Do You Need an Uncontested Divorce Lawyer in North Carolina?

If you and your spouse are looking to streamline the divorce process, you should try to agree on all major issues within the divorce. Reaching an agreement can allow you to avoid a drawn-out divorce trial and instead go through an uncontested divorce. You have surely heard countless stories of adversarial divorces in which the disagreements lead to bitter disappointments for one or both of the parties, and you recognize you have the opportunity to avoid a similar scenario. Working with an uncontested divorce lawyer can help you ensure your divorce process remains on course and efficient for both parties.

Depending on the complexity of your shared assets, property, and children, agreeing on these matters may be challenging. Before you call on a judge to make a decision for you, you can hire a divorce attorney for assistance regarding these matters.

Our uncontested divorce lawyers can help you and your spouse consider all of your options for reaching an agreement, such as divorce mediation. They can also communicate with the other spouse on your behalf, helping you avoid further conflicts.

Which Issues Should a Couple Agree On in an Uncontested Divorce in North Carolina?

To file for an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse should file a case on “no-fault” grounds. Neither party will be able to dispute a false claim in the divorce.

You and your spouse will also need to agree on all of the following issues:

  • Division of property
  • Division of assets
  • Allocation of outstanding debts
  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Responsibility for children’s medical/dental expenses
  • Spousal support (alimony)

Contact Speaks Law Firm, PC, Family Law Division today to schedule a case review, where we can assess whether uncontested divorce is the appropriate option for you.

What Is Involved in the North Carolina Uncontested Divorce Process?

Before you can file for divorce in North Carolina, you and your spouse must live apart for at least one year. Then, you can begin the paperwork to file for an uncontested divorce.

You will need to file the following documents with the court:

  • Complaint for Absolute Divorce
  • Civil Summons
  • Domestic Civil Action Cover Sheet
  • Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Affidavit

Additional paperwork may be required, depending on your circumstances. You’ll also need to pay filing fees with the court. You and your spouse will also complete a settlement agreement that discusses major issues within your divorce case.

Finally, while North Carolina has a 30-day waiting period between the time a spouse is served with paperwork and the divorce hearing, couples can coordinate so the spouse who is served submits a Waiver and Answer form to waive this requirement. This allows the court date to be set as soon as the answer is filed. You and your spouse will then need to attend a final hearing.

How Long Does an Uncontested North Carolina Divorce Take?

Uncontested divorces are often much faster than contested divorce cases. However, you and your spouse will first need to live apart for a year before filing for divorce. If you currently live together, this requirement can add some time to your divorce process.

Once you are eligible to file the divorce paperwork, you can use a Waiver and Answer form to waive the 30-day wait, allowing you to schedule your hearing and have your divorce finalized within a few weeks. Several factors can affect the exact timing of your final hearing, such as the judge’s availability, the court’s ability to process your paperwork, and both parties’ cooperation.

If you and your spouse would like a fast divorce, working with an uncontested divorce attorney can help. Your attorney can advise you throughout the process to speed along the divorce and encourage a quick final judgment.

Do You Have to Go to Court for an Uncontested Divorce in NC?

If you and your spouse agree on all matters in the divorce, you will not need to attend hearings where the judge decides on matters for you. However, you will still need to go to court to attend the final divorce hearing.

Your hearing will be scheduled with the court a few weeks in advance. At the hearing, the judge will ask if both parties are present, and you will need to testify that you have completed all of the requirements for an uncontested divorce.

The judge will then sign the Judgment of Absolute Divorce. This judgment officially ends the marriage.

Contact our legal team to schedule a case review to ensure your uncontested divorce process remains on track. Our attorneys can help you from the beginning to guide you through this process.

Do You Need a Lawyer in a North Carolina Uncontested Divorce?

While retaining an attorney is not mandatory in an uncontested divorce, it can provide many benefits. Your attorney can help ensure that you file all of the correct documents throughout the divorce process, guide you along the way, answer your questions, and take steps to keep your uncontested divorce on course and moving efficiently.

At Speaks Law Firm, PC, Family Law Division, we have extensive experience assisting clients with divorce cases. Whether your divorce is simple or complex, we can provide professional guidance to help you through it.

Contact us today to schedule your case review with our uncontested divorce lawyer team.

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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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  • 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.

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  • “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.”

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  • 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.

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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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What Forms Do I Need To File a Divorce in Wilmington, NC?

Filing for Divorce

Not only is filing for a divorce an emotionally demanding process, it is also a legally intensive one. To be sure, in order to file for a divorce, one will need to gather and fill out the appropriate forms, file the forms at the relevant location, ensure that their spouse is served the petition and summons, and then negotiate any issues in a divorce (or go to court to litigate the divorce).

At the office of the Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division, our Wilmington family lawyers are able to help you navigate the divorce process, beginning with collecting and filing the proper divorce-related forms. Here’s an overview of what forms you’ll need to file for divorce in North Carolina:

What Forms Do I Need When Filing for a Divorce in North Carolina?

You can file for divorce in North Carolina without establishing a cause for divorce, other than separation of one year, if:

  • You are a resident of North Carolina (you or your spouse has lived in the state for at least six months); and
  • You and your spouse have lived separate and apart for at least one year.

The following forms can help you to seek an absolute divorce from your spouse, but cannot help you in terms of seeking an award for equitable property distribution, alimony/spousal support, child support, or child custody. The three documents that you will need in order to inform the court of your intent to divorce are:

  1. Complaint for absolute divorce;
  2. Domestic civil action cover sheet; and
  3. Civil summons.

Once you have filled out these three forms, you must file them with your local clerk’s office and pay the filing fee.

One this step has been completed, the next step is to officially and legally inform your spouse of your intent to divorce. This requires serving your spouse with the complaint and summons (which can be done by the sheriff).

Once your divorce is finalized, two other important forms are the judgment for absolute divorce and the certificate of absolute divorce.

What About Resolving Issues in the Divorce?

The documents listed above are for those who are pursuing a pro se divorce, which means that they are representing themself during the divorce process. If you are hoping to obtain a judgment from the court in regards to other issues in the divorce, such as equitable distribution or child custody, there are separate forms that you must file, such as a claim of equitable distribution of marital property, or alimony and post-separation support forms.

Call Our Wilmington Family Lawyers Today

Navigating the divorce process on your own isn’t recommended, as if you make a mistake during the process, the consequences could be serious. Instead, you should work with a qualified family law attorney, such as those found at the Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division. You can reach our Wilmington family lawyers to schedule a consultation by calling our law office directly, or sending us a message telling us more about how we can be of assistance.

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