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North Carolina Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption, Child Custody and Military Law for North Carolina on
Q: Can I? And how fast can I adopt my younger brother?

I am in the military, and I want to adop my 15 year old brother. He lives with my stepfather and my mother lives in mexIco. I’m stationed in NC and my brother lives in California. How can I adopt him so I could bring him to live with me.

Elizabeth Fowler Lunn
Elizabeth Fowler Lunn answered on Jun 19, 2021

The adoption process is a state law issue and if he currently lives in California then you will need to speak with a family law attorney there. Adoption may not even be necessary, depending on the purpose of the adoption. You may able to just have a custody order. You should also research what... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for North Carolina on
Q: Is there a way to waiver the law of having both parents consent to changing a minor's legal last name?

Both the father and the mother are in the picture and the mother has Primary Legal Custody of the children. One of the children (Minor), would like to change their legal last name from their father's. Is this possible to do without the consent of the father?

Christopher Emmanuel Benjamin
Christopher Emmanuel Benjamin answered on Jun 11, 2021

Consent of both parents is required to change the name of a minor child; if there is a dispute it must be decided by the Court.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for North Carolina on
Q: What recourse do I have?

My husband and I married four years ago and bought a home/mini-farm almost two years ago. Large home on 4 acres with chickens, ducks, dogs. This Monday, without giving me any warning, he signed a lease on a new place to live, took a few things with him and left. No heads up to prepare me that I... Read more »

Dymond  Spain
Dymond Spain answered on May 27, 2021

Hello,

It sounds like you may have a claim for Equitable Distribution (property division) and Spousal Support. You will have to prove that you are the dependent spouse in order to be granted spousal support, but because you have physically separated and ended the relationship you can...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for North Carolina on
Q: Family court. Calander call tomorrow. Wish to file Motion of Contempt against Plantif. Can I still file motion?

Case filed by mother to modify custody. Agreed to Pych Evaluation. Results state I'm fine but Planiff not so we'll.

Dymond  Spain
Dymond Spain answered on May 27, 2021

Hello.

If you decide to represent yourself it is best to review the county local rules. All NC county courts have a page on the Nccourts.gov website. This is where you can locate county forms and filing deadlines.

Also, as I assume you found out, you can file the motion, however,...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for North Carolina on
Q: How would a postnuptial work exactly with a home my grandmother wants to sign over to me?

My grandmother wants to sign over her home to me that is paid for but she wants my husband and I to agree to a postnuptial agreement before she does so because she would not want my husband to touch it in the future. She said she would have to agree to what the postnuptial insisted of exactly... Read more »

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Apr 15, 2021

You can do a postnuptial if that is what your grandmother requires, or during the conveyance of the property your spouse can join your grandmother and waive all spousal rights to the property. But if those are your grandmother's conditions you can't force her to give you the property.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Estate Planning and Probate for North Carolina on
Q: Mother has dementia, I’m hcpoa, brother named executor upon my dad’s recent death...

My question is does my brother legally control all assets and funds due to my mother having dementia?

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Apr 13, 2021

Depends on the will or lack thereof, also you are the HCPOA but is there a durable POA also in place for your mother? You probably need to take all your documents to a local attorney and get a more tailored opinion.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for North Carolina on
Q: What steps must be taken to get conservatorship or guardianship over a person (adult) with mental illness?

In this case it would be my 37 year old son, who has paranoid schizophrenia. I'm sure I would need hospital records . I'm not sure how to get them without the help of an attorney

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Apr 8, 2021

Once you start the guardianship process, a guardian ad litem (GAL) will be appointed. They should be able to access some of these records; I highly advise that you get legal help in this matter, not just for the initial hearing but also for the subsequent duties that fall on the appointed guardian.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Real Estate Law for North Carolina on
Q: what are my rights in NC regarding the sale of a home bought during my marriage?

My father in law bought a home for my husband and I and we lived there for 14 years. My estranged husband and his father are on the deed. My name is not, although I made the payments for 9 of the 14 years I lived in the home. My father in law is trying to sell the house and needs my signature on... Read more »

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Mar 31, 2021

This is a matter for the divorce settlement, you have very limited rights under real property law. In order for the house to be sold while you are married, you must sign the deed but likely you cannot be forced to sign.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for North Carolina on
Q: If my children reside in another state in order for me to fight for custody which state do I have to fight in
Mr. Albert Loch Saslow
Mr. Albert Loch Saslow answered on Mar 17, 2021

Assuming there is no custody case that has already been filed, you would need to file for custody in the jurisdiction where the children have lived for the past six (6) months.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Civil Rights and Social Security for North Carolina on
Q: How do I get legal representation for a hearing if I am legally declared incompetent
Elizabeth Fowler Lunn
Elizabeth Fowler Lunn answered on Mar 15, 2021

It is not clear what type of hearing you are asking about. Typically the person who is your legal guardian can arrange for representation in a legal matter. If you are asking about getting legal representation for a competency hearing then you will be appointed someone by the Court - just tell them... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for North Carolina on
Q: My Wife's family all have COVID. She wants to bring our 1 yr old to their home for a full week. Do I have legal options?

My soon to be ex wife is taking my son out of state to her parents home where at least 4 people have COVID. Are there any legal routes I can follow if my soon contracts COVID while there?

Mr. Albert Loch Saslow
Mr. Albert Loch Saslow answered on Mar 5, 2021

If you don't have an existing custody case, I would consider filing one ASAP. If you have an existing case, you may want to file a Motion for Emergency Custody before she leaves alleging that the child will be exposed to a substantial risk of bodily injury. Some judges may agree that such a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Legal Malpractice and Social Security for North Carolina on
Q: Can the mother of my children be my legal guardian and representative payee?

I am legally declared incompetent and my mother is my legal guardian and payee. We are awaiting a hearing. DSS attorney will be present.

Kenneth Prigmore
Kenneth Prigmore answered on Mar 4, 2021

Legal guardians need to be a responsible adult. If the judge is convinced the person you request is responsible and they have your interests in mind, that change should not be a problem.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Civil Rights for North Carolina on
Q: Can I move back to the marital home if my spouse moves out after he was granted possession with a DVPO?

He'll tell the real estate agent he is moving out. If he is gone for 30 days and I'm there, I have a right to privacy. He wants to move in with the other woman to sell the house. He was granted possession. The home is jointly owned by myself and him. I can cancel the sale before the 45... Read more »

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Mar 1, 2021

I am answering these questions as if the house is in NC, I am not sure given that your address is listed in VA, if the house is in VA then my answers may be wrong.

If he was granted possession then no you cannot move back in without something terminating his exclusive possession....
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Health Care Law and Nursing Home Abuse for North Carolina on
Q: My beloved brother of 49 yrs suffered a stroke Jan 7,2021and was discharged today. He requires 24/7 coverage. I need to

Take care of my brother and become his conservator. How can I make this happen?

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Feb 22, 2021

In NC this is called guardianship, not conservatorship, I advise that you speak to a local lawyer to assist you with the process. If you want to attempt the process on your own speak to the local Clerk of Court.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Divorce, Estate Planning and Family Law for North Carolina on
Q: My husband and I separated July 2020, the mortgage lists both names, am I still financially responsible for late pmts

We both agreed that he was going to keep the house and will refinance it to remove my name. I still pay the HOA fees and the water bill there.

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran answered on Feb 19, 2021

Until your husband refinances, imagine that you cosigned the loan. My suggestion to you is that you should not deed your interest to him until he refinances.

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Civil Litigation for North Carolina on
Q: My 39 year old son finally moved out but he left all of his stuff behind. Can I legally discard all of his belongings?
Amanda Bowden Johnson
Amanda Bowden Johnson answered on Feb 6, 2021

Yes, but there are some steps you will likely need to follow. You are likely in a bailment situation where you will be required to take reasonable care of his property for some period of time and to provide him with formal notice to make arrangements to pick it up. If so, typically 30 days is... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for North Carolina on
Q: Will a judge grant my 5-month-old son visitation out-of-state if his father moved to MD permanently?

I filed for custody of our son the first week in December 2020 and 3 weeks later the father left NC and returned to MD to live with his mother. He has visited once since moving. We have mediation late March and he has informed me he will request for his visitations to be held in MD. He also said he... Read more »

Mr. Albert Loch Saslow
Mr. Albert Loch Saslow answered on Feb 4, 2021

I dislike these types of questions as it really just calls for speculation when we don't know anything else about the parties, the case, or the judge. So any answer you receive is going to be mostly guesswork. All that said, I could see a judge ordering that the child is to have visitations... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for North Carolina on
Q: My ex is talking of moving away with our daughter. How far away can she move without getting my consent?
Amanda Bowden Johnson
Amanda Bowden Johnson answered on Feb 2, 2021

Depends. Assuming there are currently no Court Orders or enforceable agreements to the contrary, the ex can pretty much move anywhere in state without your consent but doing so over your express objection would likely make her look bad if you took her to Court over it unless she has a very... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for North Carolina on
Q: My ex husband is an E7 in the Army. We currently have joint custody of our 2 sons he has primary as of 2012. How

My youngest is 11. He is having mental health issues and openly says he NEEDS to come home. Their stepmom is treating them badly as well. Dad is refusing. Both sides of the family feel this is best. Should I call his command? Is my son old enough to represent himself?

Amanda Bowden Johnson
Amanda Bowden Johnson answered on Feb 1, 2021

Your son is a child and will have zero say in terms of representing himself - although it is possible a Judge may want to hear from him and may give his preference some very minor consideration. Your ex's command has zero authority in this matter and they likely would not get involved in this... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for North Carolina on
Q: Hi. When joint legal custody is in place, does giving child’s social media passwords need to be given to other parent?

I have primary physical. But a while back my child’s father said he didn’t have any passwords or anything to daughters social media accounts. At first I was like why would I give him the passwords when we usually use the same ones for my accounts? But now he’s filed a modifying the order in... Read more »

Amanda Bowden Johnson
Amanda Bowden Johnson answered on Feb 1, 2021

Yes, if he requested them, you likely should have given them to him unless you have some compelling and legitimate reason not to and no your daughter's privacy or the fact that you share the same passwords is not a good reason. Which means you and your daughter should not share the same... Read more »

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