Written by Jonathan Breeden
Have you decided to split from your spouse, adopt a child, or pursue child support? What comes next? Many people have their first encounter with the judicial system through actions in family court. In some jurisdictions, family matters are handled specifically by family courts which are a division of District Court. But Johnston County family court hearings are handled by the District Court.
The District Court is split into four types of cases: criminal, civil, juvenile, and magisterial. Because there is no family court, matters pertaining to divorce, child custody, visitation, alimony, and support are docketed in the civil division of the court. While Johnston County District Court judges will hear all of these matters, you could encounter more than one judge because of the various issues to resolve.
Because of the complexity of the legal system, the rules that must be followed, and the seriousness of family legal matters, you need an experienced Johnston County family attorney to navigate the system and advocate on your behalf. At Breeden Law Office, our team has many years of experience dealing with family cases in Johnston County.
If you have a legal matter that requires the help and attention of an experienced lawyer, contact us today at (919) 661-4970 to schedule an initial consultation of your case.
While you are entitled to represent yourself in legal matters, because of the seriousness of family court issues, you should consider hiring an attorney. By doing so, you know your legal rights will remain protected, and that you have an advocate for your needs.
Prior to any hearing that you must attend, your attorney will make sure you have the date, time, and place of the hearing. Make sure you request time off from work to attend the proceeding. If you fail to show, there could be legal consequences.In addition, another date will have to be set, leading to a delay in resolving your case.
You also will be prepared for the proceeding through meetings with counsel – through phone calls, or by email. You may need to bring documents, provide witnesses’ names, or go over the possible testimony you’ll give.
On the day of your hearing, you should allow plenty of time to travel so that you arrive on time. You may be asked to get there early so that you and your attorney can go over any last-minute details. While there is no specific dress code required in Johnston County District Court, you should arrive in clean, modest, and untorn clothes.
You may be asked to sit at a table with your attorney or possibly just in the courtroom while your attorney meets with the other side’s counsel and the judge at the bench. Unless specifically asked to speak, you should expect to remain silent.Your ex will likely be in attendance, as well. If you’re on bad terms with the other party involved in the case, remain civil and avoid interaction as much as possible.
Depending on the type of proceeding, you could be asked to testify. If you are, you will be sworn in on the witness stand, and then your attorney will ask you questions. After your attorney is finished, the other side’s lawyer can also ask questions. In some cases, the judge may also speak to you about your testimony.
Afterward, you will leave the courtroom and likely discuss the hearing with your attorney, who will explain what you can expect in terms of a ruling or the next steps in your case.
Family court matters sometimes take several months and a series of hearings to resolve. Legal issues in divorce, child custody, or support can be stressful and upsetting. But because of his experience in Johnston County family cases, attorney Jonathan Breeden can guide you through the process. He understands that by making sure you understand the expectations of hearings, your case will proceed more smoothly and with less stress for you.
Contact Breeden Law Office today at (919) 661-4970 to schedule a consultation about your family’s legal issue.