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Version 2. People often assume a separation agreement is required in order to be legally separated. This is not correct. The law is very specific on the definition of legal separation. In order to be legally separated, a party must be physically separated with at least one spouse having the intent to end the martial relationship. In North Carolina, a couple may be legally separated without entering into a separation agreement.

While not required, a well drafted separation agreement can provide a number of benefits.

First, a separation agreement can address all matters related to a divorce including alimony, property division, child custody, child support, and a waiver of claims against third parties. Rather than leaving the decision to a Court, a couple can negotiate almost any term which is not against public policy.

Perhaps the most difficult part of a divorce or when a couple separates is deciding how the children will be cared for in the future. Child custody in North Carolina includes decision making authority regarding a child’s welfare (legal custody) and where a child will live (physical custody). The best case scenario is for parties to decide upon what type of custody arrangement will apply to their children. Regardless of whether a couple decides on custody for themselves or a Court decides for them, learning to co-parent is perhaps the most important step forward.

Co-parenting is a process where two parents work together to raise a child even though they are divorced or separated and no longer live together. While co-parenting is a simple concept, in reality it can often be difficult to master.

The following are a few important tips to consider in learning how to co-parent:

One of the most common misconceptions for family law clients is when they are “legally separated.” Some people equate separation with the drafting of a separation agreement and believe they are not legally separated until pen has been put to paper. Others believe they are legally separated once one person moves out of the master bedroom and into the guest room. In fact, North Carolina law is very specific on the definition of legal separation. In order to be legally separated, a party must be physically separated with at least one spouse having the intent to end the martial relationship.

This means there are two important requirements in order to be legally separated in North Carolina. First, the parties have to be physically apart. This does not mean a couple is living in two separate bedrooms on different ends of the home. To qualify, the couple must actually be living in two different homes or locations. Most commonly, one person leaves the martial home to live in an apartment somewhere else. Separation can also include, however, an overseas deployment or temporary change in duty station (so long as the second requirement is also met). Second, at least one person in the relationship has to have the intent to end the martial relationship. This means at least one spouse has decided the marriage is over. The law does not require communication of this intention or desire to the other spouse, but communication is certainly an easy means of proving the exact date of separation. While separation agreements are great tools to use in addressing many of the issues which will arise in a divorce, an agreement is not required to be legally separated.

Once a couple has been legally separated for one year, they may file for a divorce. A party may file for a divorce in North Carolina so long as one person has been living in this state for the last six months.

Fayetteville attorney, H. Gerald Beaver, has been appointed by Governor Roy Cooper to serve as a member of the North Carolina Inmate Grievance Resolution Board.

The Grievance Resolution Board serves within the Division of Adult Correction in the Department of Public Safety. The Board consists of five members appointed by the Governor to serve four-year terms. Three of the members must be attorneys chosen from a list of 10 individuals recommended by the Council of the North Carolina State Bar.

“I am honored and humbled to accept this appointment to the North Carolina Grievance Board from Governor Cooper. It’s my great pleasure to serve on a board whose mission and members I have long respected and admired,” says Attorney H. Gerald Beaver.

Have a Personal Injury Case?

When you get in an accident or suffer a serious injury, trying to figure out what to do can be overwhelming.  At Beaver Courie, our personal injury attorneys will help you through this difficult time. Our team has earned recognition among clients and legal professionals throughout the region for our capacity to help personal injury victims fight for their rights.

You undoubtedly have some questions about your situation. Here are some answers to common questions:

This year’s Lafayette birthday celebrations in Fayetteville included “Arias and Artifacts” at Methodist University. The event consisted of a reception and program highlighting recent additions to the Lafayette Collection at Davis Memorial Library. Members of the MU Chorale also shared memories of their recent visit to St. Avold, France, Fayetteville’s sister city.  Afterward, there was a concert of French music in Hensdale Chapel, presented by vocalist Gail Morfesis and friends.

The Lafayette Collection includes letters, monographs, books, commemorative items, maps, and other items dating from Lafayette’s  lifetime and beyond. Archives Librarian Arleen Fields is the curator of the University’s special collections, and organized this year’s event, in conjunction with the Lafayette Society.

“The highlight of the program was a presentation to the University of an 1825 ‘Lafayette map’ of Fayetteville from the Lafayette Society,”  Fields said. “The map is a window into the history of Fayetteville and our connection to Lafayette.”

Have you wondered what the difference is between DWI and DUI?

Did you know DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and DWI (Driving While Impaired) are the same crime. North Carolina law does not recognize a difference between the two and actually punishes this offense under the label of DWI.  This is because the law recognizes and punishes impairment, regardless of whether it stems from alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription medication.

When charged with DWI, you might think that you have no legal option but to accept the prosecutor’s plea arrangement and pay the penalties. The truth is that an experienced DWI defense attorney can help you avoid the worst of the serious consequences of a guilty plea.

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Everyone’s heard of defensive driving—being on the lookout for dangerous situations so drivers can avoid them before a wreck happens. What happens, however, when a wreck occurs in spite of best efforts at defensive driving?

If another driver negligently caused the wreck, the injured person can make a claim against that driver’s insurance company. What if the other driver has no insurance or too little insurance to cover the medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering that result from serious injuries?

In those situations, the negligent driver probably does not have enough money or assets to compensate a seriously injured person. Injured persons who have practiced insurance self-defense can turn to their own insurance companies’ uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage for compensation.

The Fort Bragg soldier, Bryan Scott Wolfinger, who is charged with misdemeanor going armed to the terror of the public, is being represented by Attorney David Courie.  Wolfinger, who set off a wave of panic and caused a lockdown at Cross Creek Mall on July 2nd, has cooperated with police.

“I want the very best outcome for him I can possibly get,” Courie said. “He’s a good young man, appears to be a good young soldier and he’s continued to cooperate. I hope that whatever disposition we reach is one that does not take him off track.”

His case was continued and a new date has not been set.

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