While individuals involved in family law matters can represent themselves, the law and the court procedure can be complex and challenging to successfully apply and navigate for non-lawyers, and even for lawyers who are not family law practitioners. Family law issues are often highly emotional for those directly involved, and strong emotions can make it difficult to maintain an objective perspective and to successfully negotiate or advocate for a particular position. The resolution of family law issues can also have lasting effects for years, decades, or even a lifetime, and the assistance of a skilled family law attorney can be critical to finding the best possible resolution to such issues.
No. Brian and Chellie represent clients throughout Orange, Chatham, and Durham Counties.
Brian and Chellie focus only on family law matters. They have successfully represented hundreds of clients and have gained a wide breadth of experience through their work on unique and challenging cases. Brian and Chellie care about their clients and work to find the best possible outcome for each client under each unique set of circumstances. Brian and Chellie are committed to being accessible to their clients and to providing clear, straightforward guidance. At the conclusion of every matter, Brian and Chellie want their clients to not only feel satisfied with the outcome, but also with the process.
As soon as possible. Receiving information and guidance early in the process can pay significant dividends when it comes time to resolve many family law issues. With this in mind, anyone contemplating a divorce would be well-served to consult with a family law attorney, if only for informational purposes, as soon as possible. Many of the individuals who consult with Brian and Chellie come in for the first time for nothing more than information, and it is not uncommon for Brian and Chellie to not hear back from a client for a period of months or even more than a year. Everyone contemplating a divorce moves forward according to his or her own timeline, and Brian and Chellie never forget that the client’s schedule controls the process, not theirs.
Consult with a family law attorney as soon as possible. You may need to obtain evidence of the affair, and you may need professional assistance to obtain that evidence. In North Carolina, evidence of an affair is most relevant if it is obtained before a couple separates. So, as difficult as it may be not to immediately confront your spouse when you have good cause to suspect an affair, your interests may be best-served by first consulting with a family law attorney and obtaining the necessary evidence before giving your spouse any reason to believe you are aware of the affair.
The resolution of family law matters is almost entirely personality-driven. If the two parties to any family law matter are reasonable and motivated to find a resolution, the matter may be resolved quickly and for relatively limited expense. If, however, either party to a family law issue is unreasonable and motivated by something other than a desire to resolve the issues at hand, the matter may not be resolved quickly, and the cost of resolving the matter may be greater. It is also not uncommon for individuals directly involved in family law matters to begin the process with the best of intentions but to harden their positions as the issues are more fully explored. For these reasons, it is impossible to predict at the outset how easily any given family law matter will be resolved and, therefore, how much the resolution will cost. Nevertheless, Brian and Chellie never take the expense of divorce for granted and always seek to achieve cost-effective results for their clients.
In North Carolina, unlike in some other states, the divorce itself may be finalized by the court independent of the resolution of the associated issues of child custody, child support, spousal support, and equitable distribution. The timelines for finalizing the divorce itself and for finalizing the other issues incident to a divorce are, therefore, almost always unrelated. With respect to the divorce itself, a couple must be separated for one year before a spouse may file for divorce. The court process of finalizing the divorce generally takes approximately two months, so finalizing the divorce itself typically takes approximately one year and two months from the couple’s date of separation. On the other hand, because, as discussed above, the resolution of associated issues of child custody, child support, spousal support, and equitable distribution is highly personality-driven, it is impossible to say at the outset exactly how long it will take to resolve such issues. In some cases, all such associated issues are resolved long before the completion of the one-year separation period, but, in others, certain issues may not be resolved within the separation period or until after the parties are divorced. Nevertheless, when personalities are intractable, cases can be moved along towards resolution by scheduling court hearings.
In general, yes. The attorney-client privilege is the cornerstone of the attorney-client relationship. Attorneys cannot disclose their clients’ confidences to anyone without their clients’ express permission. There is, however, one important caveat. The presence of a third party during an attorney-client communication destroys the attorney-client privilege. So, the presence of a family member or friend during an attorney-client consult means that anything discussed during the consult is not protected by the attorney-client privilege and that the client could be compelled to testify about the substance of anything discussed during the consult.
Just give Chapel Hill Family Law a call at (919) 419-1244 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, and Chapel Hill Family Law will schedule a timely appointment that accommodates your schedule.
Yes. Unlike personal injury attorneys who work on a contingency fee basis, it is common practice for all other attorneys who work on an hourly basis to charge for time spent during initial consultations. Brian and Chellie provide a valuable service to their clients, and they charge their clients for their knowledge and experience by billing for their time, including time spent during initial consultations. Brian and Chellie bill for initial consultations at their regular hourly rates, and any prospective clients will be informed of their regular hourly rates at the time they schedule their first appointment.
Perhaps none. In most circumstances, the initial consultation represents an opportunity for Brian or Chellie to obtain an overview of the client’s case and to provide their initial counsel regarding the issues presented. The initial consultation is also an opportunity for the client to get to know Brian or Chellie and to decide whether Brian or Chellie would be a good fit for them. The attorney-client relationship can be intensely personal in family law matters, and the client should feel at ease with and fully supported by his or her attorney. Brian and Chellie believe that the focus of the initial consultation should be on the personal and legal issues and that the need to gather documentation can usually wait until later. The very idea of meeting with a divorce attorney can be daunting enough, without the added stress of locating and bringing records for the initial consultation. There is, however, one caveat. In situations where there is an earlier agreement or court order that addresses the relevant issues, it is helpful for the client to bring these documents to the initial consultation.
Chapel Hill Family Law is located on the second floor of The Wilshire II building at 107 Conner Drive, Suite 210, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514. Conner Drive is located off Willow Drive, which runs between Fordham Boulevard and S. Estes Drive. Conner Drive, Willow Drive, and Chapel Hill Family Law are conveniently located near University Place mall in Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill Family Law’s office is located in a private setting, offers ample parking, and is wheelchair accessible.