Every King Law office location in North Carolina provides family law legal services. We work as a team to identify the essential information for each case and develop a strong legal strategy with a continued focus on bringing our clients to a better place.
We value relationships and understand the needs of families when it comes to difficult times. Our North Carolina family law attorneys are excellently qualified to help you. Call us at 888-748-KING (5464) or fill out our online form to schedule your consultation with a family law attorney.
Consult an Experienced North Carolina Family Law Attorney
At King Law, our founding partner Brian King specializes in North Carolina family law. We are committed to building a trusted relationship with our clients to learn the details of their situations and what matters most as they move forward in their lives. When you partner with our North Carolina family law attorneys at King Law, we will work tirelessly to do all that is in our power to achieve the most desirable results possible for you and your family.
To speak with an experienced North Carolina family law attorney, schedule a consultation today by completing a contact form or calling (888) 748- KING.
Adoption in North Carolina
There is nothing more rewarding for us at King Law than completing an adoption for our clients. Adoption in North Carolina covers a wide range of ways to bring a person into a family. This area of law is full of legal language and bureaucratic puzzles, from stepparent adoptions to international adoptions to adult adoption.
As a family law specialist, Brian King is experienced with adoptions in North Carolina. Our firm has worked around the clock to bring children back to the Carolinas even when problems developed.
In many situations, a single mother giving birth is making the most difficult decision of her life on one side, and an excited couple on the other side is waiting for papers to be signed. Remember, each state has a waiting period where that mother can change her mind concerning the adoption. In North Carolina, birth parents have seven days to change their mind after consenting to place their child under adoption. Having the proper legal counsel during this time makes the difference between and successful or interrupted adoption.
You do not want to go to a law firm that does not understand the adoption laws for this critical decision. We look forward to working with you on such a life-changing situation. Begin the legal process even before you have found a child to prequalify for the adoption process.
I remember one case where we adopted a baby that was literally left on our client’s doorstep one morning. A young girl had went to a church one Sunday, and determined that our clients should adopt the child. Months later, she found their house and left the child with them. That child is now a big kid like any other, surrounded in love—I know because I recently ran into the mother bragging in Wal-Mart. Our clients are more than just a number, they are our friends and neighbors.
– Brian King, Esq
Alimony in North Carolina
Perhaps the most devastating long-term consequence of divorce is the tragic distribution of money. A couple, who usually already struggled to maintain a budget together, is now facing two households and dual expenses with the same (or lower) income as before.
The State of North Carolina protects spouses who are dependent on the income of the other spouse through alimony. Both states have provisions to allow this money to begin even before the final trial.
As an additional factor, this can force the supporting party to reimburse litigation expenses. Unfortunately, individuals can abuse this system. Many times, alimony is used as a tool of revenge and must be properly negotiated.
At King Law, our firm has some of the most successful litigation in our area concerning support and alimony. Brian King is a family law specialist in North Carolina, having taught lawyers at Continuing Education classes across the state concerning these matters. Our attorneys have worked on these types of cases, with specific arguments tailored for your situation and court system.
If you are separated or thinking of separation, you need to understand this area of law. Our firm will guide you through these steps and move you quickly to resolution in this time of great need.
Annulments in North Carolina
There is only a small list of reasons that you would qualify for an annulment in North Carolina. Unlike a divorce, which is the dissolution of a legitimate marriage, an annulment is a judicial declaration that the marriage never existed. These issues are legal ones (for example, one party was already married) and a couple of odd ones (the wife lied about pregnancy).
One thing is sure in all of these issues: you must act immediately. Grounds for annulment are limited, and you must act swiftly as the nature of annulments is often time-sensitive. If you believe that your marriage in North Carolina needs to be annulled, please contact our office directly. Make an appointment today at one of our locations and deal with this now. There is no benefit in waiting, and our team of legal professionals is here to listen and help you move forward with the annulment.
Child Custody in North Carolina
Nothing is more stressful in a divorce than trying to develop an appropriate child custody schedule. North Carolina courts find it very difficult to aid in a situation as delicate as this and often fall back on their own personal judgments. That’s why you need a child custody lawyer fighting for your best interests at any point you are negotiating custody of your children in North Carolina.
According to Blackley v. Blackley, 285 N.C. 358 (1974), the court will look at the development of the child in five clear ways when determining custody:
Many clients are concerned about how the court will discriminate against them. Often, fathers feel disadvantaged, or mother’s feel overconfident due to their gender. The truth, however, is much different.
There are no presumptions between a mother or father. The Court in Rosero v. Blake, 357 N.C. 193 (2003) held,
“Between a mother and father, whether natural or adoptive, there is no presumption as to who will…better promote the interest and welfare of the child.”
As your child custody lawyer in North Carolina, King Law will make sure the court looks at what’s best for your children.
Appeals Related to Child Custody
There should be no illusions that an appeal will change an outcome after a court date. Trial courts are rarely overturned. There are few opportunities for an appeal in custody cases in North Carolina. The Court of Appeals is not any more inclined than the trial courts to get involved in the facts of a custody case. That was demonstrated in Peters v. Pennington when the court cited:
“In a child custody case, the trial court’s findings of fact are conclusive on appeal if supported by substantial evidence, even if there is sufficient evidence to support contrary findings․ Unchallenged findings of fact are binding on appeal.”
Additionally, Hall v. Hall, 188 N.C.App. 527, 530, 655 S.E.2d 901, 904 (2008) ruled:
“Whether [the trial court’s] findings of fact support [its] conclusions of law is reviewable de novo.”
Finally, Respess v. Respess, ––– N.C.App. ––––, ––––, 754 S.E.2d 691, 695 (2014) (quoting Mussa v. Palmer–Mussa, 366 N.C. 185, 191, 731 S.E.2d 404, 409 (2012)), cited:
“‘If the trial court’s uncontested findings of fact support its conclusions of law, we must affirm the trial court’s order.’”
At King Law, our North Carolina child custody lawyers are experienced in navigating these regulations to help clients achieve the best outcome for all parties involved, whether that requires visitation, custody, or both.
Under N.C. Gen.Stat. § 50–13.1(a) “the word ‘custody’ shall be deemed to include custody or visitation or both.” N.C. Gen.Stat. § 50–13.2(a) provides in relevant part that:
“An order for custody of a minor child… shall award the custody of such child to such person… as will best promote the interest and welfare of the child. In making the determination, the court shall consider all relevant factors… and shall make findings accordingly. An order for custody must include findings of fact… that support the determination of what is in the best interest of the child.”
For example, in Burger v. Smith (November 2015, North Carolina Court of Appeals), the Trial Court said that a minor child that was breastfeeding was required to visit his father in Malawi. The finding of the court was that the “Plaintiff is concerned about the minor child traveling to Malawi to visit with the Defendant due to health reasons, parasite disease, the threat of malaria, the presence of poisonous snakes, extreme heat, and the unreliability of the hospitals located there”. In this case, the Trial Court still found visitation was proper, and the Court of Appeals affirmed.
If you have any questions about the complex nature of the child custody system in North Carolina, our child custody lawyers and legal staff would be happy to speak with you over a call or via email.
Child Support in North Carolina
There is no reason that every child should not be given an equal opportunity to thrive in America. The goal of child support is to put the child of a couple who do not live together in the same financial position they would have enjoyed if both parents lived together.
We often hear a client say, “I just want custody; I don’t want his support”. That is unfair to your children. They deserve the law to give them every opportunity for the money they are entitled to under the child support statutes in North Carolina. Further, the state is set up to collect and send payments (and punish when payments are not made) for little or no cost to you. The “waiver” of child support should not “buy” a person custody.
However, we often see custodial parents attempt to “punish” the other side with an outrageous demand of child support. Proper amounts should be reviewed for children in North Carolina, to find a fair ground, based on the guidelines in effect.
At King Law, our firm is at the forefront of North Carolina’s child support law. Recently, the book Critical Cases in Family Law was published, which included Brian King’s case as a top ten case of child support. In Head v. Mosier, 677 S.E.2d 191 (NC App 2009), Brian won a case for his client and established the way child support is calculated for the self-employed. Brian has spoken at several continuing legal education classes on this case and others as a child support lawyer across North Carolina. Our firm is prepared to move forward with any case of child support. You can be assured you are getting cutting-edge representation in every matter, and our family lawyers in North Carolina will give your child support case top priority.
There are many cases regarding deviation from the child support guidelines. In general, the process is as follows:
- There must be a written motion and notice to request deviation (although the court may do it in the best interests of justice).
- The court must then establish a child support guideline.
- The court will look at the need for support and ability of each parent to pay.
- Determine when the presumptive award would not meet or exceed the child’s reasonable needs considering relative ability to provide support or should be otherwise unjust or inappropriate.
These are some facts important in a deviation case:
- An actual inability to pay the amount of support; Blair v. Jackson, 138 NC App 284
- Extraordinary medical expenses related to parent’s current spouse; Fisher v. Luckinoff, 131 NC App 642
- Contributions received from a third party for support; Easter v. Easter, 344 NC 166
- One parent pays 100% health insurance
- Either party pays alimony to an ex-spouse
To learn more about NC child support guidelines and worksheets, visit the state’s website at https://nddhacts01.dhhs.state.nc.us/WorkSheet.jsp.
Collaborative Law in North Carolina
Divorce is never easy in courtrooms across North Carolina. Divorce issues like the division of property, payment of alimony, and child custody are decided through the adversarial process, pitting one spouse against the other. The traditional adversarial process has been around for as long as the divorce process, but an alternative way of handling your divorce is now available. That alternative is collaborative law.
In a North Carolina collaborative divorce, each spouse has an attorney who is knowledgeable in the case’s legal aspects, much like in the majority of traditional divorces. However, unlike in a conventional divorce, each attorney works together with the spouses to provide direct, open, and honest communication about the best possible resolution for all parties. To make this arrangement work, an agreement is signed at the start of the collaborative process, stating the intention to resolve all matters without trial. If either spouse chooses to go to court, each attorney must withdraw from further representation.
In addition to being low on conflict, the collaborative process can also save money. A lot of litigation expenses come from the preparation and drafting of technical documents filed with the court. These documents take time and money to draft. In collaborative law, the attorney is not forced to prepare these technical documents for the court, saving both time and money.
Collaborative law is not for everyone. If you have been in an abusive relationship or cannot be honest and open with your ex, then the collaborative law process may not be for you. With that in mind, if you think the collaborative process may be appropriate for you, collaborative law may lead you down the path to a future relationship that is healthy and beneficial for the entire family, without the hard feelings that can be associated with the traditional courtroom process. Either way, King Law is available to assist you in your divorce. If you are interested in a less hostile divorce, call (828) 652-3334 to set up an appointment with an attorney trained in the collaborative law process.
When considering a separation, you need first to ask yourself, is there hope for working things out? Is there anything you can do to strengthen the marriage? Have you exhausted all options for your marriage? Divorce is complex, and the process can be stressful. The first thing you need is a solid understanding of how separation and divorce work in North Carolina.
An absolute divorce can be obtained in North Carolina by either party once you and your spouse have lived separately for at least one year. During this separation, you cannot resume your marital relationship if you intend to move forward with a divorce. You do not need anything written regarding the separation, and you are not required to have a separation agreement. On the other hand, a separation agreement can be effective, especially when you have children and property involved.
Separation agreements offer spouses a certain degree of protection that can also be credible in court, should any disagreements on finances, property, and children arise during the divorce proceedings ahead.
The couple decides which commitments and obligations to list in the separation agreement, but they must agree. The benefit of a separation agreement is that it is adaptable and can include whatever the splitting spouses decide is most important. Usually, an agreement will specify matters like:
- The home: Who will stay in the house and pay the mortgage? What rights does the other spouse have to the marital home? How much maintenance will each spouse be responsible for paying?
- Custody: Who will the children (if any) live with and where?
- Child support: Who will support and pay for the children’s needs? How much maintenance will you or your spouse be responsible for paying?
- Marital debts: All debts are divided between spouses under North Carlina’s equitable distribution law. If splitting equally debts is not reasonable, how much debt will each spouse take on?
- Personal and real property: Like marital debts, personal and real property acquired during the marriage will be divided between spouses. An agreement can specify how properties will be divided based on their preferences and needs.
- Alimony: How much will the supporting spouse pay the dependent spouse? Will it be monthly payments or a lump sum?
Suppose you and your spouse can agree to terms. In that case, the court can simply incorporate the separation agreement in with your divorce when the time arrives. Once the divorce is filed and specific claims are not preserved, the court will likely bar you from future claims. It’s essential to have an experienced attorney involved to ensure that you receive all legal protections and preserve future claims. North Carolina does require a one-year separation, but many claims can be settled by the court or through mediation during the one-year waiting period. That does allow a more “hands on” approach with your separation.
Keep in mind that a separation must take place. The court will not consider you and your spouse separated if you are still living together, intending to resume the marital relationship.
At any time after the separation of the parties, either may file an action through the court for:
At King Law, our firm is here to help you through this process. We understand that this decision is a difficult one, and we are here to help you grasp the overall outline of your separation. The first step is to contact our office for a consultation with an attorney to help guide you through your separation process.
Divorce in North Carolina
Divorce is difficult, and the process can be stressful. The first thing you need is a solid understanding of how divorce works in North Carolina. Our divorce lawyers can guide you through the process.
Either party can obtain an absolute divorce once you or your spouse have lived separately for at least one year. With the help of our North Carolina divorce lawyers, you can start to work toward this goal, meeting every regulation.
During this time of separation, you cannot resume your marital relationship. North Carolina is a “no-fault” divorce jurisdiction, so neither party has to prove marital misconduct to obtain the divorce. As long as the separation period is a year and your paperwork is processed correctly through the court system, you can get a divorce. You can receive a divorce whether or not you and your spouse have settled any of the other issues that may arise from the separation, such as:
- Child support
- Property division
- Spousal support and alimony
You can also obtain a divorce regardless of whether your spouse wants to be divorced, provided that you have been separated for 12 consecutive months.
When considering a divorce, you need first to ask yourself: Is there hope for working things out? Have you considered divorce mediation? Is there anything that can be done to strengthen the marriage? Have you exhausted all options for your marriage?
Our divorce lawyers in towns across North Carolina are here to help you through this process. We understand that this decision is a difficult one. We are here to help you grasp the overall outline of the separation and divorce process. The first step to contact our office for a consultation with a divorce attorney who can help guide you through the vital stages of your North Carolina divorce process.
Domestic Violence in North Carolina
I want to express my heartfelt thanks to the both of you for your help in resolving this matter with expeditiousness and relatively minor consequences on my behalf. I really can’t express strongly enough how what you’ve done for me has kept my world from turning upside down. Certainly as these things go, if I ever have a need to call upon your services again I will do so without delay.
– C. G.
Domestic violence charges are taken very seriously in North Carolina. We are here to help those charged with domestic violence and those who are victims of domestic violence. Cases such as these can be complex as the emotions run high when both parties have or had a personal relationship.
If you have been charged with domestic violence, we want to help protect your rights. Please know that we will work with you through the court process to receive the best possible outcome. If you are a victim of domestic violence again, we will help get you the protection needed through the court.
A domestic relationship is not only a marriage relationship. It can be a relationship consisting of a current or former spouse, roommates, or people who are dating or have dated. Events that occur between the examples above, such as attempting to or causing bodily harm, placing the victim or their family in fear of bodily injury or harassment leading to emotional distress, or committing any sexual assaults, are incidents that can be charged as domestic violence.
Once there is a domestic violence charge, the court has the decision to order an emergency protective order keeping the defendant away from the victim. A protective order can help both the defendant and the victim. Both parties are required to abide by the protective order.
If you have been charged with domestic violence or are a victim of domestic violence, please call our firm at 888-748-5464 (KING) to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys who can help guide you through the legal process.
“Recent Related Results Attained by our firm in North Carolina: Client wrongly charged with Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO), known as a “50B”. King Law Offices argued the case before the District Court Judge, the client found not responsible, and the case dismissed.
Recent Related Results Attained by our firm in North Carolina – Client wrongly charged with Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO), known as a “50B”. King Law Offices argued the case before District Court Judge, client found not responsible and case dismissed.
Grandparent’s Rights in North Carolina
Being a grandparent is an extraordinary privilege, and the thought of not being able to see your grandchildren is inconceivable. Visitation for grandparents is usually negotiated in the custody order of your grandchildren’s parents, but there are other avenues in which visitation can be negotiated, like legal mediation, for example. As a grandparent, it’s crucial to document the relationship with your grandchildren. If you are being denied visitation, then the documentation will help the court determine if an award for visitation is appropriate.
While grandparents in North Carolina usually cannot maintain an independent action for custody [NCGS 50-13.5(J)], King Law’s attorneys have represented many North Carolina grandparents and have had much success securing custody. However, it is essential to keep in mind that these cases are often more challenging. Parents’ rights supersede grandparents’ rights unless parents can be proven unfit. To obtain custody, the courts consider additional factors, especially the relationship between the grandparent and child. At King Law, we can help guide you by finding the best possible solution for your needs.
Guardianship in North Carolina
We all prefer to decide how we will live our lives—where we will live, how we will dress, what we will eat, with whom we will share friendship—but, unfortunately, this is not always possible. Every day, people suffer injuries or experience health failures that lead to being unable to make good decisions for themselves. These people need someone to assume their rights and make decisions about many aspects of their daily lives.
In North Carolina, guardianship is the legal proceeding by which a corporation or disinterested public agent can be appointed to manage the personal or financial affairs of an individual who has been judged to lack the capacity to do so on their own. It is a legal relationship between a capable adult entity (the guardian) and a person who has been declared legally disabled in a court of law (award).
The guardian may be a:
- Family member
- Close friend
- Professional guardian (an unrelated person who has received specialized training)
They will support the right of the incapacitated ward to make decisions whenever possible. They will solicit and respect the ward’s views and wishes unless these views and wishes must be overridden in the ward’s best interest.
When an individual is determined to be incapacitated, and there is no alternative to guardianship such as the power of attorney, a healthcare directive, or living trust, a North Carolina court may appoint a guardian to exercise those delegable rights been taken away. For that reason, the initiation of guardianship proceedings should be considered only after all other possible alternatives have been explored.
How Is Incapacitation Proven in North Carolina?
Medical evidence is normally sought to support a finding of incapacity. Still, it is essential to remember that incapacity is a legal term, not a medical definition. The threshold issue is whether or not the alleged incapacitated person is capable of exercising certain legal rights, such as the right to manage money or to consent to medical treatment. Many factors impact an individual’s capacity, including:
- Mental and physical health
- Personal environment
- Financial status
King Law is a firm prepared to move forward with any case of guardianship in North Carolina. You can be assured you are getting cutting-edge representation in every matter, and we will give your guardianship case top priority.
Prenuptial Agreements in North Carolina
A prenuptial agreement is a document that has the signatures of both parties who intend to enter into marriage. It outlines the responsibilities, rights, and specific property of each party in the event of a divorce in the future. The primary purpose of a prenuptial agreement made in North Carolina is to determine how assets or property should be divided if the couple gets divorced or if one of the parties dies during the marriage. It can also waive alimony and support. A properly executed and well-written prenuptial agreement provides protection and comfort for both spouses.
According to the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act of North Carolina, a prenuptial agreement may contain limited alimony rights, property rights, and a variety of other rights. Many couples also provide stipulations about their future children and future remarriages to protect future children’s rights. According to Chapter 52B of the N.C. General Statutes, for a premarital agreement to be valid, it must be in writing and signed by both parties of the marrying couple.
For a prenuptial agreement to hold up in court, be sure to:
- Disclose all of your finances. If your spouse finds out that you’re hiding assets, the prenuptial agreement could get tossed out by the court.
- Avoid coercion, distress, and undue influence. Plan and sign the agreement at least 30 days before the wedding.
- Be fair and deal fairly with your soon-to-be spouse in determining the amount of support they will receive if the marriage ends or if you should die during the marriage.
- Don’t combine assets after the marriage. That makes it very difficult to determine your property before the marriage.
- You may need a postnuptial agreement to protect some types of retirement plans. Ask your attorney if further agreements will need to be made in the future and discuss those with your fiancé in advance.
Without the legal assistance of an NC family law attorney, it’s easy to make a mistake in creating a prenuptial agreement that can render the document void. It’s best to have an experienced NC family lawyer review the agreement and explain each statement’s implications in the document. That is to ensure that the prenuptial agreement is legally binding.
King Law is a firm prepared to move forward with any prenuptial agreement in North Carolina. You can be assured you are getting tenacious representation in every matter, and we will give your prenuptial agreement top priority.
Equitable Distribution / Property Distribution in North Carolina
During a marriage, spouses generally acquire property, whether it’s a home, cars, bank accounts, a business, IRAs, or stock options. Laws in North Carolina provide for the division and distribution of this property. Once a couple has separated, either party may ask the court for equitable distribution. The court will determine the couple’s marital and divisible property of the couple, then provide for a fair distribution.
According to North Carolina General Statute § 50-20, marital property is defined as real and personal property acquired by either spouse or both spouses during the marriage and before the date of separation of the parties, and presently owned, except property determined to be the separate property or divisible property.
Separate property is defined as all real and personal property acquired by a spouse before marriage or acquired by a spouse by bequest, devise, descent, or gift during the marriage.
Divisible property is defined as all appreciation and diminution in value of marital and divisible property occurring after the date of separation and before the date of distribution (except appreciation or diminution in value resulting from post-separation actions or activities of a spouse). It includes all 1) property, 3) property rights, or 3) any portion thereof received after the date of separation but before the date of distribution that was acquired as a result of either spouse’s effort during the marriage and before the date of separation. Divisible property includes, but is not limited to:
- Contractual rights
- Passive income from marital property received after the date of separation, including interest and dividends
- Increases and decreases in marital debt, financing charges, and interest related to marital debt
In North Carolina, the division of property between the parties will be equal unless the court determines that an equal division of property is not equitable.
King Law focuses on family law and is a firm prepared to move forward with any case of equitable distribution in North Carolina. You can be confident you are getting personal and responsive representation in every matter, and we will give your equitable distribution case top priority.
Separation in North Carolina
When considering a separation you need to first ask yourself; is there is still hope for working things out? Is there anything you can do to strengthen the marriage? Have you exhausted all options for your marriage? Divorce is difficult and the process can be stressful. The first thing you need is a solid understanding of how separation and divorce work in North Carolina.
An absolute divorce can be obtained in North Carolina; by either party, once you or your spouse have lived separate for at least one year. During this time of separation you cannot resume your marital relationship if you intend to move forward with a divorce. You do not need anything written regarding the separation and you are not required to have a separation agreement. A separation agreement, on the other hand, can be effective especially when you have children and property involved. It allows you and your spouse to agree on things like custody, child support, alimony, and property division. If you and your spouse can agree to terms that accompany an agreement then, when the time period arrives for the divorce, the court can simply incorporate the separation agreement into an order with your divorce. This does allow a more “hands on” approach with your separation. At any time after the separation of the parties, either may file an action through the court for property division, custody, child support,spousal support or Alimony; but a separation must take place. The court will not consider you and your spouse separated if you are still living together with the intention of resuming the marital relationship.
Our firm is here to help you through this process; we understand that this decision is a difficult one. We are here to help you grasp the overall outline of your separation. The first step is to contact our office for a consultation with an attorney that can help guide you through your separation process.
Termination of Parental Rights in North Carolina
A North Carolina court can terminate the rights of a parent for: Abuse or neglect of the child; Willful abandonment of the child to foster care for more than twelve months; Failure to pay child support pursuant to a court order or agreement for more than one year; Father of child born out of wedlock’s failure to legitimate the child, establish paternity, or financially provide for the child; Abandonment; Parent is incapable of providing for proper care and supervision; or For other reasons as set out in North Carolina Law.
Either parent may seek to terminate the other parent’s rights. A guardian judicially appointed for the child, a person who has filed a petition to adopt the minor child, and anyone with whom the child has continuously lived for two or more years may also petition for the termination of parental rights.
If the person, who petitions for termination of a parent’s rights, proves there are grounds for the termination, the court must consider whether such termination is in the best interests of the minor child. In making this determination, the court must consider: The age of the juvenile; The likelihood of adoption of the juvenile; Whether the termination of parental rights will aid in the accomplishment of the permanent plan for the juvenile; The bond between the juvenile and the parent; The quality of the relationship between the juvenile and the proposed adoptive parent, guardian, custodian, or other permanent placement; and any relevant consideration.
An order terminating the parental rights completely and permanently terminates all rights and obligations of the parent to the juvenile and of the juvenile to the parent arising from the parental relationship, except that the juvenile’s right of inheritance from the juvenile’s parent shall not terminate until a final order of adoption is issued.
King Law specializes in family law and is a firm prepared to move forward with any case of termination of parental rights. You can be assured you are getting cutting edge representation in every matter, and your termination of parental rights case will be given top priority.