1) Legal Custody: The parent(s) or person(s) who the Judge has appointed to make all the major decisions in the child’s life, such as, decisions about health/healthcare, education, and religion. In North Carolina the child does not have to live with the parent or person who has legal custody of them.
The Judge could appoint two people jointly to have legal custody, known as “Joint Legal Custody,” or one person may be given legal custody, known as “Primary Legal Custody.”
2) Physical Custody: The parent(s) or person(s) who the minor child lives with on a day-to-day basis, who has actual, physical care of the child.
The Judge may appoint two people jointly to have physical custody of the child, this is called “Joint Physical Custody.” The persons or parents who have join physical custody must share time with the child so that each person has regular contact with the child. However, this does not mean that the child must live with one parent/person half of the time and with the other parent/person the other half of the time. Keep in mind it is up to the Judge how much time the child will spend with each parent/person.
The Judge may also appoint one person or parent to have sole physical custody, known as “Primary Physical Custody.” In this situation, one parent or person has the child in their care the majority of the time and the other parent or person may still have regular contact and overnight visits with the child.
3) Exclusive/Sole Custody: This means that only one parent has the form of custody.
4) Joint Custody: This means that two people or both parents share a form of custody.
***A common arrangement for custody is for both parents have joint legal custody and one parent to have primary physical custody, while the other parent has visitation rights.
If you would like to speak with a child custody attorney, contact Adkins Law. We have offices in Huntersville and Charlotte for your convenience.
1. You determine who gets your property, personal and real, and also who receives your money.
2. Potential arguments between family and friends over who gets what are minimized.
3. You may appoint a guardian for your children. If you do not appoint a guardian, the court will, and that person may not be someone you wish to raise your child.
4. You may appoint trustees for your minor children to oversee the estate they inherited. When you appoint a trustee, you may place specific directions in your will to allow for using your child's inheritance for support, education, and direct how and when your child receives the remainder of their inheritance.
5. You can appoint an executors (or administrator) to determine your assets, pay off any debts, pay any death taxes, and distribute what is left of your estate.
6. If you are an unmarried couple you can ensure that your partner is provided for.
7. If you are separated but not yet divorced your spouse or civil partner may still be able to make a claim on your estate until the divorce is finalized.
8. You can ensure you do not pay more inheritance tax than is necessary. Wills can be utilized to make savings on inheritance tax.
If you would like to speak with an estate planning attorney concerning drafting a will, contact Adkins Law. We have locations in Huntersville and south Charlotte for your convenience.
You can amend you existing Last Will and Testament by executing a codicil. A codicil is a document that you draft that amends certain sections of the Will, instead of drafting a whole new will. A codicil can be any length, like it can be 4 pages, 2 paragraphs, a few sentences or a couple of words. To reduce the possibility of a misinterpretation of the codicil you should be try to make simple changes and not complicated ones, in the case that you want to make a number of changes and some of them are complicated you are better off revoking the current will and drafting a new one. A lot of times it is just as easy to create a new will as it is to modify an existing will.
Drafting a Codicil
When adding a codicil, you must keep three things in mind:
(1) Specify the portions of the Will that are being changed and the changes you wish to make.
(2) State that the changes are effective on the date that the codicil is signed.
(3) State whether any original provisions of the original Will is affected by the codicil.
Two Requirements for a valid codicil:
(1) You must sign your codicil in front of two witnesses. There is no requirement that the codicil be notarized in North Carolina.
(2) Your two witnesses must sign your codicil. The witnesses do not need to read the codicil.
If you want to speak to an estate planning attorney regarding amending a will, contact Adkins Law. We have locations in Lake Norman and Charlotte for your convenience.
Divorcing your spouse who does not live in the United States can be a difficult and frustrating process. Service of court documents is the challenge, and service is required in order to process your divorce. Here is how you obtain service on your spouse in a foreign country:
Step 1. Contact the embassy for your spouse's country of residence. The method for serving your spouse with your divorce papers outside of the United States will depend largely on the laws of his or her country. The U.S. Department of State can also provide you with this information.
Step 2. Mail the divorce complain and summons to your spouse (if your spouse’s country of residence allows service by mail). China, Japan, Germany, Poland, Argentina, Venezuela and Switzerland, for example, are among many countries that do not. If the country your spouse is living in permits service by mail, send your complaint to him by international registered mail, and complete postal Form 2865 for a return receipt.
Step 3. Contact the court where you filed your complaint if your spouse’s country of residence will not accept service by mail. If that country is a signatory to the Hague Service Convention, the court can request process of service as a “letters rogatory” procedure. The court will forward a copy of your complaint to a process server in that country and work through its government to get your complaint served.
Step 4. File your mail return receipt with the court to prove that your spouse received your complaint if you were able to serve him by international registered mail, if you have any questions regarding North Carolina’s form you can call the court clerk and ask. The court clerk can advise you which form you must complete and attach to the international mail receipt. If the court has served your spouse through the "letters rogatory" process, you generally will not be required to do anything more, but check with your court to be sure.
If you need to speak to a family law attorney regarding a divorce, and obtaining international service, contact Adkins Law. We have locations in Huntersville and Ballantyne for your convenience.