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Family Law

Marriage is often the foundation of the family.  To protect this societal interest, each state has enacted laws designed to ensure both the legality and the stability of the marriage union.  The area of family law is complex and proper steps must be taken to avoid losing rights needed to secure future financial stability.  We listen carefully to our clients’ needs and take a thoughtful approach to provide our clients with the most effective strategy for our client’s best interests.  Family law is a broad area of practice, and the Tran Law Firm is available to provide legal assistance on any of the following matters:

  • Premarital Agreements – these are written contracts made before marriage with respect to a variety of matters that meet the requirements of North Carolina law.  This agreement cannot eliminate child support obligations, can become complex, and are best drafted well in advance of the date of the marriage.  Family
  • If a wife took her husband’s last name and wants to resume her maiden name, she must petition the Clerk of Court in the county where she resides for the legal name change.  A woman who is divorcing her husband may also resume her maiden name by requesting this change during the divorce proceedings, otherwise she must petition the court for the restoration of her name.  Any name change should also be communicated to all government agencies such as Social Security Administration, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Vital Statistics Office of the Department of Human Resources as well as the banks, insurance company, and employers.
  • Domestic violence restraining orders can be filed if you are in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or had received some physical injury.  
  • Divorce or legal separations – a divorce action is often a difficult and emotional time for the parties involved in the separation.  The Tran Law Firm understands the complex and unique nature each case can bring.  We are here to guide you through the process and to provide some peace of mind so you can begin to plan your future with some certainty.
  • Seek post-separation support and alimony if you are the dependent spouse following a separation or divorce.  The Tran Law Firm can also seek to recover past due alimony payments that are required by the court order.  
  • Filing for equitable distribution of marital and divisible property after separation of the spouses.
  • Seeking child custody and child support for the care of your child.  We can also seek a modification of the child support order or seek a child support enforcement action to recover past due child support payments.
  • Provide guidance through the mediation process, which occurs outside of the courtroom as a method to seek a potentially more cost-effective resolution through compromise.  
  • General advice relating to healthcare and social security matters.

Bankruptcy – we help good people with debts they cannot handle and determine whether bankruptcy protection is a proper and feasible option.  

  • In a Chapter 7 “straight bankruptcy” filing, the debtor is unable to repay debts and most or all debts are cancelled.  To pay the creditors, the debtor’s nonexempt property is sold by a court-appointed trustee who pays creditors with the proceeds of the sale of the nonexempt assets.  Most of the remaining debts are “discharged” at the conclusion of the case.  Chapter 7 filings are often used when the debtor has little or no money left after paying basic expenses each month or have little property except for the basic necessities.  Debtors must qualify under a ‘means test’ and complete a session with a credit counselor may file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.  A debtor cannot get a discharge if the debtor has received a Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 discharge in a case filed within the proceeding (8) eight years.  
  • A Chapter 13 filing is often called the “wage earner’s plan” because rather than seeking an immediate discharge of debts, the debtor pays part of his or her work income to a trustee.  The trustee distributes the funds to the creditors over a period of time until the debts are satisfied according to the Chapter 13 plan or until the plan is dismissed.  The plan can provide repayment of a portion or all of a debt by a series of monthly payments.  The Chapter 13 debtor must meet with an approved nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency.  In certain circumstances, the debtor may convert a pending Chapter 13 plan to a Chapter 7 straight bankruptcy.  As with Chapter 7 bankruptcy, certain long-term debts, child support and maintenance, alimony and student loans are not dischargeable in Chapter 13.  A debtor cannot receive a Chapter 13 discharge if the debtor received a discharge in a prior Chapter 7, 11, or 12 case filed within (4) four years of the present case or if the debtor had filed a Chapter 13 case within (2) two years of the present case.  Chapter 13 filings are often used when the debtor has significant equity in a home or other property and wants to keep the property.


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