family court

What to expect in family court in North Carolina – Often, court is not a very pleasant thing and people try to avoid having to be in a court proceeding as much as they can.  It is no different in family court, even though it is common for someone to have to deal with some kind of family court issue at least once in their lives because of all the areas that family law covers.

The anxiety that people feel about court is partially because they don’t know what to expect and what is going to happen.  In this blog we will try to give a little bit of an overview about what to expect in family court.  This is intended for informational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a family law attorney.

Why would have I have to be in Family Court in the first place?

In our Blog about what a family law attorney does, we talk about the wide range of matters involving domestic relationships (or former relationships) that would land you in family court, included but not limited to:

How do I know when I have to be in Family Court?

If someone starts a family law action against you, you will know it.  This is because part of the process of the initial action to give notice to all parties involved.  Once you find out that you are part of an action, information about the time of hearings, filling deadlines, and trials can be obtained by calling or visiting the appropriate court or consulting an attorney.

How long do family court cases last, and how long will it take to resolve my case?

The answer to both of these questions depends, in large part, on the opposing party on your case.  Family law can be as easy or as hard as the people involved make it.  The more things that are contested the longer things will take.  The more that parties are willing to work things out the less time things will take.

  • Individual hearings or trials can be as short as a few minutes or as long as several weeks.
  • A family law case can start and end in as little as three months or can last several years if the parties have several matters that need a resolution.

Sometimes everything can be resolved in just a couple of court appearances and sometimes there are issues that come up that must be addressed by the court.  At times, some of the issues are resolved via consent, while other things require a trial.

What is the environment like in family court?

Family court is very formal. Court in general is formal and professional and the parties to a court case should behave that way. Just a few of things to adhere to and consider are as follows:

  • You are expected to dress professionally. This is business attire, for all parties whether plaintiff, defendant, or witness.
  • You are expected to be on-time, adhere to all filing deadlines, and follow directions given by court officers.
  • You are expected to speak and communicate professionally, and only when it is your turn to do so.
  • You are expected to respect the rulings of the judge, and show respect to the all parties involved in a court proceeding.
  • Misbehavior will not be tolerated, including; bickering, yelling, threatening, throwing things, or hitting someone or something while you are in court.

What else should I be prepared for?

A lot. There are several formalities and requirements that are present that usually make hiring an attorney your best option.

If you have in need of a family law attorney, contact us. We handle family law matters in Charlotte, North Carolina and the surrounding areas.