GREENSBORO, NC -- 2WTK is asking lawyers with different kinds of practices to share their expertise and clarify common misconceptions. Ashley Bennington primarily practices family law which is everything arising from and relating to separation and divorce.
Misconception: in order to be considered separated for the purposes of obtaining a divorce after one year's separation that parties must have an agreement indicating they are separated.
This is not true. All parties need is for one party to have formed an intent to separate accompanied with an actual physical separation.
Misconception: if account or some other property is only in the name of one spouse, the other spouse has no interest in it upon separation.
This is not necessarily true. Any property acquired during the marriage and prior to separation which was acquired in some way other than by gift or inheritance may be subject to division during equitable distribution.
Misconception: if a party is not able to see their child, they do not have to pay child support.
This is not true. Just because someone is unable to see their child, it doesn't absolve them of their financial responsibility for that child.
Misconception: if parties have joint custody, neither parent will have to pay child support.
This is not true. In most cases, child support is based on a calculation under the NC Child Support Guidelines and while joint custody have some effect on the amount paid it will not necessarily eliminate the obligation especially if one parent has a significantly higher income.