There are some situations in which you cannot afford to wait until the court process runs its course. Emergency situations, such as when your spouse becomes abusive, require an accelerated process to ensure that you are safe and that your rights are protected. Here at Woodruff Family Law Group in Greensboro, our competent family law and divorce attorneys have both the experience and the knowledge to handle these types of cases where time is of the essence.
Typical examples of emergency situations that merit temporary relief include instances where your spouse becomes abusive to you or children, or where your spouse refuses to provide reasonable support. You can see why these types of situations would merit different treatment by the court. If you are in a situation where your spouse is abusive to you and your children, you obviously want him or her out of the home immediately and some form of protective measures put in place to ensure that you and your children are no longer in danger. A 50B may be available.
Instances where your spouse refuses to provide reasonable support are also very troubling. If you are a stay-at-home parent with no source of income and your spouse denies you access to any funds, you would have no way to feed yourself or your children. It may be a situation where the spouse moves out of the home, leaving you with the children and no way to pay the rent/mortgage and no way to pay the utilities, such as power and water. This is also a situation in which you may be afforded temporary relief. You need to apply as quickly as possible for temporary support because court backlog, particularly in the Guilford County Courts, can extend the time to obtain a hearing. There is less backlog in some of the counties surrounding Guilford, such as Randolph.
Cases that present emergency situations are dealt with differently by the court, as compared to the typical child custody or divorce case. The court may hear our evidence on an accelerated basis and determine if you should receive some relief while the case is pending. The court will require both you and your spouse to file a complete financial statement of your earnings and monthly expenses and will restrain both of you from physically abusing each other. If at any time you feel you need this sort of temporary relief, be sure to let us know immediately.
These types of cases are made easier where there are matters that are uncontested, i.e., issues that both you and your spouse agree on. For instance, you may both agree that one person should have custody of the children, and that person should also receive the marital home. However, you may not agree on the amount of child support or who is going to pay attorney’s fees. Without an agreement between the two parties on all of the aspects of the case, it is still considered contested.
Your case will be contested unless you and your spouse agree on all aspects of custody, support, property division, payment of debts, attorneys' fees and court costs. If your spouse disputes any of these matters, you do not have an uncontested case. Mediation, arbitration or trial will be necessary on those items on which you cannot agree. Even after the complaint for relief is filed, the matter may still be settled by consent, mediation or arbitration. The court will decide only unresolved issues.