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Whiteville, NC Divorce Lawyer

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

Getting a divorce in Columbus county

Columbus County, North Carolina Court system

Whiteville, NC is the county seat of Columbus County and court is held at the Courthouse in Whiteville at 310 Government Center Drive, NE (the county complex). Columbus County does not have a Family Court system. Family court cases are often assigned to one of the following District Court Judges: the Honorable Jerry A. Jolly, Chief District Court Judge, the Honorable Marion Warren, and the Honorable William F. Fairley. Once assigned, the designated judge usually hears all family court matters including child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division for that family. Divorces are scheduled along with other family court matters but are generally heard on the first day of the family court session. The Trial Court Administrator is Ms. Glenda Warren.

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 Whiteville and Columbus 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 Columbus 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 judges in the 13th Judicial District rotate among three counties including Columbus, Bladen and Columbus counties. As such, there is limited time to hear family law cases each month and it may take several months before the Columbus Family Court system can hear a family law case. 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. Dr. George Gates and Denise Scearce offer a Cooperative Parenting & Divorce class in Wilmington, NC.

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 Columbus County

Choose a law firm that will represent your interests in Whiteville, 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

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DIY divorce Do-It-Yourself Divorce

Forms and steps for a DIY divorce

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