What to Do When there is Domestic Violence?

domestic violence in RaleighDomestic violence is a part of many marriages and relationships. It is a sad reality that what should be loving and caring relationships have violence as a frequent component.

Fortunately for those who live in Wake County and Raleigh, North Carolina, there are many resources that can help you.

  • InterAct of Wake County – located on Oberlin Road in Raleigh, is a private, non-profit, United Way agency that provides safety, support, and awareness to victims and survivors of domestic violence and rape/sexual assault.
  • Raleigh Police Department – has a Family Violence Intervention program and can be reached at (919) 996-3335. Of course, you can always contact the police by dialing 911 in an emergency.
  • Wake County Sheriff’s Victims Services Unit – can be reached at (919) 856-5623 or 856-6816.
  • SAVAN – 1-877-627-2826. Domestic Violence Victims (where the accused has been arrested) can call this number to find if a suspect is still in jail or can request to be notified when the suspect is released.
  • Courthouse in Raleigh – the civil clerk’s office is on the 11th floor of the Wake County Courthouse and you may file a claim for protection under the NC domestic violence statute, NCGS 50B. The clerks there will give you paperwork to fill out and instructions on how to file it. The telephone number for the clerk’s office is (919) 835-3148.

The most important thing a victim of domestic violence can do is find a way to stop being a victim and involve the legal authorities and a lawyer to assist them.

Raleigh Divorce: Four Steps

Raleigh Divorce: Four Steps

Raleigh Divorce: Four Steps

Divorce and separation can be overwhelming.  If you are thinking about going through a divorce in Raleigh, I suggest you consider the following steps to help you get through it:

Check: There is lots of information on the Internet about divorce and divorce lawyers.  Look for at least two different lawyers and schedule consultations.  Search for experience.  Some lawyers will meet with you or talk to you for free, some charge a consultation fee.

Act: Meet with the lawyers you researched.   Meet with attorney who practices frequently in Wake County and is familiar with the local rules and local attorneys and judges.   Explain your situation.  Give background. Ask questions.  At the end of the interview ask yourself: Do I like this person?  Do I feel comfortable with him or her?

Plan: You are paying for your attorney’s advice and if you did your research you know you can trust your lawyer. Friends and family, although they mean well, are not divorce lawyers.   Heed your lawyer’s advice.

Do: Once you and your lawyer have a plan, work on it.   Take steps to protect your assets.  Try to set aside enough cash or credit to tide you over until property and support matters can be resolved.  Copy financial documents.  Journal custody matters for your lawyer.  These are but a few of the suggestions your lawyer may have.  Again, listen to your lawyer and act.

Raleigh Divorce: preserve your rights

NC equitable distribution and alimonyPreserve Your Rights in Your Raleigh Divorce

If you are thinking about divorcing or are going through a divorce in Raleigh or Wake County, NC this article is very important, so please read it carefully.

The law in North Carolina is that if a spouse does not make a claim for equitable distribution, alimony and postseparation support prior to the entry of their divorce judgment, that spouse’s right to ask for spousal support and division of property is lost forever.

Therefore, if you are filing your divorce in Raleigh at the Wake County Courthouse, or even if you have a Raleigh divorce lawyer, make certain that if you want to ask for spousal support or the court to divide your property in your Raleigh divorce case that you make those claims before the court grants the divorce.

Preserving Your Equitable Distribution Claim

Equitable distribution is the process by which the court divides marital and divisible property between spouses.  The failure to apply specifically for equitable distribution prior to a  judgment of absolute divorce will destroy the statutory right to equitable distribution.  N.C.G.S. § 50-11(e) provides that: “[a]n absolute divorce obtained within this state shall destroy the right of a spouse to an equitable distribution of the marital property under G.S. § 50-20 unless the right is asserted  prior to judgment of absolute divorce . . . .”

Be aware that unless the claim for equitable distribution is specifically preserved in the pleadings, it is not enough to have the words in the divorce judgment “reserving pending claims” if the claims are not pending.

Alimony and Postseparation Support

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-11(c) provides that a divorce obtained pursuant to G.S. § 50-5.1 or G.S. § 50-6 shall not affect the rights of either spouse with respect to any action for alimony or postseparation support pending at the time the judgment for divorce is granted.  The pleading setting forth the claim for alimony/postseparation support, therefore, must be filed and pending prior to the entry of the judgment of absolute divorce. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-16.2A(a) provides that the pleading must be verified and must set forth the factual basis for the relief requested. You should always include  allegations as to “dependent” and “supporting” spouse and sufficient allegations regarding the parties’ financial standing.

 

Moving After Your Raleigh Divorce

Raleigh Divorce - Moving OnWhat Should You Do if Must Move as a Result of Your Separation or Divorce?

Moving is stressful under normal circumstances.  Moving is very stressful if it is the result of a separation or divorce.

Often, in the current economy, neither party is able to keep the marital residence and there are moves by both parents to new homes.  Frequently one spouse will want to move out of the marital home.

Here are some suggestions to make the process of moving less stressful:

  • If you have children try to stay in the same school district where they have been enrolled in school.  For example, if the children are both enrolled in Enloe High School in Raleigh, seek out a new residence nearby that would not automatically require a change in school.
  • Make certain you and your spouse are in agreement on who gets what personal property.  Don’t wait until the move to settle this.  Settle this before the separation if possible.
  • Organize your move and use it as an opportunity to get rid of things that neither you nor your spouse wants to keep.  Some items may be good charitable contributions.  A good charity is the Salvation Army.  They have a drop off location and thrift store at 205 Tryon Road in Raleigh.
  • Hire a mover or recruit friends and family to help.   Don’t try to do this yourself.
  • Forward your mail and provide your new address to:
  1. Your lawyer
  2. Friends
  3. Family
  4. Church
  5. Work / Employer
  6. Doctors/Dentists
  7. Organizations you belong to (alumni, community, etc.)

 

These suggestions should help your move easier and less stressful.

Advantages of Mediation in Your Raleigh Divorce Case

Raleigh Divorce Lawyer MediationRaleigh Divorce  – When and why should you mediate?

Mediation is a form of “alternative dispute resolution.”  It is a way to resolve cases that was an “alternative” to a trial or hearing.

At one time, not too long ago, this was a new idea in family law cases.  Now, if you file a financial case or custody case in Raleigh at the Wake County Courthouse, mediation is required.

It is a process by which the parties (and their lawyers) meet with a neutral person who assists in settling the differences.  That neutral person is called the mediator.

There are several advantages to mediating your Raleigh divorce case:

  • It creates a framework of communication between the parties.
  • It allows both parties to participate.
  • It provides a private environment.
  • It is a confidential process.
  • It makes the parties invest in the agreement and thus increases the compliance.
  • It is less expensive than litigating.

Choosing Your Mediator

Picking a mediator is the easy part.  Raleigh and Wake County are full of experienced and fair mediators.  In the same way you would pick an attorney who knows family law, find one who is also a family lawyer.  Preferably one who litigates cases.  Why would you want a mediator who also goes to court? Because the mediator has a clear reference of what judges do in various factual scenarios.

Furthermore, you don’t even have to pick a mediator in your custody case because one will be supplied by the Wake County Custody mediation office.

Preparing for Your Raleigh Divorce Mediation

Preparing is important.  If you are going to Raleigh child custody mediation through the county, your attorney will not be at there with you.  However, you should talk to your attorney prior to mediation to prepare.  If you are going to a financial mediation with your lawyer, make sure to prepare in advance and carry along important documents.

What is the biggest downside of this process?  It’s that it can’t force either party to be reasonable.  For mediation to work the way it is supposed to, both parties must engage in the process with an attitude of good faith.

Do you want to learn more about mediation?

You might want to read these articles:

Do you need an attorney or a mediator?

If you need an attorney or a mediator in your case call Scott Allen at (919) 863-4183.