Johnston & Harnett County Family Case Process

If you live in Johnston or Harnett County, you want a family law attorney who knows your local court system and the district court judges. While Johnston and Harnett counties send their family matters to the district court, other counties may have set up their legal system differently.

When you work with a family law attorney more familiar with another county’s court system and procedures, you could end up making critical mistakes and missing deadlines. Breeden Law Office knows the ins and outs of Johnston County family court and Harnett County family court, ensuring you have accurate guidance and advice through the legal process.

To learn more about the court system and legal process for family matters in Johnston and Harnett counties, contact North Carolina family law attorney Jonathan Breeden online, or call (919) 661-4970 to schedule your initial consultation.

Family Matters in Johnston & Harnett Counties

North Carolina has three divisions of courts: the District Court Division, the Superior Court, and the Appellate Division. Johnston and Harnett County are in the same Judicial District so they have the same judges in District Court and these courts are governed by very similar local rules of court.

When it comes to family matters that require legal intervention in Johnston and Harnett counties, you will take your case to a district court. Both counties have four types of district courts: criminal, civil, juvenile, and magisterial. You will notice there is no specific court designated to family matters in either area. Instead, family cases such as divorce, child custody and visitation, adoption, alimony, and paternity, are covered by the civil division of the district court that only deals with family law matters.

Every aspect of your family matter will be heard by a district court judge. However, the different issues may be heard by different judges. For instance, your child custody dispute during a divorce could be heard by one judge while issues regarding property division may be decided by another.

How Family Court Differs in Johnston County and Harnett County

Family Court in Johnston & Harnett Counties

If you have a family-related legal issue in Johnston or Harnett counties, you can expect to go through a legal process that includes:

  • Meeting with an attorney. Both Johnston and Harnett counties have specific legal procedures you must follow in regard to filing and moving forward with a legal matter. Before you begin a family case, you should speak with an experienced and trusted local attorney.
  • Filing your case in court. Once you have discussed your rights, obligations, and legal options with your family law attorney, you may take your matter to court. This will include filing the initial paperwork and paying the initial filing fees with the clerk of court.
  • Court-specific procedures. The local rules and procedures you must follow in your family matter depend on where it takes place. The domestic court rules are the same throughout District 11, the district that includes both Johnston and Harnett counties. However, there may be some differences between the two locations depending on your case.
  • Alternative dispute resolution. You may be required to first try and resolve your family issue through non-binding arbitration or mediation. For instance, when you file for divorce, the district court judge may require you and your spouse to go through alternative dispute resolution methods to attempt to come to an agreement on major issues such as property distribution. Child custody matters are often sent to mediation first. If you come to an agreement, your resolution will go before the judge for approval. However, if the judge does not require arbitration or mediation or you are unable to resolve the issue in this way, then your matter will go to the judge.
  • Judicial decisions. During family matters, your attorney may file a number of motions. You and your lawyer will go before a judge to present your argument for each of these motions and ask for a specific outcome. The judge may provide an answer at that same hearing or at a later date. This means you may have to attend a number of court hearings throughout your family case. During some court dates, your attorney may be able to represent you without you attending.
  • A final order. Many family law matters take months or years to come to a resolution. However, when you and the other parties reach a settlement you can present to the court or when a judge has made a final decision, you will receive your final order. For a divorce, this is commonly known as the divorce decree, which formally ends your marriage.
What Can I Expect in Family Court?

Contact A North Carolina Family Lawyer Today

If you have questions regarding a family law matter, contact Breeden Law Office right away. Whether you want to draft a prenuptial agreement, expand your family through adoption, or need to proceed with a divorce, attorney Jonathan Breeden will explain North Carolina law regarding the matter.

Jonathan Breeden has more than 19 years of experience working in Johnston and Harnett counties. He knows the nuances of each county’s district courts and has appeared before the various district court judges. He will ensure your family case follows proper procedure and can let you know what to expect every step of the way.

For more information on family cases are handled in your county, contact Breeden Law Office online, or call (919) 661-4970 to schedule your initial, confidential consultation.

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Divorce In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

A book by Jonathan Breeden