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Divorce Lawyer in Wilmington, North Carolina

Family issues are among the most delicate and emotionally charged a person can face. Though you value your family more than anything else, problems can arise. Relationships can break down between partners, leading one or both to seek divorce. When this happens, questions regarding property ownership and asset allocation inevitably occur. If children are involved, custody and visitation become concerns.

Navigating these questions and worries can cause a lot of anxiety. You shouldn’t have to go through the process of divorce without an experienced legal professional on your side. Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division focuses on handling family law cases, including divorce issues. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Types of Marriage Dissolution

In North Carolina, a legal divorce is referred to as an absolute divorce. If you decide to end your marriage, our experienced divorce lawyers will help you choose the right course. You will have the following options:

  • No-Fault Divorce
  • Divorce on the Grounds of Incurable Insanity
  • Legal Separation due to marital misconduct (not divorce, but a possible precursor to divorce)

Our lawyers will carefully examine your case to help you determine the appropriate course for your situation. Regardless of your situation and needs, Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division will have your interests at heart throughout your case.

How Do The Different Divorce Options Work in North Carolina?

Many issues can lead to divorce, but they are not required to be cited as reasons when filing for divorce. In fact, with the exception of cases involving incurable insanity, a divorce in North Carolina must be no-fault.

In simple terms, a no-fault divorce can happen when at least one of the spouses has no desire to remain married. That spouse does not need to prove the other spouse is to blame. The no-fault divorce process is much less complicated than the legal separation process.

Requirements for no-fault divorce in North Carolina include:

  • the spouses must have lived apart for over 1 year
  • at least one of the spouses has lived in North Carolina for at least 6 months

However, many married couples who cite marital misconduct in their relationships choose a path of legal separation, which is not technically divorce. As no-fault divorce in North Carolina requires the spouses to first live apart for over a year, many married couples who first seek legal separation may later pursue a no-fault divorce.

The only other type of divorce in North Carolina besides no-fault divorce is divorce due to incurable insanity. If you cite your spouse’s incurable insanity as the grounds for divorce, you must prove that your spouse had mental impairments to the extent he or she was confined and required medical care. You would need to show that you and your spouse could not live in the same place because of this impairment.

Choosing Legal Separation Due to Marital Misconduct in North Carolina

In North Carolina, a legal separation on the grounds of marital misconduct is called a “divorce from bed and board.” Despite its name, it is not actually a divorce, but it legally permits the couple to separate from one another.

A legal separation can occur when one or both spouses have participated in some type of misconduct. Behaviors and actions in this category can include adultery, excessive drug and alcohol abuse, cruel treatment, malicious removal, or intolerable treatment.

A legal separation can be complicated, with many rules and possible options. An experienced family attorney from Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Division can provide you with guidance to ensure you are making the right decision. We will protect your rights and interests. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Equitable Asset Allocation and Types of Property in a North Carolina Divorce

In a divorce case, equitable asset allocation is a primary concern. Our experienced divorce attorney will help you understand what constitutes marital assets, divisible property, or separate property, and implications for each during the divorce process.

Generally speaking, marital property consists of belongings you and your spouse purchased during your marriage. Possessions acquired before your marriage will not typically count as marital assets, but as separate property. Divisible property is property you acquired after the date of separation but before the date of distribution.

The details of the assets to be divided are among many factors that affect equitable distribution in a North Carolina divorce. Your attorney can work with you to compile a list of assets and properties you purchased during your marriage so they can be reviewed to determine how they may be fairly and properly divided among you and your spouse.

Parental Rights Following Divorce in North Carolina

If you have children and you and your spouse decide to pursue a divorce, the transition into two households will inevitably affect how the children will interact with the parents. In the majority of cases, the time you share with your children will be subject to a visitation schedule, whether they primarily live with you or the other spouse.

Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division will work to protect your rights as a parent, but priority in these matters is given to the best interests of the child.

Our experienced divorce lawyers will pursue a parenting plan that benefits the children as well as both you and your spouse. Contact Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division in Wilmington, NC today to schedule a consultation.

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Why Choose Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division?

Passion – Our family law attorneys, Justin Moulin and Sarah Gray, are dedicated to helping clients with legal matters involving divorce and family issues in Wilmington, North Carolina. We put clients’ needs first, and we are passionate about helping people through emotionally difficult times.
Experience – When dealing with family legal issues, you need someone with a proven track record. Sarah Gray and Justin Moulin have dedicated their careers to representing families. Sarah has more than 10 years of experience representing clients, while Justin has worked in multiple counties in North Carolina and has focused on custody and child support actions, protective order hearings, alimony claims, property division, and divorce.
Case review – You can have peace of mind when you discuss your needs with us. We will review your circumstances and goals. In this discussion, we can create a plan for you and determine your challenges and opportunities. Fill out our online form to schedule a case evaluation.

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What Our Clients Are Saying

Client Review | Wilmington, NC 28401 | Speaks Family Law
  • I was very pleased with the way that Speaks Family Law handled my case. They worked hard to get the most money that they could. Everyone at the firm was always polite and always answered all of my concerns. I would definitely recommend Speaks Family Law to anyone who needs representation. I always knew that they were there anytime I needed them. A big “Thank you!” goes out to all of the people who are involved with the firm.

    - KE -

  • “She was amazing, she was able to give me the information I needed and was straight forward about what was possible regarding my son. She has made me feel confident in knowing that father’s have just as much legal rights to kids as moms. If I need legal help regarding anything further I will be contacting her again for sure.”

    - D. L. -

  • It was a very helpful experience and I am especially grateful for the way they answered my questions and helped me navigate what would have been a much more difficult situation. I felt that my interests were fought for and taken care of and would hightly recommend anyone who might go through this to be respresented by Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division.

    - S.H. -

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Related Blogs And Videos

At Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division, we provide you with multimedia educational resources to help you become informed regarding your Family Law situation. We invite you to explore our library of articles and videos. The better you understand the factors in your case, the more effectively we can work together towards your goals.

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Frequestly Ask Questions

FAQS About Divorce

Below are some frequently asked questions about Divorce:

Who can file for divorce in North Carolina?

Our firm’s experienced Wilmington divorce lawyers can clarify all the filing requirements for North Carolina divorces. You can start divorce proceedings in North Carolina if:

  • You have lived apart from your spouse for at least a year
  • Either you or your spouse has lived in NC for 6 months or more

Generally, North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state. If even one of the spouses wishes to end the marriage, it’s enough to start the divorce process. However, because of the one-year waiting period, people who choose to divorce because of marital misconduct like adultery or abuse may pursue legal separation first.

How does asset distribution work in North Carolina?

Our skilled divorce lawyer at Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division can help protect your rights during property distribution. In North Carolina, you have two asset distribution options:

  1. Covering all property settlement issues in a voluntary separation agreement
    Settling property division in a divorce court
  2. We strongly recommend the first option to save time and money, avoid conflict, and give you more control over asset distribution.

When dividing marital assets, NC divorce courts use the principle of equitable distribution rather than a 50-50 split. The court’s goal is fair asset distribution based on both spouses’ income, earning capacity, needs, and child custody arrangements.

How can I protect my parental rights during divorce?

Consult our Wilmington divorce attorney team to protect your children’s interests and your parental rights during divorce. If you have minor children, preserving stability in their lives during and after divorce is your primary concern.

NC divorce courts always prefer that the co-parents work out a mutually acceptable custody and visitation plan. If custody disagreements arise, the judge will usually mandate mediation for the co-parents before hearing the case. The child’s best interests are the deciding factor in all custody disputes.

Do I need a family & divorce lawyer in NC?

While some couples settle their divorces without legal help, it’s highly advisable to work with a knowledgeable family divorce lawyer who can counsel you on your legal rights, negotiate with your spouse and their divorce attorney, draft or revise a separation agreement, and smooth any conflicts that arise during divorce. At Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division in Wilmington, NC, we are here to represent and advise you as you go through this stressful life event. Call us at (910) 769-7339 for a consultation.

What You Should Expect in Divorce Court in North Carolina

Wilmington Family Lawyers

Divorce hearings can be scary for anyone. They are even more intimidating if you are getting divorced for the first time. Are you wondering what to expect in divorce court? There is no specific answer. Every case is different and it may present unique challenges and experiences. However, having unclear or unrealistic expectations may lead to disappointments. Ask for help from Wilmington family lawyers. They will help you set your expectations right.

1. What should you expect when going through a divorce?

Divorce can be stressful for anyone. It does not matter how bad your marriage was. Remember that all divorce cases are different. Do not expect to have the same experiences that your friends did. Expect to experience a rollercoaster of emotions including:

  • Excitement
  • Guilt
  • Fear
  • Anger

2. What should you expect in court?

Divorce court is not as complicated as you may think. Working with your Wilmington family lawyers makes the process simpler. However, you should not expect to stand there while your lawyer does all the work.

You must work with them to get the settlement that matches your expectations. Do not let your fear or anger take over. You must remain calm even when your spouse is lying against you.

Do not expect to “win” in a divorce case. No one really wins in divorce court. Even when dealing with important matters such as alimony, custody, or division of property, you should keep your emotions in check. Note that you won’t always get everything you want.

3. Why should you hire Wilmington family lawyers?

Hiring a lawyer is a good idea even if you are going through a non-contested divorce. Divorce lawyers give you the legal advice you need to get through the difficult period. Like marriage, divorce is a legal process that should be treated professionally.

A divorce lawyer will protect your rights, interpret legal terms, speed up the process, help you initiate conversations with your spouse, and ensure fairness through the process. Hiring a lawyer should not be seen as an act of aggression.

4. How should you prepare kids for divorce?

Even when going through a divorce, you should remember that the children are not getting divorced. You should avoid saying rude or hurtful things to your spouse in their presence. Seek the help of a therapist.

They will help the children process their emotions and get through the process. You should also get co-parenting classes for their sake. The more you fight during a divorce, the more damaging the process can be.

Do not attempt to interfere with the relationship between your children and your spouse unless there is a history of abuse.

If you need the help of Wilmington family lawyers, seek help from Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division. We understand that divorce can be a very personal and sensitive matter. You need the help of good lawyers through the process. We will treat you with respect and high levels of professionalism through the process. Contact us today and book an appointment.

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What Is Contempt Of Court In Family Law?

While a family court is a court within the civil court system (in contrast to the criminal court system), when a family court issues an order, the person named in the order is required under law to fulfill the obligations of the order. For example, if a court orders a person to pay child support and they fail to do so, they are in direct violation of a court order and can be penalized as such.

One such penalty for violating a family court order is being held in contempt of court. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our Wilmington family lawyers at the law office of the Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division to learn more, and consider the following about what you should know about contempt of court in a family law case in North Carolina:

What Is Civil Contempt of Court?
If a party does not fulfill their family court order, the affected party can file a motion to hold the party in default in civil contempt of court. Such an order may be filed when a party fails to comply with a court order in regards to:

  • Child custody;
  • Child support;
  • Spousal maintenance/alimony;
  • Property division;
  • Any other family law matter.

The purpose of filing a civil contempt order is to force a delinquent party to comply with the order.

Punishment for Civil Contempt of Court

The purpose of holding someone in civil contempt of court is not necessarily to punish the defendant, but instead to ensure that they comply with the court order. While a person may be incarcerated for up to 90 days initially (and up to one year per North Carolina Statute Section 5A-21, typically, a judge will order payment of any unpaid benefits (child support, alimony, etc.) or garnishment of wages, or take action to require the defendant to comply with the original court order.

In some cases, a person who is in violation of a court order could be held in criminal contempt of court, although a person cannot be found in criminal contempt for the same conduct that landed them in civil contempt. If a person is found in criminal contempt, they may be ordered to pay a fine and may be subject to incarceration.

Filing a Contempt Motion

If your ex-spouse is in violation of a court order, you do not merely have to accept the default. Instead, you have the right to take steps to enforce the court order, including filing a contempt motion with the court and serving the defendant with the motion. In order to ensure that your motion of contempt is filed accurately, it is best to work with a qualified lawyer who has experience managing contempt of court cases. In addition to filing a contempt motion, an attorney can also help you to understand the other options you have for enforcing a court order.

Call Our Family Lawyers Today

To learn more about how our family lawyers at the office of Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division can help, please call us today or send us a message. We know how emotional and complex family law matters can be, and want to provide you with the representation you deserve.

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