8 Long but important Questions


#1

Dear In Process:

Greetings. I am glad that you have come to us for questions. First, I want to warn you against drafting your own agreement - always have an attorney draft the agreement if possible. Just the sheer amount of questions you have should let you know that you need help understanding the law and drafting an agreement, especially when it will define your rights and liabilities for LIFE. Now, to answer your questions:

  1. The term “joint custody” describes how decisions are made for the children. Generally this term does not describe the living situation … which must be spelled out specifically in the agreement. While you may be able to get along swimingly today, think about the future. What if you cannot get along, or you disagree. Have a written agreement with dates and times that you use as a “fall back” custodial arrangement in the event of disagreements. Generally, most parties have joint custody in NC.

  2. You need to look at the child support calculator on our website. We calculate child support based on overnights. I sincerely doubt your method of determining child support is close to the calculator amount. The children’s needs include electricity, heat, light, shelter, food, etc. When you ask him to pay for half of these, he will likely refuse - enter child support.

The calculator sets out who should pay and how much at the very bottom of the form. Yes, of course the calculator takes into effect that the children will live with you the majority of the time if you used it correctly. When in doubt, read over it carefully and try again. The percentages are only part of how it is calculated.

  1. Sure, you can place a statement into the separation agreement and property settlement about school clothes, but if it is not specific, it is not enforceable. The parent receiving child support is generally responsible for all the costs of school clothing - unless determined otherwise in an agreement or in a court order. Specificity is the key.

  2. You need a waiver of alimony.

  3. Yes, I always recommend an executed separation agreement prior to leaving, if possible.

  4. You will need a quit claim deed and specific paragraphs in the separation agreement about when your husband must sign the same.

  5. No. You cannot lie to a judge about living separate and apart to “hurry the divorce.” This is perjury and if you ever want to remarry in the future…you will have to live with the knowledge that you are not truly divorced and at any time your ex-spouse can bring this up. Perjury is a crime in NC!

  6. Sure, if you have the correct clauses in the agreement it can be amended, but why would your spouse agree to take on more responsibility than he has to in the future? Get the agreement done correctly the first time - as it is likely that you will not have a second shot at it.

Now, after reading this I hope that you see the need for legal representation. You clearly need an attorney to help you draft the agreement and ensure that you have all the necessary provisions to protect you and your children for the rest of your life. You only get one bite of the apple…so to speak. Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
RosenDivorce.com
919-787-6668

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#2

Hello Janet,

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to respond to my questions. The info is invaluable & I do have to say that you’ve convinced me that legal representation is a must. I was trying to avoid getting him angry but it appears to be the right thing to do.

Can you please provide me with your firms rates for a circumstance such as mine?

Thanks!


#3

Dear In Process:

Greetings. I am glad that I was able to help. Yes, your spouse will be angry at first, but that will change into fear and anxiety at the unknown outcome. We also try to immediately help both parties into some comfort at knowing that neither party will be financially ruined and there is hope at the end of divorce.

We do have a fee calculator on our website, where you can look up how we charge for our services. We use a flat fee billing structure, which ensures that you know up front the entire costs of the separation process. Please let me know if you have other questions. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
RosenDivorce.com
919-787-6668

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#4

Good Afternoon!

Was referred to your website from a friend-thank you in advance for addressing my MANY questions :slight_smile:.

My husband & I are in the process of separating (w/ plans to divorce) & attempting to come to an amicable agreement ourselves-do plan to have an attorney review it. Am trying to familiarize myself with all the legalities so we/I can make better choices.

As it stands (give U background), we’re stating that ‘joint custody’ is the way to go. ALthough, since our children are young (3&4), they will be staying with me at our home (he’s agreed to let me buy him out of the house…for now-bargained to take 70K worth of debt)so they can stay in their normal routine. QUESTION #1=Is Joint custody the best option since they’ll reside maninly with me for many years to come? What are the other options that would still allow him unlimited access/visitation to the kids (good father) but be the best situation for protecting my interest as well as the kids?

Since I’m staying in the home, I’m assuming all the pertinent bills, he will be responsible for his own ie car, ins, life ins…soon rent/utilities but leaving mainly with no debt & then I split the children’s expenses down the middle & that is our ‘cost contribution’ aka child support. I don’t know if it’s more or less than the state would calculate. I don’t want anything other than him to take responsibility for 50% of the childrens needs but curious if we’re in line. Don’t want any surprises! QUESTION #2=Pulled your spreasheet that provides a calc based on the combined monthly gross income…& went to the columns under 2 kids…is the amount specified the monies that each parent shold be paying? or just the one not in the household? I make 60% of the household income & he makes 40% of the household income. Does or will this make a difference…if so, what? Since I make 60% of the gross income, do I assume 60% of that amount? Does it take into consideration the fact that their primary residence will be my house.

As noted, I split the childrens expenses down the middle but these are monthly expenses. Did not include a $$ allotment for school clothing, medical co-pays, school pics & school party fees/B-day partties & holiday gifts. QUESTION #3=is it realistic/common to state that we can address these itmes as needed-when they come up? Maybe set a cap on yearly school cloths & he’s only responsible up to the specified amount? Medical would be as needed & unlimited. Any other suggestions or comments?

He isn’t requesting alimony nor do I want to provide it. QUESTION#4=how can I protect myself legally so he cannot come back later to request this?

He’s planning on moving out in November & we’re working of what we’ll agree to now QUESTION#5=do you recommend we have a legal binding document prior to him leaving?

QUESTION #6 The home loan is just in my name only but his name is on the deed. When should that be removed & how do I go about doing that?

QUESTION #7 Husband has had a po box for years. He has stated since he’s had that additional address for years that he/we can state he’s been already out of the house for a year. This way we can proceed quicker with a divorce. Is this so?

QUESTION #8 Once we have a set agreement (at least for the separation papers, stating the particulars of the ‘cost sharing/child support’ can it be amended as needed/or does a clause need to be mentioned on specific areas? ie. College planning, only contributing $50.00 ($25.00 each) per month, may want to increase this over time.

Thanks again for your time & help! Know these were some long ones :slight_smile: