Practice Areas

Legal Practice Areas

Divorce

Divorce is the judicial dissolution of the legal ties of marriage. Parties must have lived separately for at least one year immediately prior to filing to be eligible to file and receive a divorce. Evans & Meads, PLLC can assist you in obtaining a divorce by filing the appropriate court action, achieving proper service on your spouse and can often appear on your behalf to obtain the divorce without the need for you to be present. In North Carolina, other marital issues such as property division, custody, child support and alimony can be determined by agreement or by Court Order prior to the filing of the actual divorce.

Material presented on the Evans & Meads, PLLC website is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be construed as such. The information provided on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining this website and its contents, Evans & Meads, PLLC does not intend to solicit legal business from clients located in states or jurisdictions where Evans & Meads or its individual attorneys are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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Real Estate Transactions

As the closing agent for residential real estate transactions the attorney is responsible for performing a title search of the property, obtaining title insurance if required, preparing a closing statement and disbursement of the closing proceeds. Closing fees are set on a sliding scale based on the loan amount for purchases and refinances.

Material presented on the Evans & Meads, PLLC website is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be construed as such. The information provided on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining this website and its contents, Evans & Meads, PLLC does not intend to solicit legal business from clients located in states or jurisdictions where Evans & Meads or its individual attorneys are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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Child Custody

Initial Custody Determination

An initial child custody action should be filed in the state where the child has resided for the six months just prior to filing suit. Child custody can be determined by agreement of the parties before or after a custody action is filed. When a custody action is filed in our area, the parties will first participate in mediation to determine if the issue can be resolved without a hearing. If the issue of custody is brought to hearing, the judge will consider a variety of factors to determine what type of custody plan is in the child s best interest. Evans & Meads, PLLC can assist you with an initial custody determination by assessing your situation, providing knowledgeable advice as to how to improve your likelihood of prevailing, explaining the mediation process and suggesting revisions to any proposed parenting agreement achieved in mediation, filing your action, negotiating settlement on your behalf, preparing you and your witnesses for trial and skillfully presenting your evidence at trial.

Modification of Prior Custody Order

Once an Order of Custody has been entered, it can be modified by consent of the parties (if a Judge will also agree) or by a determination by a judge that there has been a substantial change of circumstances affecting the child since the prior Order was entered and that it would be in the child s best interest that custody be modified. In our area, when such an action is filed the parties would first attend mediation to determine whether the issue can be resolved without litigation. Evans & Meads, PLLC can assist you with a Modification of Custody by assessing your situation, providing knowledgeable advice as to how to improve your likelihood of prevailing, explaining the mediation process and suggesting revisions to any proposed parenting agreement achieved in mediation, filing your action, negotiating settlement on your behalf, preparing you and your witnesses for trial and skillfully presenting your evidence at trial.

Third Party Custody Rights

North Carolina law, and in fact United States law, provides that a parent s right to parent his or her own child is paramount to the rights of all others. In order for a non-parent (such as a grandparent) to obtain custody of a child, both parents must be found to be unfit or to have acted in a manner which is inconsistent with the parents protected rights. Thereafter, the Court must still consider the child s best interest.

In order for a third party (such as a grandparent) to bring a case for visitation with a child, there must be a pending action between the parents. Generally speaking, if there are no pending (undecided motions or claims, filed but not resolved) a third party (such as a grandparent) cannot bring an action for visitation.

The attorneys with Evans & Meads, PLLC are experienced in both the initiation of third party claims for custody and modification of prior custody orders and the parents defense of the same. We can assist you in either situation by skillfully assessing your situation, providing sound advice as to improving your likelihood of prevailing, filing the appropriate action and supporting information, making necessary legal arguments, preparing you and your witnesses for trial and effectively presenting your evidence at trial.

Material presented on the Evans & Meads, PLLC website is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be construed as such. The information provided on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining this website and its contents, Evans & Meads, PLLC does not intend to solicit legal business from clients located in states or jurisdictions where Evans & Meads or its individual attorneys are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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Wills Estates and Probate

Estate Planning

Estate Planning is important, no matter what the size of your estate may be. Through estate planning, you ensure that your assets will go to your intended beneficiaries. You also may save money on taxes, court costs and attorneys fees, and prevent fighting among your heirs after your death. You can also avoid probate in some cases. The estate planning process typically involves working with your financial, tax and legal advisors to develop a customized estate plan. Many estate plans include Last Wills and Testaments, Durable Powers of Attorney, Healthcare Powers of Attorney, Living Wills and Revocable and/or Irrevocable Trusts.

Estate Administration and Probate

Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person by resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person's property under a valid will or pursuant to NC intestacy statutes when there is no will. Probate generally lasts several months, and often over a year before all the property is distributed. Evans & Meads can assist you with this process by preparing all of the administration paperwork for you or by actually stepping in and acting as the administrator of the estate.

Material presented on the Evans & Meads, PLLC website is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be construed as such. The information provided on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining this website and its contents, Evans & Meads, PLLC does not intend to solicit legal business from clients located in states or jurisdictions where Evans & Meads or its individual attorneys are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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Child Support

Child support in this State is based upon the monthly gross income of both parents from all sources, the number of overnight stays with each parent, and certain other relevant costs. Child support should be considered in three categories: determination, modification, and enforcement. Evans & Meads, PLLC provides representation in all three phases set out above to both parties paying and parties receiving child support. We are knowledgeable as to the process of determining support, arguments relevant to the determination and modification of support, presenting your best case and gathering information useful to the process.

Material presented on the Evans & Meads, PLLC website is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be construed as such. The information provided on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining this website and its contents, Evans & Meads, PLLC does not intend to solicit legal business from clients located in states or jurisdictions where Evans & Meads or its individual attorneys are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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Civil Litigation

Civil litigation involves legal disputes between two or more parties who are seeking money damages or specific performance from one another instead of seeking criminal sanctions. Civil litigation in our area frequently involves breach of contract actions, collection suits, landlord/tenant disputes and construction related cases.

Material presented on the Evans & Meads, PLLC website is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be construed as such. The information provided on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining this website and its contents, Evans & Meads, PLLC does not intend to solicit legal business from clients located in states or jurisdictions where Evans & Meads or its individual attorneys are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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Property Division

In North Carolina, the division of marital property is called equitable distribution. Generally, marital property is considered to be all assets and debt accrued by either spouse during the marriage that exists when the parties separate. It is also possible that assets each party owned prior to the marriage increased in value or gained more equity by the labor or funds of one of the spouses during the marriage. This can create a marital component in an asset that is otherwise separate. This division of your assets and debts can be determined by agreement of the parties or by a judge. The value of marital property on the date of separation is the key to determining the division of the assets although the value of the property on the date of division can also be relevant. A Court can make an unequal division in favor of one of the spouses. However, in making an unequal division fault during the marriage is generally not relevant.

Evans & Meads, PLLC are experienced on the issues presented in equitable distribution. We are able to assist in identifying marital assets, seeking expert advice as to the value of the assets, negotiating possible settlement, filing an equitable distribution action, and methodically presenting relevant evidence to the Court.

Material presented on the Evans & Meads, PLLC website is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be construed as such. The information provided on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining this website and its contents, Evans & Meads, PLLC does not intend to solicit legal business from clients located in states or jurisdictions where Evans & Meads or its individual attorneys are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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Business Entity Formation

What type of business entity should you use when setting up a new business, a sole proprietorship, a corporation, a limited liability company or a partnership? Our firm can explain the various business entities to you. This advice combined with the advice of your tax professional will give you have a better understanding of each type of entity prior to making a decision of which entity is best for you. Evans & Meads can also prepare the documents necessary to create the entity of your choice, make changes to your current entity structure and handle the dissolution of your business entity as well.

Material presented on the Evans & Meads, PLLC website is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be construed as such. The information provided on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining this website and its contents, Evans & Meads, PLLC does not intend to solicit legal business from clients located in states or jurisdictions where Evans & Meads or its individual attorneys are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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Alimony

Alimony is paid by a spouse who supported or is capable of supporting the other spouse. It is paid to the spouse who was or is economically dependent on the other spouse. Alimony paid before a final division of marital property is called post separation support. It is not required that the supporting spouse have committed any fault for an award of alimony. If ordered or agreed upon by the parties, it is paid until the death of one of the spouses, until the party receiving support remarries or lives with someone as if married, or for a set period of time determined by the Court or agreed upon by the parties. The amount and duration of alimony is based on the income, debt obligation, lifestyle of the parties and other factors considered by the Court such as the receiver s opportunity, education and ability to generate future income. Evans & Meads, PLLC can assist you by determining whether alimony is appropriate, skillfully negotiating the case, filing an action and presenting your evidence in Court.

Material presented on the Evans & Meads, PLLC website is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be construed as such. The information provided on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining this website and its contents, Evans & Meads, PLLC does not intend to solicit legal business from clients located in states or jurisdictions where Evans & Meads or its individual attorneys are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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Foreclosure

Foreclosure is the legal process whereby a lender or other lien holder take real property that has been put up as collateral to secure a debt owed to the lien holder. Foreclosure proceedings in North Carolina are handled by the Clerk of Court. Our firm has experience representing both the mortgagors and mortgagees in foreclosure proceedings.

Material presented on the Evans & Meads, PLLC website is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be construed as such. The information provided on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining this website and its contents, Evans & Meads, PLLC does not intend to solicit legal business from clients located in states or jurisdictions where Evans & Meads or its individual attorneys are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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Separation Agreements

While it is not necessary to have a separation agreement for the purpose of achieving a separation, an agreement is often the most economically expeditious manner to resolve any or all claims of the marriage such as property division, custody and support. Often an agreement reached by the parties is the best plan for those particular people.

To be enforceable, a separation agreement must meet certain criteria. In addition, to work to the best advantage of the parties it should be comprehensive, well-drafted and concise. Evans & Meads, PLLC can assist you in the negotiation and preparation of a separation agreement which not only codifies the agreements you have reached with your spouse but will also be enforceable in the future.

Material presented on the Evans & Meads, PLLC website is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be construed as such. The information provided on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining this website and its contents, Evans & Meads, PLLC does not intend to solicit legal business from clients located in states or jurisdictions where Evans & Meads or its individual attorneys are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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Landlord/Tenant Issues

To avoid potential landlord/tenant disputes, it is important to make sure that the agreement being entered into accurately reflects that agreement of the parties. Our firm can assist by reviewing proposed lease agreements and negotiating terms on behalf of the landlord or the tenant. In addition to reviewing the lease documents, our firm is also available to assist in summary ejectment proceedings, collection of past due rents and filing suit for property damage.

Material presented on the Evans & Meads, PLLC website is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be construed as such. The information provided on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining this website and its contents, Evans & Meads, PLLC does not intend to solicit legal business from clients located in states or jurisdictions where Evans & Meads or its individual attorneys are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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Adoption

There are several types of adoption which are all handled slightly differently in North Carolina. A few such different types of adoption are step-parent adoptions, relative adoptions, birth adoptions, in-state and out of state adoptions. Some adoptive parents pursue adoption through a placement agency who handles or has counsel who handles the adoption filings. Other adoptive parents pursue a private adoption where they may meet or have contact with the birth mother or birth parents. In such an adoption, a private attorney is normally used to handle the adoption.

Evans & Meads, PLLC provides compassionate and knowledgeable representation to both adoptive parents and birth parents. We are cognizant of the difficulty of such a decision for birth parents and of the adoptive parents feelings as well. We can skillfully guide you through the adoption process while complying with both North Carolina law and the relevant interstate laws and regulations when necessary.

Material presented on the Evans & Meads, PLLC website is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be construed as such. The information provided on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining this website and its contents, Evans & Meads, PLLC does not intend to solicit legal business from clients located in states or jurisdictions where Evans & Meads or its individual attorneys are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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Traffic Offenses & Misdemeanors

Our firm also provides representation to Defendants who have been charged with various misdemeanor offenses. Speeding, reckless driving and other minor traffic offenses can often be handled without having the Defendant present in court if a power of attorney is executed.

Material presented on the Evans & Meads, PLLC website is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be construed as such. The information provided on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining this website and its contents, Evans & Meads, PLLC does not intend to solicit legal business from clients located in states or jurisdictions where Evans & Meads or its individual attorneys are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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Prenuptial Agreements

Prior to marriage, prospective spouses may enter into binding agreements regarding a variety of topics such as: distribution of their assets upon divorce or death, alimony, the keeping of accounts during the marriage, and the classification of certain assets. These agreements, if executed appropriately and well-drafted, can override or change how the law would typically be applied to these people and their situation. Prenuptial agreements are utilized for many reasons including but not limited to: protecting assets for the children of a first marriage when remarrying and protection of assets or income when there is a large disparity in the wealth or income of the parties. Evans & Meads, PLLC has experience with negotiating, preparing and reviewing these types of agreements. We are able to explain the long-term ramifications of the provisions of a prenuptial agreement and advise our clients regarding the same. We are experienced in drafting agreements that are enforceable and that provide that protection for which they were intended.

Material presented on the Evans & Meads, PLLC website is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be construed as such. The information provided on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining this website and its contents, Evans & Meads, PLLC does not intend to solicit legal business from clients located in states or jurisdictions where Evans & Meads or its individual attorneys are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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Domestic Violence Protective Orders

The purpose of a Domestic Violence Protective Order is to protect a person or that person s child from bodily injury, threats of bodily injury, or harassment by a person with whom the victim has or had a personal relationship. Obtaining a Domestic Violence Protective Order is generally a process requiring several court appearances where the person seeking the Order applies first without notice to the accused for temporary protection. Both parties return to Court at a later date to determine whether the person who filed the action will obtain protection for a lengthier period of time. At this point, each party has the opportunity to present evidence. It is possible to obtain a temporary custody order under certain circumstance for a period up to one year as part of a Domestic Violence Protective Order.

Evans & Meads, PLLC is familiar with representing both the accused and the person seeking the Protective Order. We can assist you in evaluating your claim, preparing your Court action, attempting to negotiate a resolution and by appearing on your behalf in Court.

Material presented on the Evans & Meads, PLLC website is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be construed as such. The information provided on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining this website and its contents, Evans & Meads, PLLC does not intend to solicit legal business from clients located in states or jurisdictions where Evans & Meads or its individual attorneys are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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Termination of Parental Rights

A custody determination is always modifiable under the appropriate circumstances. While a party could lose custody in a custody action, he or she has not permanently lost the ability to see the child or participate in this child s life. However, a parent s right to see or participate in their child s life can be terminated forever based upon a successful termination of parental rights action. The attorneys of Evans & Meads, PLLC are knowledgeable regarding who may file a termination of parental rights action, the grounds for termination and other requirements of the process. We can assess your case, guide you through the action, file the termination of parental rights petition and competently pursue your claim in compliance with North Carolina law.

Material presented on the Evans & Meads, PLLC website is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be construed as such. The information provided on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining this website and its contents, Evans & Meads, PLLC does not intend to solicit legal business from clients located in states or jurisdictions where Evans & Meads or its individual attorneys are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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Collections

Does your credit application or account agreement include the necessary provisions to ensure that you are able to collect the maximum amount on your past due accounts? Our firm can assist in collecting past due accounts by reviewing your current credit and account agreements, sending demand letters, negotiating with debtors, filing suit against the debtor if necessary and handling the post-judgment process.

Material presented on the Evans & Meads, PLLC website is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be construed as such. The information provided on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining this website and its contents, Evans & Meads, PLLC does not intend to solicit legal business from clients located in states or jurisdictions where Evans & Meads or its individual attorneys are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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Annulment

It is possible to legally annul a marriage in the state of North Carolina based upon a few very specific reasons. For example, one spouse may seek to annul a marriage where the parties are closer in kin than first cousins or when the marriage was contracted under the belief that the wife was pregnant and no child was born within ten lunar months. Evans & Meads, PLLC is familiar with the grounds for annulment and the nuances of each ground. Our attorneys can advise you whether you qualify to seek relief and obtain the annulment if grounds exist.

Material presented on the Evans & Meads, PLLC website is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be construed as such. The information provided on this website is not intended to constitute legal advice or the provision of legal services. By posting and/or maintaining this website and its contents, Evans & Meads, PLLC does not intend to solicit legal business from clients located in states or jurisdictions where Evans & Meads or its individual attorneys are not licensed or authorized to practice law.

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