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Q
How do I get an emergency child custody order?
AYou can file a complaint or motion for emergency custody, you can only request this if you are adamant there is danger of immediate or serious injury to you or the minor child. The emergency custody order is temporary, meaning that it only lasts until you have attended your full custody hearing in court. More often than not, an emergency order for custody requires that the judge have findings of high risk of bodily injury or sexual abuse with regard to the child.

A judge can also issue an emergency order if he or she believes there is a strong likelihood that child will be adopted from the state of North Carolina. If you suspect that you may need an emergency custody order, you need to hire an attorney immediately.

Q
What is an “absolute divorce”?
AIn North Carolina, “absolute divorce” refers to the termination of the marriage bond that was created by your wedding ceremony and marriage certificate. Divorce permanently ends that marital relationship. Because the marital relationship is terminated, the spouses no longer owe each other any further marital obligations or duties, and they are free to remarry.
Q
How do I return to my maiden name?
ANorth Carolina law allows a spouse, in conjunction with a divorce, to take a name other than the current spouse’s last name. You would petition for the name change when you file your divorce complaint or when you file your answer to your husband’s complaint. In your complaint for divorce or your answer, you may petition the court to change your name to either your maiden name, the surname of a prior deceased husband or the surname of a prior living husband if you have children who have that husband’s surname. The court will issue an order at the time of the divorce granting your request for a name change.

Should you decide after the divorce that you want such a name change, you just present your divorce judgment to the clerk of court. For a nominal fee, you will be allowed to have one of the name changes specified above.

Q
Do I have to go to court for child support?
AA court order is not always required for child support. The parties can mutually agree to the terms of child support and enter into a signed agreement for the support. This can be done in conjunction with your local child support enforcement office or with the assistance of a private attorney. If however, the parties are unable to agree to a reasonable amount of child support, the custodial parent can file a complaint or motion in district court for this claim. Hiring a private attorney to assist you with this process can help ensure that all pleadings are filed and served properly, that the appropriate discovery is requested from the opposing party, and that your case is heard in a timely manner.
Q
When can a child custody order be changed?
AYou can always modify a child custody order by consent. However, if you and the other parent are unable to agree on the terms, then you will have to file a motion to modify custody and be prepared to show the Court that there has been a substantial change of circumstances since the entry of the prior order, affecting the welfare of the minor child.

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