Frequently Asked Questions
Your office is located in Jacksonville, but what parts of North Carolina does your practice cover?
For family law and state criminal matters we serve clients exclusively in Onslow County. For personal injury and workers compensation we serve client in all of eastern North Carolina. If it is not feasible for us to help we will be glad to assist you in finding a lawyer who can.
What are my payment options?
We accept most common forms of payment, including cash, personal check or money order, and debit or credit cards (Visa, Mastercard and Discover).
Initial consultations in all matters are free of charge. For additional consultations there is a there is a consultation fee that is due at the time of the meeting. When you call to schedule an appointment we can give you more information about what charge might apply, if any. For many types of cases we are able to offer flexible payment plans as well.
How can we reach you?
You are welcome to stop by our office during our normal office hours, Monday through Thursday 8:00-5:00 and Friday 8:00-4:00, though to meet with a lawyer we generally ask that you call ahead to schedule an appointment. After-hours meetings are by appointment only. To reach us via email, fill out the Contact Us form with as much information as possible and somebody from our office will call or email you shortly. Our office telephone number is (910) 333-0224.
I have recently moved out of the marital residence, what do it need to do to be legally separated?
In North Carolina you are legally separated from your spouse when either of you decide that you no longer wish to be married and you physically separated. You cannot reside in the same residence and be separated. You do not have to file any paper work to establish a legal separation, however documentation to establish the date of separation may be needed if the date of separation is contested.
I have just recently separated from my spouse, when can I file for divorce?
In North Carolina you have to be separated for at least a year before you can file for an absolute divorce. If you are military or military dependent you may be able to file for divorce in your home of record state, which may have a shorter waiting period.
Do I have to wait a year for child support, spousal support and my share of our marital property?
No, but if you and your spouse cannot agree on child support, spousal support and division of property you may need to seek the advice of an attorney about a separation agreement of some other form of action. Some action, such as the division of marital property (equitable distribution) and spousal support must take place before the divorce is granted. You should seek the advice of an attorney before you divorce.
What does a Separation Agreement Cover?
A separation agreement can resolve all issues that arise out of the dissolution of the marriage if the parties are able to come to an agreement. It can settle custody, visitation, child support, spousal support and the division of the property. Separation agreements in North Carolina do not have to be approved by the court.
What is the standard custody arrangement?
More and more courts are implementing shared physical custody arrangements when possible, it is now common place to see parents alternating physical custody weekly when they live in close proximity to each other. In is not uncommon to see younger children who haven’t started school in shared custody arrangements even if the parents do not reside in the same state.
Do grandparents have any custody rights?
Yes, Grandparent have to right to petition for custody against the parents, and may be awarded custody if they can prove that the parents are unfit or have acted inconsistent with their rights as parents. In certain circumstances grandparent can petition to intervene in custody cases to establish visitation with the minor children.
Can I Get The Conditions Of My Bond Changed?
If you are arrested for a crime in North Carolina, you may have the right to be released pending your trial. The court may impose a financial bond to ensure your compliance with any release requirements and to ensure you will appear at all court hearings. The amount and conditions of the bond are decided by the judge after the judge considers all of the factors surrounding your criminal charge. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help you change the conditions of your bond under some circumstances.
Is It Ever Legal To Possess Marijuana In North Carolina?
This is a common question many people have given the fact that some states have legalized medical marijuana and other states have legalized marijuana for recreational use. North Carolina continues to classify marijuana as a controlled substance; therefore, possessing marijuana in North Carolina is a crime. You cannot possess, sell, or grow marijuana in North Carolina. If you are found guilty of marijuana drug charges, you face serious negative consequences.
What Happens If I Get Caught Driving With A Suspended License?
In North Carolina, a suspended driver’s license is the same as a revoked driver’s license – these terms are interchangeable. In both cases, your driving privileges have been revoked which could seriously affect your ability to work and to provide for your family. Some of the reasons why your license may be suspended in North Carolina include driving while impaired, failure to appear in court, too many traffic violations, mandatory suspension for some traffic violations, failure to pay child support, dropping out of high school, and failing to perform court-ordered community service. Regardless of why you have a suspended driver’s license, driving with a suspended driver’s license is a crime. If you are convicted of DWLR (driving while license revoked), you face serious criminal penalties.
Will I Be Able To Possess A Gun If I Have a Felony Conviction?
Owning and possession a firearm is a constitutional right; however, you can lose this right if you are convicted of a North Carolina felony charge. North Carolina criminal law prohibits convicted felons from owning or possession a firearm. In some cases, you may be able to restore your firearm rights.
Does A Person Charged With Domestic Violence Have To Stay In Jail For 48 Hours?
North Carolina treats domestic violence as a serious matter. If convicted of domestic violence, you face serious criminal penalties. Even if the police are simply investigating charges of domestic violence, you should immediately consult a criminal defense lawyer instead of waiting until the police decide whether to make an arrest. While automatic jail time may not be a requirement of a domestic violence charge, you could spend 48 hours or more in jail if you are arrested.
North Carolina Expungement: Can I Get My Criminal Case Expunged?
Having a criminal record can make it very difficult to get the job that you want, live where you desire, or own a firearm. In some cases, you may be able to have your criminal conviction expunged from your record. If the expungement is successful, it will be as if you were never arrested and convicted of a crime in North Carolina.
Do I Have To Answer Questions From The Police?
You have the right to remain silent if the police want to question you regarding a criminal investigation. You also have the right to remain silent if the police arrest you on any criminal charge.