Cary, North Carolina Divorce Lawyer & Family Law Tools and Resources

Get the information YOU need to make better decisions about your divorce case

Scared.  Sad.  Fearful.  These are all words to describe what you are going through right now.  But before you talk to your spouse, or engage a divorce lawyer to help you, get the information and resources you need…

Cary, NC Divorce Lawyer | Family Law Attorney - North Carolina

It’s a new day in your life…

Although NC Divorce Laws are complex, you may or may not need a lawyer to assist you with your divorce.  I’ve created this website with you in mind.  You’ll find tools, resources, articles and videos (coming soon) about common questions and concerns that folks have when they are thinking about filing for divorce in North Carolina.

Thinking about filing your own divorce? CLICK HERE first to check out our DIY Divorce.

Cary, North Carolina Divorce Lawyer Provides Free Books and Resources for Anyone Contemplating Divorce

Top 5 Questions About Hiring a Divorce Lawyer in Cary, North Carolina

  1. “Do I need a lawyer for my case?” Not every couple going through a divorce needs a lawyer.  Here’s an article to help you tell whether you need a lawyer.
  2. “I hired a divorce lawyer and now they won’t return my calls, what should I do?” It’s important that you understand the legal process of divorce. Here are some questions you can ask your divorce lawyer to make sure they are on top of your case.
  3. “I found a separation agreement online.  Do I need a lawyer to review it?”  Here’s my quick take on cheap and easy online forms.
  4. “I can’t afford a lawyer.  What are my options?” There are a number of low cost or even free services and resources for those who can’t afford to hire a divorce lawyer.  Here’s my list.
  5. “Do I need a lawyer to complete an absolute divorce?”  Maybe.  Here’s some guidance.

Top 8 Questions about the Divorce Process in North Carolina

  1. “What do I do if my spouse won’t leave the marital home?”  This is the single-most asked question I get, and here is my answer.
  2. “Do I need a separation agreement to leave the marital home?”  Sometimes yes and sometimes no.  This can get a little tricky. Here are 6 reasons you might need a separation agreement.
  3. “My spouse is cheating on me, what does that mean for my divorce?” If your spouse is cheating on you, it is referred to as “marital misconduct”. Here is an article that discusses marital misconduct and what it means for your case.
  4. “If I leave without an agreement, will I get punished for abandonment?” Abandonment is a factor to be considered when a spouse is seeking alimony, as well as a ground for a divorce from bed and board. Here is an article that further explains the issue of abandonment.
  5. “My spouse left and won’t pay support, what do I do?” If your spouse left and won’t provide you with support, you need to contact a lawyer right away.  It can take a long time to get into court, so the longer you wait, the longer you might go without support. You can reach our office at (919) 460-5422 to schedule an initial consultation.
  6. Do I qualify for an Marriage Annulment in North Carolina?”  In most cases, no.  Annulment is a rare occurrence – but you can read this article on marriage annulment in North Carolina to check and see if you might qualify. 
  7. I signed a prenup – Can I get out of it?”  It is going to depend a lot on the facts of your case.  Here is an article I wrote that discusses the different grounds for attacking a prenuptial agreement in North Carolina.
  8. Do I need to redo my estate plan?” Typically yes. You will need to review and update your estate planning documents. Having recently launched our estate planning practice, we can assist you with that. Click here to learn more about how divorce will affect your estate planning.
  9. Can I Disinherit my spouse in North Carolina?” Yes and no. We’ve prepared an entire article on what you need to know about how to disinherit your spouse.

Top 6 Questions about Absolute Divorce in North Carolina

  1. Do I need to be separated from my spouse to file for Divorce?” Yes. In North Carolina, you must be separated from your spouse for one year before you file for divorce.
  2. What does it mean to be separated? Can we live in the same house but different bedrooms?” No. You and your spouse must live in two separate residences. Living in separate bedrooms does not count.
  3. “Do I have to live in North Carolina to get divorced here?” Not necessarily. Either you or your spouse must be a resident of North Carolina for at least six months prior to filing for divorce in North Carolina.
  4. “Do I need a lawyer to help me file for Divorce?” That depends. Some people do and other people do not. Here’s an article that can help you make this decision.
  5. “How long does it take to obtain a divorce in North Carolina?” Once you have been separated for one year, the process typically takes between 60-90 days, assuming the divorce is uncontested and there are no problems getting your spouse served.
  6. Will I need to Update my Estate Planning Documents after I get Divorced?” Yes, you absolutely (no pun intended) need to update your estate planning documents after you get a divorce. This is an important step towards starting your life over after divorce. Click here to schedule a family wealth planning session with our firm to learn about your options.

Many individuals are finding that divorce can be civilized, and it can be fair.  What most people don’t understand is that the lawyer you choose to represent you will have a large role in dictating how your case will proceed, and whether it will be stressful, litigious and expensive, or civilized and fair.

My goal is to build relationships with clients (i.e. you) and attorneys alike, with an eye towards solving your problems, rather than creating “issues” to be litigated.  Deeply rooted relationships are the key to my business model, because they help to create and foster win-win solutions between you and your spouse, and you will ultimately reach a better settlement as a result.

We welcome you to contact us today with any other questions you may have.

Cary, North Carolina Divorce and Estate Planning Law Firm Who we are and how we can help you

Cary Divorce Lawyer James Hart provides representation and legal counsel to those individuals who are seeking to end their marriage in a civilized manner. We have also recently launched an estate planning practice to help our divorce clients, as well as young families in Cary that need to protect their families through effective planning. Here’s a beginner’s guide to everything you need to know about estate planning in North Carolina.

If you live in the Triangle, including Wake, Durham, and Orange counties, then we may be able to help you. We also work with clients throughout State of North Carolina.  Our office is conveniently located in Cary, North Carolina, off of Davis Drive with easy access to Route 1, Interstate 40 and the beltline.  This is a great location for residents of Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, North Raleigh, RTP and all other areas in Wake County.

Cary Divorce Attorney James Hart recognizes that family law and divorce cases are difficult both emotionally and legally.  We will work with you to develop “outside the box” solutions to inherently difficult and complicated legal problems.  As mentioned above, we are strong advocates for alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as mediation and collaborative divorce.  We have found that most clients that work with us will never need to go to court, but in the event you do, we will take whatever steps are necessary to protect your legal interests in the courtroom.

Where to start?

Begin by ordering a copy of your No Cost North Carolina Divorce Guide.

Free North Carolina Divorce Guide

If you haven’t already ordered a copy of our Free North Carolina Divorce Guide, please take a minute to do so now! It will be automatically sent to a discrete email address of your choosing, and we promise not to harass you after you order. If you find the information helpful and have questions, please call me.

I’ve read the Divorce Guide… Now What?

After you have had a chance to review the NC divorce guide, the next step is to schedule an initial assessment.  For many people, moving ahead with a divorce is a difficult thing to do, while for others it is very easy.  Regardless of where you are in the process, the initial assessment will help you to evaluate all of your options.

Contact Us to schedule your no-obligation, no-risk divorce assessment.

Some of the legal areas in which our family law and estate planning attorneys can assist you are:

Read more about NC Divorce Laws and NC Estate Planning.

Call or contact us at (919) 460-5422 to learn more about your legal options and to schedule a Divorce Assessment or Family Wealth Planning Session for Estate Planning Clients.


problems with joint ownership

The Problems with Joint Ownership as an Estate Planning Tool

If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Alternatively, you may sign up for email updates in the box to the right. Thanks for visiting!Today I want to discuss the main problems with joint ownership of property. I’ve talked to many people who think that joint ownership (also called “joint tenancy”) of property is a great and inexpensive way to avoid probate. They are correct that joint ownership is one way to avoid probate, but the problems with joint ownership can greatly outweigh the potential benefit of avoiding probate. How can Joint Ownership avoid Probate? […]

estate planning for pets

Don’t Forget to Include Your Pet in Your Estate Plan

I’ve talked a lot about what would happen to your kids if something happened and you didn’t make it home one night. But have you thought about what would happen to your pets? Estate planning for pets is one area of your planning that you cannot overlook if you have one (or many) furry members of your household. If you failed to plan, and you have children, then your kids would be taken into foster care. I realize this is not what you wanted, but at least they would be “safe”. But in the case of your animals, the chances […]

die without a will

What Happens If You Die Without a Will?

Understanding what would happen if you die without a will in North Carolina, or any state for that matter, is something that everyone should understand, but many people don’t. What I want to do here today is explain exactly what happens in North Carolina if you die without a will in place, and then underscore some of the main problem areas that can arise as a result. Have You Protected Your Kids from This Huge Hidden Danger? What Does It Mean if You Die Without a Will? If you die without a will, you are said to have died “intestate”. […]

life insurance and estate planning

Life Insurance and Estate Planning… Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

Life Insurance and Estate Planning go together perfectly. You really can’t (or shouldn’t) have one without the other. Just like peanut butter and jelly… and I love me a good PB&J… yum. But until about 6 years ago, I had never given life insurance (or estate planning) much thought. My Wife’s Grandfather was a career New York Life Agent, so she had brought up the topic of buying life insurance a few times, but it never went anywhere. Then a couple of things happened. First, we got pregnant with our first child. Knowing that we were soon going to be […]

choosing a guardian

Choosing a Guardian for Your Children… What You Need to Know

Many parents I first talk to don’t know the first thing about choosing a guardian for their kids. And frankly, why would you? We all believe that we are going to live forever and our kids would never need to have a guardian appointed to take care of them. But this is one of the hardest choices for my clients to make. Why Is Choosing a Guardian Such a Hard Choice? As parents, you love your children immensely. More than pretty much anything, and anyone I would guess. And you would do anything for your kids, right? I know that […]

North Carolina Will

Have You Created a North Carolina Will? An Overview of What You Need to Know

I’m amazed at how many people haven’t put proper estate planning in place to protect their family in the event something tragic happens to them. The best place to start is with an overview of the North Carolina Will. Why? Because when most people think of estate planning, they think of drafting a will. Here is a quick and dirty overview of what it means to have a will drafted in North Carolina. For a more in-depth review of estate planning, you should check out this post. If you have a young family, here is another article that provides more […]

estate planning

The Beginner’s Guide to Estate Planning for Young Families in Cary, NC

This past week, I attended several networking meetings. When I told people that I was an estate planning attorney for young families in Cary, I was absolutely blown away at how many people really didn’t understand what estate planning is, or the benefits and peace-of-mind that a carefully thought out estate plan can bring to you and your family. Having a complete and thorough estate plan in place is an amazing gift to your family and children. Unfortunately, most people think that estate planning is simply drafting up some legal documents, such as a will or a trust, throwing those documents […]

North Carolina Estate Plan

Estate Planning and Your North Carolina Divorce… What You Need to Know

There’s no denying that Divorce is an overwhelming process. Whether you are just starting to think about a divorce or are nearing the end of the process, you know that it is something that nobody wants to go through. You have so many different things to consider, including who will get the kids, how to divide up your retirement accounts and what to do with the house. So I don’t mean to throw gas on the fire, but you must add “meet with an estate planning lawyer” to your list of things to do. It is my hope that you will never […]

financial durable power of attorney

Three Legal Documents that Every Adult Needs

Regardless of whether you are 18 or 80, there are several legal documents that you must have in place to protect you in the event that you become incapacitated. These include a financial durable power of attorney, a healthcare power of attorney, and a living will. But before we get into those, what do I mean by “incapacitated?” Let’s examine the story of Hal Elrod… Many of you may know Hal – he is a well-known motivational speaker and author. He developed the idea for and wrote the book called The Miracle Morning (affiliate link). I had the privilege of meeting Hal […]

what a trump presidency means

What a Donald Trump Presidency Will Look Like for Families

No, it’s not the end of the world. At least I don’t think it is. But here is what a Donald Trump presidency will look like for young families in North Carolina and across the country. Whether you voted (and I hope you did) Republican, or Democrat or something entirely else yesterday, there is something that I hope we can all agree on – changes are coming. So today I found myself doing something that I never thought I would do… Perusing the Donald Trump website to try to figure out what his presidency might mean for young families in […]