Wake County Family Court Process

Wake County is the 10th Judicial District in North Carolina and has its own court rules and procedures. The rules you must follow for a family matter in Wake County are not the same as those for Johnston or Harnett counties.

That is why when you live in Wake County and have a family-related legal issue, you need to work with an attorney who is familiar with this local court system. An attorney who focuses on family matters in another county will not immediately know the domestic rules for Wake County Courts in District 10 or be familiar with the judges and coordinators in Wake County.

If you need to move forward with a divorce, have a paternity or child custody dispute, were a victim of domestic violence, or are part of another family matter, contact a family attorney at Breeden Law Office. North Carolina family law attorney Jonathan Breeden will review your situation and explain the Wake County family court process. Call (919) 661-4970 for an initial consultation.

Wake County’s Family Court System


In North Carolina, the court system is divided into three divisions: the District Court Division, the Superior Court Division, and the Appellate Division. In addition to these courts, counties can create specialty courts to handle specific types of cases. Wake County has implemented a family court dedicated to domestic matters, including:

  • Divorce
  • Custody and visitation
  • Child support
  • Spousal support/alimony
  • Equitable distribution of property
  • Allegations of abused, neglected, or dependent children
  • Allegations of delinquent or undisciplined children
  • Domestic violence
  • Termination of parental rights

When you have a family matter that must head to court in Wake County, you can feel comfortable knowing your issue will go before a judge that specifically hears domestic cases and no other types of civil claims. The family court judges are trained to hear family-related issues and to make decisions fully in accordance with North Carolina law. You will also have one judge assigned to your family, providing you with consistency throughout the legal process.

How Family Court Differs in Wake County

The Family Court Process

If you have a family-related legal matter, contact an experienced and trusted family attorney at Breeden Law Office right away. We will explain North Carolina law regarding your matter, your rights and obligations, and what to expect in the family court process.

Some of the major steps of the family court process are:

  • Filing your matter in court- If you wish to begin legal proceedings, you will have to file the initial paperwork in court. For example, if you want a divorce, you must file a document asking the court to dissolve your marriage. Filing a claim requires following the county’s specific procedures and paying a filing fee. Your attorney will draft your initial documents, ensure they are properly filed, and make sure the other parties are properly served.
  • Alternative dispute resolution- In many domestic issues, a judge will require you and the other parties to first go through an alternative dispute resolution method such as mediation or non-binding arbitration. This gives you and the other parties a chance to come to an agreement yourselves instead of relying on the judge’s decision. In almost all custody and visitation matters, mediation is required. The same is true for divorcing parties who need to resolve their property division and financial issues. If a judge does not order mediation or you and the other party are unable to come to an agreement, then your matter will go before a judge.
  • Working with a coordinator- In some divorce and custody disputes, you may be assigned a parenting coordinator. This is a professional who is specially trained to work with parents on custody and visitation issues.
  • Motions and judicial decisions- During a family matter, your attorney may file numerous motions that ask the judge to make a decision regarding a procedural or substantive part of your case. Most family matters require numerous legal hearings over months. You may be required to be in court a number of times. However, your attorney may be able to represent you without you being present on certain court dates.
  • A final order- Eventually your legal matter will come to a resolution. This may happen because you and the other party came to an agreement, or if you asked the judge for a final decision. In either case, the judge will hand down a final order. This will dictate how you will need to behave moving forward. For example, a final divorce decree dissolving your marriage will enable you to move forward independently. A final child custody and visitation order will outline your and your child’s other parent’s decision-making powers and time with your child.

Raleigh Family Court Resources

What Can I Expect in Family Court?




Let Breeden Law Office Help You

If you have a legal issue, all you may know is that you need to head to your local court system. However, what that means can vary greatly depending on where you live. Each county’s local district courts are set up differently. While Wake County has a family court to handle domestic issues, other counties such as Johnston and Harnett counties do not. This is why it is essential to work with an attorney who is not only well-versed in your type of legal matter, but who is also familiar with your local court system.

At Breeden Law Office, attorney Jonathan Breeden has years of experience representing individuals throughout Johnston, Harnett, and Wake counties. He is up-to-date on the procedural differences in these regions, and have established relationships inside these courthouses.

To learn more about the law and rules surrounding your legal matter in Wake County, contact Breeden Law Office online, or call (919) 661-4970 today to schedule your initial consultation.

Call Breeden Law Office today:

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Divorce In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

A book by Jonathan Breeden