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Family Law

Is your marriage heading towards separation or divorce? Are you involved in a dispute concerning post-separation support, alimony, child custody, child support, or the division of marital property through equitable distribution? If so, you are facing some of the many complex family law issues that the attorneys of Strickland Agner Pittman help our clients overcome every day.

We know how overwhelming things seem when ending a marriage, dividing property, or seeking support for yourself and your children. We strive to ease the stress of our family law clients by handling their cases in the most calm, professional, and efficient manner possible. We truly appreciate the important role a lawyer can play in helping families get through a difficult time.

Goldsboro Family Law Attorneys

Our Family Law Practice Areas 

Divorce is the major focus of our family law practice at Strickland Agner Pittman. However, we have the legal skill and experience to help our clients with a wide range of other domestic legal issues that arise in their lives.


If you have reached the difficult decision to end your marriage, you may physically separate from your spouse by living in different homes. In certain situations, it may be in your best interests to also obtain a “divorce from bed and board.”

“Divorce from bed and board” is a means by which to force a separation, and it is a way to protect your rights and interests while an absolute divorce is pending.

When you are separated from your spouse, you can become eligible to receive spousal support. You can also seek equitable distribution of your marital property.

However, it should be noted that divorce from bed and board is not needed in most situations.

During the litigation for equitable distribution and alimony, the spouses often will go through a process called “mediation.” These are negotiations aimed at arriving at a mutual agreement about support, custody, and property issues. It will be important to have a lawyer at your side throughout this process so your objectives are fully met in any agreement reached.


If you have lived separate and apart from your spouse for at least twelve continuous months, and if at least one of you has established a residence in North Carolina for at least six months, then you will be eligible to file for an absolute divorce in our state. North Carolina does not require findings of wrongdoing for absolute divorces. This is also called a “no-fault” divorce.

It is important to ensure you go through the proper process and file all the required documents when you seek a divorce. The process is governed by exacting rules that people can easily run afoul of. An attorney can take care of these matters for you while you focus on yourself and your family.

Spousal Support

Spousal support is often referred to as “post-separation support” (the initial temporary support) and “alimony” (the permanent or long-term support), and it is one of the many legal issues related to separation and support our firm handles. As we explained above, you can seek spousal support during the separation period.

Under North Carolina law, a spouse who was dependent on the other spouse can be eligible for financial support. Gender plays no role in the determination. When you are awarded spousal support, you can receive it in a series of monthly payments.

A lawyer can seek the proper amount for you in either a separation agreement or through a court order. If you are the paying spouse, an attorney can strive to ensure that the amount you are obligated to pay is fair and reasonable. Under some circumstances, you can seek a modification of an existing spousal support obligation. Please note that this support must be required prior to your divorce.

Property Distribution

It is crucial to work with an attorney who will carefully guide you through the process of identifying, valuing, and, ultimately, dividing your marital assets and debts.

In many cases, this division can be handled in a separation agreement. However, in some cases, you may need to file a lawsuit against the other spouse and ask the court for an “equitable distribution” order.  It is important to note that you must file for this distribution before your divorce becomes final.

The division of marital property can be one of the most complex issues in a divorce. This is especially true when a home, debts, multiple bank accounts, stocks, retirement funds, and business assets are involved. In some cases, one spouse may seek to conceal assets.

For this reason, you should work with an attorney who has experience handling marital property distribution cases and who will be aggressive in protecting your interests.

Child Custody

As a parent who is going through a divorce, you want to ensure that you continue a healthy relationship with your child and have input in important decisions about the child’s education, medical care, and other matters. An attorney can help you to hold on to these child custody rights.

In most cases, a parenting agreement can be reached that is approved by a court. Most people assume that the child will reside with one parent and visit the other parent, and while this is often true, there are many instances in which custody may be shared by the parents. However, if the parents cannot agree on these matters, a court may need to decide custody issues after a trial.

Whether custody is resolved through an agreement or court order, the child’s “best interest” is the primary consideration.

In addition to helping you with initial custody determinations, an attorney can assist with the modification of an existing custody arrangement. For instance, a modification may be needed when one parent moves to another city or state.

Child Support

As a parent, you share a duty with the other parent to provide financial support for your child. While going through a divorce, it is crucial to work with an attorney who will make sure your rights are protected when determining the extent of support that each parent must provide.

Under North Carolina law, the main considerations will be the child’s “reasonable needs” and the “relative abilities” of each parent to provide financial support. These considerations should be taken into account in light of your financial situation in order to best protect you and the child.

An attorney can help you with initial child support determinations and with modifications of existing agreements or court orders.

Domestic Violence

In some situations, it may be necessary to seek a protective order to protect yourself or your family from an abusive spouse, partner, or other family member. An attorney can help you to pursue a domestic violence protective order and work diligently to pursue the safety you and your family deserve.


For many different reasons, a family may wish to adopt a child. While the process of going through an adoption may seem daunting at first, it can be achieved with the assistance of a lawyer. A lawyer can help you with all the paperwork involved in an adoption and help you navigate the process.

If you need legal assistance with a family law matter, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be glad to meet with you for a confidential consultation. We can learn more about your situation and answer your questions, and we can get to work right away on your case.

Contact Strickland Agner Pittman Today


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