Caring Family Law Firm in North Carolina

At Tolin and Tolin, PLLC, we understand how devastating the end of your marriage can be for you and your family. You are likely visiting our website because you or someone you care for is experiencing difficult personal life circumstances brought about by a possible divorce or separation. You have come to the right place. A Tolin & Tolin divorce attorney can work to decrease the stress of the situation and provide stability and certainty during the divorce process while handling all legal needs and challenges.

Our goals are to help you achieve the dissolution of your marriage with respect and integrity and to have every legal aspect resolved with the best possible outcome. We will be with you at every step of the divorce process from the day you begin your relationship with us to the day your case is concluded. Take a moment to look at the aspects of divorce and family law we can help you address.


Alimony, which is also referred to as spousal support or spousal maintenance, is financial support paid from one spouse to the other financially dependent spouse following a divorce. Alimony in North Carolina is often confused with spousal support between the period of separation and the actual divorce, which is called post-separation support. In North Carolina there is a distinction between what is required to obtain alimony and post-separation support, and an attorney at Tolin & Tolin, PLLC can explain these issues more to you. Alimony may be a solution to allow the financially dependent spouse time for education, time to become self-sufficient, or time to become more competitive in the job market.


Families seeking to adopt a child need to understand the legal ramifications of adoption and how to conduct the process properly. Also, after you and your spouse have legally adopted a child, then you both have legal rights to custody of the child protected by the court if you should separate. Your adopted child becomes just like a biological child through the adoption process and is treated as such under the law.

Asset Division or Equitable Distribution

When parties getting a divorce cannot agree on asset division, then they can seek the court’s assistance to divide their property through a process called equitable distribution. The court will determine which assets and debts are marital, assign a monetary value to the assets and debts based upon the evidence, and will then divide the marital assets and debts. Generally, the court’s will seek an equal division of the assets and debts; however, there are a number of factors that the court must consider to determine whether the division is fair, which is why it is referred to as equitable distribution.

Child Custody

Often a major issue in a divorce is the well-being of effected children. Parents sometimes make rash decisions about the custody of their children when faced with the emotional challenges involved in divorce. It is better for the child when child custody and divorce issues are resolved amicably and succinctly.

Child Support

Child support is financial assistance from children’s parents to ensure their needs are met and maintained despite the divorce. North Carolina law provides specific guidelines to calculate the support that is to be paid for the benefit of the children. Both parents are responsible for the well-being of their children regardless of which parent has custody.

Domestic Violence

Are you being threatened or victimized by domestic violence? If you have been victim of or threatened with abuse, we can help you obtain a Domestic Violence Protective Order (also known as DVPO or 50-B). This is a legal solution to protect you from further domestic violence. A domestic violence protective order is a civil case that you can file against the person harming or threatening you. A domestic violence protective order is a restraining order designed to keep a dangerous, violent person from away from you. If a judge grants a domestic violence protective order for you, then the person who has been threatening or harming you must cease doing so or face criminal charges. You may also be interested in pursuing criminal charges against the offender. We can give you the opportunity to fight back legally and gain control of the situation. When a person becomes violent, it is crucial to seek legal protection from the courts immediately. North Carolina has laws to protect spouses, people in dating relationships, former household members, and certain family members from domestic violence and threats of domestic violence.


Mediation offers couples the opportunity to address settlement of the issues in their cases in a private setting and to retain control of the decisions made in the divorce. In mediation, couples meet with a neutral third party, called a mediator, who assists in the resolution of the issues facing the divorcing spouses. Mediation is court ordered in most custody and equitable distribution cases.

Legal Separation

In North Carolina, legal separation occurs on the date that spouses move into separate residences. The law requires that couples must live separate and apart for 12 months to be eligible to file for divorce. It is important to get legal advice prior to separating since many people are concerned that their spouse will claim they abandoned the marriage.

Separation Agreements

During the 12 month separation period, many divorcing spouses enter into a contract called a separation agreement. The purpose of a separation agreement is to formalize the parties’ separation. However, it will often include rights and obligations regarding child support, spousal support, child custody arrangements, asset division, and other matters facing spouses in the divorce.

Spousal Support

Spousal support, which is also referred to as alimony or post-separation support, is financial support paid from one spouse to the other financially dependent spouse during the period of separation or following a divorce. Alimony in North Carolina is often confused with spousal support between the period of separation and the actual divorce, which is called post-separation support.

Child Support and Child Custody Modifications

When circumstances change with either you or your former spouse, these can be the basis for child custody or child support modifications. Substantial changes in circumstances upon which support and custody agreements or orders have been based are grounds for support and custody modifications. If you are anticipating a change or are experiencing a change where you believe that changes in your child custody and child support agreements need to be modified, it is important that you speak with a family law attorney at Tolin & Tolin, PLLC as soon as possible.


In North Carolina, fathers are legally obligated to support their biological children regardless of whether they were married to the child’s mother at the time of the child’s birth. Fathers who were not married to the child’s mother also have the legal right to be involved in their child’s life, whether living with their child’s mother or not. Sometimes, fathers have questions about whether they are a child’s biological father.

Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial or premarital agreement is entered into when an engaged couple sets out what will happen to their property in case of death or divorce. This type of agreement is made by a couple who has become engaged and becomes effective and enforceable only upon their marriage.


Non-custodial parents may seek the right of visitation with their child or children. If you would like a court order for scheduled visitation with your children, you may negotiate the terms with the child’s other parent or you can allow the court to determine an arrangement.