(336) 725-9597

Our Practice

Kara Helms’ practice encompass all areas of family law including:

  • Divorce
  • Post-separation support
  • Alimony
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Equitable Distribution
  • Domestic Violence
  • Pre-marital Agreements
  • Post-Marital agreements

The stress of the divorce process can be confusing and painful for everyone involved. This life-changing decision is often very overwhelming due to the emotional, physical, and financial tolls it takes on both individuals. A knowledgeable and experienced attorney will make this process is a fair one and will help ease the pain as much as possible. A few things to keep in mind before you file:

  • A couple must live separate and apart for a minimum of one year.
  • One spouse must have resided in the state of North Carolina for six months prior to filing.

The Helms firm is dedicated to providing open ears and honest feedback to all seeking to relinquish themselves from their marital situation. The Helms Firm advises all to reflect on their relationship before beginning this process. See our “The Seven Questions to Know the Answer to Before Filing For Divorce”  article for some helpful insight.

Alimony/Postseparation Support

As a result of the divorce process you may find yourself in a situation to pay or receive alimony or post-separation payments. Postseparation support (PSS), like alimony, is money paid by one spouse to the other predominantly to help pay living expenses.

In the state of North Carolina alimony is only granted to a spouse who is in a state of complete economic dependency upon the other spouse. The amount and duration of alimony is dependent upon multiple factors including: length of the marriage, age of each spouse, health of each spouse, education levels of each spouse, income of each spouse, etc. In all cases of alimony we keep our clients and their families’ best interest at heart to work towards a fair outcome.

Child Custody
The most important issue in a divorce is developing a custody arrangement that is best for the child or children involved. In North Carolina there are two types of child custody: Legal and Physical.

Joint Legal custody allows both parents the right to make legal decisions for the child pertaining to education, health care, etc. Sole Legal custody allows only on parent to make decisions regarding the child’s general welfare. Joint physical custody refers to a child residing with each parent for a significant amount of time over the course of each year. In a situation of sole physical custody a child lives with one parent and the other has visitation rights.

The Helms Firm recognizes the complexity of these situations and helps their clients to negotiate these terms in a way that will lead to an ideal situation for the child or children to proceed with their lives and flourish in the living situation in which they are arranged. In the case that a negotiation is not possible and court is necessary, The Helms Firm will work relentlessly to develop a case complete with unbiased evidence that will land the child or children in the most beneficial environment.

Child Support
The purpose of child support is to ensure that children have financial access to the tools, childcare, and material objects they need to be properly cared for. This is very important, especially in the case of sole physical custody when one parent’s income isn’t enough to meet all of the child’s needs. Payment amounts are calculated by taking into account the child’s financial needs and the supporting parent’s annual income. Child support payments continue throughout the child’s life until he/she turns eighteen year old (unless specified otherwise in writing). There are a few exceptions where support payments need to continue past eighteen.

– If the child has not graduated from high school or,

– If the child is not mentally of physically capable of independence.

The Helms Firm understands the importance of this matter and will accomplish a settlement that is fair for both parties and especially beneficial for the child.

Equitable Distribution
The Helm’s Firm is understanding of the importance of equal distribution of assets and liabilities among each party involved. Helms can assist in this settlement of properties in or outside of the courtroom.

Marital property is defined as possessions and arrears attained and owned during the marriage by one or both partners. In an equitable distribution, all property must be inventoried and accounted for in order to determine the marital estate and divide it the fairest way possible; usually a 50/50 split. If this matter is handled in a courtroom there are some factors that may determine the decision for belongings to be separated unequally, these are often determine on a case-by-case basis.

Domestic Violence
Those dealing with acts of domestic violence in households often feel scared and trapped. It is important to recognize when you are in a violent relationship. Anyone suffering from domestic violence disputes is encouraged to seek counsel as soon as possible. The Helms Firm recognizes that every situation is different and will serve as an advisor and guide and to get you out of your negative situation.

Pre and Post-Marital Agreements
Premarital agreements are a common legal step that couples take before becoming officially united. Many recognize the severity of marriage as a commitment but want a feeling of reassurance, may worse come to worse, before entering this union. Premarital agreements can protect individual belongings, family inheritances and family businesses in the event that a marriage comes to an end.

Post-marital agreements, on the other hand, are written during marriage. Similarly to pre-marital agreements, they are proposed with the purpose of making a financial agreement, may death or divorce impact the marriage at some point.

The Helms Firm recognizes the importance of both of these agreements and aims to create contracts that are in the best interest of both spouses so that they may have peace of mind throughout the duration of their marriage.