How do I change my name after getting married in North Carolina?
You’ll need a certified copy of your marriage license in order to change your name on your driver’s license and your Social Security card. Wait at least a few days after the ceremony is performed to allow sufficient time for your license to be returned to the Register of Deeds.
Request your certified copy of your marriage certificate online, by mail, or in person at the Register of Deeds in your county. For Mecklenburg County’s online application go to https://meckrod.permitium.com/mc/application.
In your request, include the name of each partner, date of the marriage, the address where copies should be mailed and include a copy of your government issued ID. Certified copies of your marriage license are $10 each. Check or cash will be accepted.
Present the certified copy of your marriage license along with other required documentation to the Social Security Administration. After applying for a new Social Security card, you should wait at least 24 hours before going to the Department of Motor Vehicles to update your driver's license. The Social Security Administration Charlotte Office is located at 2201 Coronation Blvd Suite 100 Charlotte, NC 28227. Their phone number is 1-800-772-1213.
Adkins Law has offices in Huntersville and Ballantyne. To arrange a consultation with a family law attorney, contact Adkins Law.
If you are considering a divorce you will want to be proactive and make sure you are taking the right steps to ensure a positive outcome. Contacting an attorney is a good first step. Your attorney may recommend that you seek marriage counseling even if you don’t think your marriage can be saved. A divorce is a major life event and a counselor can help you navigate the emotional ups and downs you will likely experience. Your attorney will discuss the laws specific to your state and the steps that you should take to ensure the most favorable outcome to your divorce proceeding.
STAY IN YOUR HOME
Until you speak with an attorney, you should not move out of your home unless it is an abusive situation. In situations of abuse, you should always put the safety of you and your children first. Leaving your home without reason, could be considered abandonment and could jeopardize spousal claims for support. In NC, abandonment means that a spouse has moved out with the intent to cease co-habitation. Abandonment can also impact the custodial rights of the abandoning spouse. By leaving the children with your ex, you are essentially saying that they are capable and fit to raise the children. In addition, if you leave, you may be unable to return to the house until the property has been divided which could take a year or even more in some cases.
SAFEGUARD YOUR ASSETS
An attorney can guide you on how to best protect your assets. You will want to take possession of certain types of assets like cash, collectibles, jewelry, etc. that your spouse might try to liquidate. Your attorney might also suggest closing joint bank accounts and credit cards.
NC DIVORCE LAW
Some states are “Fault” states meaning that the judge will consider the actions of the “guilty” spouse to determine if there are grounds for divorce. In “No Fault” divorce states the judge does not consider the actions of the spouses. All that is required is that one party wishes to end the marriage. NC is a hybrid state – judges can consider marital misconduct or “incurable insanity” but can also dissolve a marriage if one spouse has determined the marriage can’t be saved.
WHAT TO EXPECT
A No-Fault divorce in NC requires two things. First, you must live separate and apart from your spouse for one full uninterrupted year. Second, at least one of you must have lived in NC for the six month period prior to filing the divorce papers.
Adkins Law has offices in Huntersville and Ballantyne. If you need to schedule an appointment to meet with a divorce attorney, contact Adkins Law.
The North Carolina Court of Appeals addressed the issue of retroactive child support in the case of Loosvelt v. Brown, on July 15, 2014. Mr. Loosvelt, brought a lawsuit against Ms. Brown for child custody and to establish child support obligation. Ms. Brown then brought counterclaims including one for retroactive child support. The trial court awarded over $7,000 per month in child support along with around $40,000 in retroactive child support including in excess of $5,000 in pre-birth nursery expenses and maternity clothes.
The Court of Appeals addressed the issue retroactive child support and clarified the law on the expenses that can be recovered before a child’s birth. The court held that "as the legal obligation arises when the child is born, expenses incurred prior to the child's birth cannot be considered as retroactive child support. The only exception to this is in the North Carolina General Statute §49-15 which allows for "medical expenses incident to the pregnancy and birth of the child."
Furthermore, a parent may seek retroactive child support for child support prior to filing the complaint. The Statute of Limitations does limit (NCGS § 1-52(2)) limits a parent to know no more than three years of retroactive support. The parent seeking retroactive child support must present evidence of past expenditures made on behalf of the child that were reasonably necessary.
If you are filing an action for child support, be sure to talk with an attorney about making a claim of retroactive child support.