• Rice Law on FacebookRice Law on YouTubeRice Law on LinkedInRice Law on Twitter
  • Office Locations
  • Call 910-762-3854

Southern Pines, NC Divorce Lawyer

To get a divorce in Southern Pines, North Carolina, the Moore County courts require that spouses be legally separated for more than one year and one of the spouses must have resided North Carolina for at least six months. If either spouse resides in Moore County, then the divorce is properly filed in Moore County.

Moore County Courthouse

Moore County, North Carolina Family Court system

Carthage, NC is the county seat of Moore County and court is held in Carthage. Moore County has operated under a Family Court system since May 2008. One District Court Judge is assigned to hear all family law matters between husband and wife including child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division. The Family Court Judges currently include: the Honorable Jayrene R. Maness and the Honorable Scott C. Ethridge. Court is usually held at the main courthouse at 102 Monroe Street, Carthage, NC.

Why people divorce

The most often cited reason for divorce is money. Other reasons include infidelity, boredom, poor communication, incompatibility, lack of commitment, sexual problems, abuse, and addiction (e.g., substance abuse and/or alcoholism). An individual who is the victim of domestic violence should seek help from a domestic violence shelter immediately. We encourage others to attempt marriage counseling before seeking a divorce. Talk to a mental health professional about the situation—can the problems be resolved through marriage counseling or is the conflict too great?

Taking steps toward divorce

Divorce can be emotional and stressful, and the choices you make during this time may affect the outcome of your settlement or contested court case. Read 10 steps you should take to help you survive divorce. You should see a NC divorce attorney who practices law in Southern Pines and Moore County. We do not believe you should try to do it yourself (DIY). Even though many companies offer a cheap online divorce, a do it yourself divorce can have severe negative consequences for you and your family.

Estimate your post-divorce financial situation

Use a Financial Standing Affidavit (FSA) to determine if your income covers monthly basic necessities to live separately. Consider your income and expenses, and check your credit report. The court will require that you file an FSA or similar document to justify your claim for post separation support and/or alimony as part of the divorce. While you may be interested in estimating child support or alimony, exclude these from the examination, as you don't know exactly how much a Moore County court will award. If you're financially unable to live separately, consider where the extra income will come from—a friend or relative, second job, career change, or other avenue—until your claims for post separation support and alimony are resolved. The Moore County Family Court system hears cases rather quickly. And if you're in an abusive relationship, it's important to leave now, regardless of financial considerations.

Consider the effect of divorce on your children

Divorce can be especially difficult for your children. Answer their questions honestly, while avoiding temptation to harp on your spouse's flaws. Divorce affects them as well, and they will appreciate your openness. However, don't involve children in adult issues and don't discuss any pending or planned litigation. Children should not be aware of the disputes between parents. We strongly recommend you consider attending a parenting class for divorced parents.

Be ready to negotiate

Though it can be difficult to concede anything to your spouse, especially if abuse or infidelity is a factor, compromise can save you anxiety, time, and money. An attorney can point out your options, helping you carefully negotiate division of assets, child custody and visitation.

Divorce by Power of Attorney

While an attorney in fact can handle most litigation under a valid power of attorney, it is our position that person cannot handle a divorce for you. Our Court of Appeals has held that "an action for divorce based upon one year's separation cannot be maintained by a general guardian..." See Freeman v. Freeman, 34 N.C.App. 301, 237 S.E.2d. 857 (1977).

Carefully choose a divorce attorney to represent you in Moore County

Choose a law firm that will represent your interests in Moore County, rather than immediately signing on with a law firm that was shared by a neighbor or friend. Consider this list of nine things when selecting a divorce attorney that will protect your children and your assets.

If you wish to handle your own divorce, we have provided pro se divorce forms for you although we strongly caution you to seek advice from an attorney about your divorce first.


Read the NC statute Divorce Law on Venue

N.C. Gen. Stat. §50-3 sets forth NC Law on the proper county for filing a divorce action

Read the NC statute Grounds for Absolute Divorce in Cases of Incurable Insanity

N.C. Gen. Stat. §50-5.1 sets forth NC Law on obtaining a divorce on the grounds of one spouse having incurable insanity

Read the NC statute Absolute Divorce Law based on one-year's separation

N.C. Gen. Stat. §50-6 sets forth NC Law on obtaining a divorce on the grounds of one year separation for no fault divorce

resources - FAQs Have questions about divorce?

See what others are asking about getting a divorce in North Carolina

Sign on Rice Law's secure online office Your virtual law office

Message an attorney, check your legal calendar, or track your case in our secure online office (registration required)

DIY divorce Do-It-Yourself Divorce

Forms and steps for a DIY divorce

Attorney Mark Spencer Williams answers legal questions on Avvo™