family law cases

The Different Types of Family Law Cases 

In North Carolina, family law covers a wide range of issues, such as custody, divorce, and adoption. All these legal matters concern the rights and responsibilities of family relationships. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of family law cases. 

Child Custody and Support

One of the most contentious matters in family law centers around child custody. In these cases, the courts will decide where the child will live and who will make major decisions about their care and upbringing. 

There are two types of custody in the state: physical and legal. With physical custody, this dictates where the child will reside. It can either be granted on a sole or joint basis. On the other hand, legal custody refers to who has the right to make decisions regarding the child’s education, healthcare, and religion. In most cases, legal custody is given to both parents.

As stated, both legal and physical can be awarded to one (sole) or both (joint) parents. The courts do encourage both parents to have a relationship with their children. Usually, these rights are granted to both parents. However, if there are concerns related to the ability of the parent to provide a safe environment, then custody may be awarded to one parent over the other. 

Depending on the circumstances, child custody will also detail visitation. Parenting time plans state when and how the non-custodial parent spends time with the child.

Another topic is determining the amount of child support. These calculations consider various factors to ensure children’s financial well-being. Some of these factors include: 

  • The income of both parents
  • Custody arrangements
  • Child-related expenses

In any case, the courts want to provide fair and appropriate financial support to meet the needs of any children involved in these situations. 

Divorce and Separation

Sometimes, spouses will need to legally dissolve their marriage. Under North Carolina state law, there are rules to end the union. There is a one-year waiting period before the divorce can be finalized. However, both parties can begin to divide their property and resolve support issues during this time. 

All assets acquired during the marriage must be distributed. Contributions to the marriage, the duration of the marriage, and the value of assets are all factors used to determine each person’s share of the property. 

If one spouse needs spousal support, the amount will need to be determined. The other spouse’s financial needs, the length of the marriage, and each spouse’s contributions can help the court reach an agreement on this issue. 

Domestic Violence Cases

Unfortunately, not all relationships are peaceful. In some cases, one partner may need to take legal action. For any victim of domestic violence, there are legal remedies available. A restraining order can help to prevent an abusive parent from making any contact with the other person. 

Along with that, there are additional protections, such as protective orders and emergency custody. In these situations, the courts may need to schedule an emergency hearing to help keep the parties out of immediate danger. 

Adoption and Guardianship

Finally, there are times when a family wants to expand and welcome a new member into their home. With adoptions and guardianships, the courts will establish parental rights and responsibilities. These can include:

  • Stepparent adoption occurs when a stepparent legally adopts their spouse’s child.
  • Agency adoption happens when a family welcomes a child through an adoption agency.
  • Relative guardianship is when a relative assumes legal responsibility for a child.

Have an Experienced Legal Advocate on Your Side

Family legal issues can be difficult to navigate, especially when they deal with sensitive matters. Proceeding through an adoption, divorce, or child custody case can be stressful for all parties. 

If your situation involves any of these different types of family law cases, you will want to reach out to our law firm. Schedule your appointment with Stephen E. Robertson Law Office. Contact us at 336-370-6760 to discuss your family law case today.