Questions on Separation/Custody


Dear next30years:

Greetings. First, the Collaborative Divorce process takes two attorneys. One attorney cannot represent both of your interests in a separation agreement, because you have diametrically opposed interests on a number of issues. Nevertheless, if you are worried about costs, you could agree to divide all legal fees, one of you hire a flat fee attorney, and the other hire an attorney to help them review drafts and negotiate. The flat fee attorney can do all the drafting, etc.

The words joint custody and sole custody do not matter for child support. You can have joint custody, but have a visitation schedule where dad only sees the children one day per week. In this example, mom would receive child support from dad.

I would recommend that you clearly understand all of your legal rights prior to making any agreements with your spouse … that will allow you to make wise, educated agreements and the process will be as painless as possible. Also, hire an attorney with a solution in mind and a path to get to the solution that you can handle. Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

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.


My husband and I are going to separate. I am going to move out with our 2 daughters and let him keep the house. He will also get 2 trucks a boat and hottub as well. Not wanting this to get messy for the kids sake. I do however think it is in my best interest to gain child support from him. We also want to go for joint custody. Does that have any influence on child support amount versus full custody? What would you recommend in steps for us to do since we are both willing to meet in the middle and make this as painless as possible.

One last question… Is it possible that we both use the same attorney if we proceed with a Collaborative Divorce?