important to first determine what the estate includes- separate property, marital property, or property classified somewhere in between (divisible property). The most common properties to be divided are homes, cars, retirement accounts. In more complex cases, it may be advised to obtain a business valuation or appraisal of assets, to ensure your property is valued correctly.

VALUING ASSETS

When separating a marital estate, it is important to first determine what the estate includes- separate property, marital property, or property classified somewhere in between (divisible property). The most common properties to be divided are homes, cars, retirement accounts. In more complex cases, it may be advised to obtain a business valuation or appraisal of assets, to ensure your property is valued correctly.

PROPERTY DIVISION

Once we have determined what assets and debts there are in a marital estate, we must begin the process of dividing the estate through Equitable Distribution. The North Carolina court's presume that this division should be equal- with each spouse receiving 50% of the total estate (assets and debts). The Court may consider a variety of factors to determine if an "unequal" distribution is more equitable, Discuss these factors with Attorney Spidell to see if any of them apply to your case. 

NOT SO-COMMON FAMILY LAW ISSUES

Where Experience Matters Most

ADOPTION

While many aspects of family law seem sad, adoption is the bright light in the family law world. Perhaps you are a grandparent with a long-standing relationship raising your grandchild, or a step-parent ready to make the relationship you already have with your step-child "official", or a couple ready to welcome your new son or daughter into your home first the first time- adoption is a complex and exciting area of law. Let Spidell Family Law guide you through the process.

ALIENATION OF AFFECTION & CRIMINAL CONVERSATION

You have likely read the recent news about large settlements in Alienation of Affection and Criminal Conversation cases in NC. These cases are rare- in fact only 6 states in the US still allow them. These claims are available when another individual (normally a third-party romantically involved with your spouse) intentionally alienates the affections of your spouse. If you have been sued under one of these claims, or are interested in filing a claim against your spouse's paramour, speak with Spidell Family Law today.

Termination of Parental Rights

Cases involving the termination of a parent's parental rights can be the most emotional cases within the practice of family law. If a parent has committed abuse or neglect against a child or abandoned the child for an extensive period of time, you may be eligible to terminate  that parents' parental rights. When rights are terminated, this eliminates all rights and obligations for that parent with regard to the child.

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