Winston-Salem Divorce & Family Law Attorneys

A divorce usually creates much anxiety and can sometimes cloud judgment. It is important during this difficult time that you consult with an experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney. The attorneys at Stroud & Panetti, P.C. each have over twenty-five years of experience concentrated in family law issues. We are compassionate attorneys and help our clients emerge from divorce, alimony, custody disputes, and equitable distribution matters in the best possible way.

We are not simply courtroom litigators; we strive to deliver the best advice and course of action for any given situation. We work together with our clients to accomplish an amicable settlement and provide options, such as mediation or a negotiated settlement agreement, when possible, to avoid the pitfalls of lengthy litigation. We vigorously protect the interests of our clients and will litigate aggressively when necessary.

Elements of Divorce and Family Law practice include:

Division of Property

We are skilled at the division of marital property. We will uphold our clients’ rights during the equitable distribution process to assure that the marital assets are divided equitably, that separate property is protected and that businesses are properly valued. Property division settlements also consider the allocation of debts and the impact of child custody on the award of the former marital home. We listen to the wishes of our clients and will assist you in reaching your goals.

Child Custody and Visitation

The Courts of North Carolina award custody based upon a determination of the best interest of the minor child or children. Presenting your strongest case for the best interest of your child is our goal. In most cases, our courts require parents to mediate before litigating a custody dispute in court. We prepare our clients’ cases for trial and mediation although we work to reach acceptable custody arrangements prior to litigation where possible. Custody orders and agreements often continue for many years, and reduction of conflict is beneficial to your child. When litigation is needed, we zealously represent our clients at trial to determine the custody of their children.

Child Support

For most families, child support is calculated according to child support guidelines. The amount of support a parent is required to pay or can receive is determined under those guidelines unless separation involves a high-income divorce or one party requests a deviation from the guidelines for child support. Several factors determine support payments, and our experienced family law attorneys are knowledgeable in all areas of child support matters. We understand that each child support case is different and usually has a unique set of circumstances. We work closely with our clients to understand and implement the best outcome for both you and your children.

Alimony and Post-separation Support

In North Carolina, there are two types of spousal support: alimony, which is long-term support for a spouse, and post-separation support, which is usually ordered on a temporary basis. While in the past North Carolina required the finding of fault to award alimony, spousal support is no longer completely fault-based and alimony awards are based on financial need. Post-separation support is generally meant to be a means for a party to be supported in the early stages of marital separation. When determining if alimony is necessary, there is a more detailed process including the consideration of sixteen statutory factors. In addition to post-separation (temporary) support, the court has the discretion to grant permanent alimony for any number of years up to the lifetime of the recipient spouse. Our experienced family law attorneys work with our clients to understand their needs and explain each step of the alimony process to ensure that your goals regarding spousal support are met.

Modification of Court Orders

Modifications of court orders are allowed in custody, child support, and alimony matters where a substantial change of circumstances affecting a child has occurred or where a spouse’s financial condition has changed. We represent both sides on these issues. As a parent, you want to maintain a meaningful role in your child’s growth and development, and we can assist you in achieving that goal. When you are a supporting spouse or a dependent spouse in an alimony case, your financial situation can change over the time that alimony is ordered. Our accomplished family law attorneys are dedicated to protecting our clients’ interests and rights and providing effective legal representation to resolve these family matters as swiftly as possible.

Additional Family Law Matters

Aside from preserving our clients’ rights during a divorce, we also can assist in other areas of family law. Some of the areas of our practice not related to divorce matters are:

  • Paternity: We represent mothers and potential fathers in paternity actions.
  • Adoption: We represent prospective adoptive parents in private placement adoptions.
  • Third-Party Custody and Visitation: In North Carolina, grandparents may seek grandchild visitation in a family which is not intact. Grandparents, as well as other third-parties, may also seek custody in matters where parents have acted contrary to their child’s best interest or have acted in a way which is not in conformity with their constitutionally–protected parental rights.
  • Pre-Marital Agreements: We prepare prenuptial agreements for couples entering into marriage and desiring to protect their assets.

Stroud & Panetti, P.C.’s attorneys are dedicated to protecting our clients’ interests and rights and have been practicing in the Winston-Salem area for over twenty-five years. We listen carefully to the specific details of your case, provide options and implement solutions. We are experienced and accomplished family law attorneys who provide efficient and effective legal representation. Should you be in need of a family law attorney, please call us to schedule a consultation.