Do I have to have a Separation Agreement to get a Divorce in North Carolina? The short answer is no. You don’t need to have a separation agreement also commonly called a separation and property settlement agreement in North Carolina to get a divorce. The only requirement is that you and your former spouse have been separated and are living separate and apart for at least one year. Unlike some states, North Carolina is not a fault based divorce state. In other words, you don’t have to have a reason for the divorce, like a cheating spouse, to get… Read More
What’s the Difference Between Legal Custody and Physical Custody? In North Carolina, legal custody (when referring to child custody) has nothing to do with where the child lives or which parent the child resides. Legal custody, which a court usually awards jointly to both parties, is a decision making tool. Legal custody goes to decisions regarding the child’s education, medical, and dental needs. Also included in legal custody would be decision making regarding what types of extracurricular activities the child participates in, like sports or dance or martial arts. It also includes religious upbringing. As mentioned earlier, courts will… Read More
A divorce from bed and board is not a regular divorce. In fact, if it’s granted, the parties are still married. The other difference is that in North Carolina, a divorce doesn’t have to be fault based, but a divorce from bed and board is fault based. What it does is it asks the court to evict one of the spouses from the marital home. There’s many times when this is needed since not all parties can separate amicably. If granted, a divorce from bed and board also establishes the legal separation date which allows the party seeking the action… Read More
Structured Sentencing came into effect for all offenses committed on or after October 1, 1994. Before this was introduced, Judges had a lot of discretion in how to sentence a person. These guidelines were mandated in order to ensure that each person was treated the same and received a similar sentence regarding convictions for the same crimes. All felonies and misdemeanors in North Carolina now fall under Structured Sentencing with some exceptions like 1st degree murder, DWI, and a few others. For the most part, Structured Sentencing will apply to your case. SPEAK TO A WINSTON-SALEM AND GREENSBORO CRIMINAL DEFENSE… Read More
Since we’re right in the middle of summer, I know that a lot of folks will be out and about on the lakes and waterways of our great State. And with that, I also know that many of you will be imbibing in alcohol during these activities. So, to answer the question I get asked several times each summer: “Will a conviction for BWI (Boating While Impaired) cause me to lose my license to drive a car?” The answer is no. However, BWI is still a crime and as such is a class 1 misdemeanor. This could affect other areas… Read More
A question I get sometimes from clients is “Can I be charged with D.W.I. in North Carolina while riding a bicycle?” The answer, unfortunately, is yes. You can be charged and convicted in the Great State of North Carolina for Driving While Impaired if you are impaired and riding a bicycle. Under the pertinent section of the law, NCGS 20-4.01 (49) North Carolina defines vehicle as: Vehicle. – Every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, excepting devices moved by human power or used exclusively upon fixed… Read More
Some days, I have trouble believing this type of thing can happen in the United States of America. Many of you have probably heard the story already. Last week, a man won $22 million from a jury due to his treatment in New Mexico’s Dona Ana County jail. Not only did he have to pull one of his own teeth, but fungus grew under his skin! Apparently, he was ignored so much that his toe nails grew so long that they curled around his feet. He was arrested in 2005 and thrown in jail for two years; without a trial.… Read More
The North Carolina Court of Appeals seems to be standing by there earlier ruling in State v. Fields with this new case. The facts in this case are that the defendant, Mary Otto, was observed by a North Carolina State Trooper in February, 2008 weaving from the center line to the fog line. Ms. Otto was followed for 3/4 of a mile before being stopped. She was one half a mile away from the Country Club, which the officer thought may have been serving alcohol. The Court cited State v. Fields 195 NC App 740in the opinion stating that without… Read More
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Do I have to have a Separation Agreement to get a Divorce in North Carolina?
What’s the difference between legal custody and physical custody?