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Sherry Miller Aug. 9, 2019

Receptionists in law offices are the first point of contact for most callers and frequently they are often asked legal questions that they cannot answer. And consequently many callers become frustrated when their questions cannot be answered unless they speak to an attorney who usually requires a consulation fee. So to avoid some of the frustrations here are answers to ten frequently asked questions free of charge!

1. Am I separated if my spouse and I sleep in separate bedrooms? No, in NC you must reside in separate residences to be considered separated.

2. Do I have to file something in the courthouse or have something in writing to separate from my spouse? No, in NC you just need to reside in separate residences.

3. Can I terminate my parental rights? No, the statute will not allow you to initiate a termination proceeding, however, you can consent to terminate if the other parent/agency files for termination.

4. I got married in NC, so can I get a divorce in NC if no one lives here? No, either you or your spouse has to be a resident for at least six months before filing for divorce in NC.

5. Can I change my child's name without notifying the other parent? Generally no, but there are exceptions such as if the other parent has his/her rights terminated.

6. Do I need a lawyer? You can always represent yourself, but if you have complicated legal issues it is better to hire an attorney.

7. I got a speeding ticket, can I just pay the fine? You can but by doing so you could inadvertently get your license revoked, or your insurance premiums could increase.

8. My spouse got a Domestic Violence order agasint me but keeps calling and texting me. Can I respond back? No. Absolutely not.

9. Is there a certain age that children can talk to the judge and express which parent they want to live with? There is no set age. The Judge will determine whether the child is of suitable age and discretion when considering custody placement. Both parents will have to agree in order for the Judge to talk to the child in chambers.

10. I am divorced but my spouse's name is still on the deed to the house, does that mean he still owns it even though I have been paying the mortgage? Yes, if there is no court order awarding you the house. If his name is also on the mortgage, he is responsible for payment as well.