Questions About Divorce

Divorce is often a stressful and uncertain time in life, and usually there are a lot of questions surrounding the divorce – questions like, how to get a divorce, where do you file for divorce and do you need a lawyer for divorce? These and other questions will be at the forefront of your mind during the divorce process and it takes good legal representation like Angela Hatley to help guide you through the proper legal procedures and answer the many questions that will come up. For more in-depth answers to your questions, be sure to schedule your initial consultation with The Hatley Law Firm office today.


1. How long does the divorce process take? 
There is really no way of calculating how long a divorce case will take. The time a divorce takes varies case by case and depends on several factors, including the nature of the divorce, the parties to the divorce, the county that the divorce papers are filed in, the judge, the state, etc.

In the State of North Carolina, you must meet the following requirements in order to file for divorce: (a) you have been separated from your spouse for one year (b) you have lived in North Carolina for at least six months.

Complicated divorce cases can take longer, particularly if the parties are fighting over custody and finances. If you want the court to make decisions about child custody, alimony, spousal support or division of property, you must file for those before a judgement of divorce. If you or your spouse file for divorce before resolving these issues, you could lose your rights. Be sure to talk to your lawyer about these matters right away.

2. What is the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce? 
A divorce is uncontested if both parties to the divorce want to get divorced and agree about what will happen with their children, finances and property after they dissolve their marriage. A divorce is contested if one spouse does not want to get divorced, if the parties disagree about the reasons for the divorce or the date of separation, and/or if they disagree over what will happen with their children, finances or property after the divorce. Contested divorces generally take more time and require more visits to family court. Contested divorces have a higher need for each party to retain a lawyer.

3. How do you file for divorce? 
Usually, you may file for a divorce in the county where your spouse lives, in the county where you and your spouse lived at the time of your separation or in the county where you live if your spouse doesn’t live in your state. To file for a divorce in North Carolina, you must have lived in the state for at least six months. There are many factors to take into consideration as to where you can file, so be sure to consult with your lawyer.

4. Do I need a lawyer to get a divorce? 
It is strongly advised that both parties to a divorce meet with a lawyer. Divorce law can be complicated and it is important that each spouse’s interests are represented and advocated for, as well as follow the proper legal procedures. Even in an uncontested divorce it is highly recommended that a lawyer is consulted.

5. Is a military divorce like other divorce cases? 
A military divorce is different from other divorce cases because other additional legal issues are involved. Some of these issues are divorce while deployed, relocation, VA disability pay, military pensions and survivor benefits. Angela Hatley has the knowledge and the experience to successfully handle military family law and protect the rights of our servicemembers and their spouses.

6. I have an attorney but I think I want to hire someone else. Can I do this? 
If you are unhappy with your current representation, contact us to schedule an appointment to learn more about The Hatley Law Firm. Our firm has been representing a diverse clientele for over 20 years, and a portion of our clients have come to us after they had already retained a lawyer elsewhere. Please note that Angela Hatley cannot give legal advice regarding your case until your current lawyer has withdrawn. If you decide to switch to The Hatley Law Firm, we will file a Consent to Change Attorney and Notice of Appearance with the court and request that your former attorney send us your case file.

7. What should I bring to my consultation? 

After scheduling a consultation with The Hatley Law Firm, you will be asked to fill out a short form. This form will ask the ba- sics of your case, as well as general information. You do not need to have your spouse accompany you to the consultation because we are only able to represent one party in the action. If you have already been served with a Summons, you should bring it with you to the consultation. It is also suggested to bring a notepad and pen to take notes during the meeting.

Be prepared to discuss goals pertaining to any children to the marriage, what has occurred in your case so far, any assets you and your spouse have, as well as your financial situation regarding income, debts, etc. It may be useful to bring your tax- es or recent paystubs to your consultation. It is also suggested to bring along any legal documents that relate to your marriage, such as prenuptial agreements, separation agreements, or if you were already served with a Divorce Summons.

8. In what counties does The Hatley Law Firm represent clients? 
Angela Hatley represents clients in both Cumberland and Hoke County of North Carolina.

>See Cumberland County Courthouse
>See Hoke County Courthouse


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Notice: The information found on pertains to North Carolina Law only. It is a free public informational site about The Hatley Law Firm. It is not legal advice about a legal problem and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

The facts of an individual case must be reviewed by an inde- pendent counsel of your choice.

Our generalized statements may not appertain to your case. Changes in law could make parts of this site’s content obsolete.

Other links/websites/additional resources found on this website are not endorsements and The Hatley Law Firm makes no rep- resentation of their services.