loader image

Family Law Attorneys in Carteret County

At Wheatly Law Firm we offer legal representation and assistance in many different areas of law. If you are facing a family law issue then a Carteret County family lawyer will be able to work with you to pursue the best possible outcome to your situation.

There are many cases after a divorce where situations like child custody, visitation rights and support payments become inconvenient and an adjustment is desired. We will be able to help you file for a modification to these various circumstances so that they may better suite your needs and desires.

Our firm has extensive experience in various family law issues and we will be able to assist you in all of the following ways:

Separation Agreements

During the process of separation, but before any divorce is final, couples often write up a formal agreement that designates support and other financial issues. It should include child support payment amounts, a schedule of visitation, alimony criteria and other important matters that are settled in a divorce. If you and your spouse can agree on these issues, you may not have to even appear in court as your lawyer can take the agreement to the judge for it to be signed and become official.

Post Separation Support

After a separation but prior to determining alimony, post separation support may be designated for one spouse to pay to the more dependent spouse. This means that monetary payments must be made from the spouse typically with a higher income to the one that is more in a financial bind as a result of the separation.


In the time after a divorce has been finalized, one spouse may be ordered to pay the other spouse after their marriage has been dissolved. The amount of spousal support payment is denoted by the financial condition of both individuals and is a legal obligation for the spouse to provide monetarily for the other. There can be various forms depending on the situation, including rehabilitative alimony and permanent alimony.


Most child custody agreements are settled prior to going to court and are decided by a mutual agreement between parents. If the custody case does go before a judge, he or she will determine custody rights based on numerous factors. This includes the welfare of the parents, any history of substance abuse or violence, proximity of parent to child’s comfortable surroundings and ultimately whatever choice is in the child’s best interests. One parent may receive sole custody or they may share joint custody depending on the circumstances.

Child Support

One parent will often have to make financial payments to help maintain their child’s well-being and ensure that they are properly cared for. It is an ongoing expense often paid by the non-custodial parent to the parent who is in charge of taking care of the child’s everyday needs. This principle is a legally binding agreement and is ordered by the courts in most situations where the parents are not living together.

Equitable Distribution

Dividing the property and assets of both spouses in the process of a divorce is referred to as equitable distribution. This process is typically determined by a judge, unless the couple can come to an amicable agreement through a property settlement. It is not simply dividing the marital property into equal parts, but various factors are considered such as the length of the marriage as well as the income brought in by each spouse.


The process of divorce involves dissolution of marriage that terminates all bonds of matrimony as well as ending any responsibility the former spouses had in their relationship. Divorce agreements can be settled by either on a no-fault or fault basis. There are a whole myriad of issues involved with divorce including spousal support, property distribution and child support if the couple had any children. It is most wise to obtain a lawyer that is knowledgeable before progressing into any divorce filing.

Domestic Violence

When one partner in a close relationship has a pattern of abuse, violence, or battery against their family or significant other this qualifies as domestic violence. It can manifest in various forms such as restraining, hitting, sexual abuse, proposing threats, intimidation and other avenues. In North Carolina it is punishable by anywhere from a month to several years of incarceration as well as substantial fees and limited freedom for the accused.


Adults that may be unable to perform basic functions due to mental illnesses, age, or any other factor that inhibits their ability to make competent choices on their own may need a guardian. There must be significant evidence to prove that he or she is incompetent on their own and that they need a respondent to act on their behalf. It is then the responsibility of the guardian to make wise decisions on behalf of their ward and be an active participant in their lives. There are various types of guardianship roles and the state may make certain decisions based on the facts of the case at hand.


The basic premise of adoption is to create a beneficial and legally binding relationship between parents and a child that are not already related. For children in North Carolina, it is more about finding a family that is most suited for their needs, not the parents finding a child that fits their lives well. Strict laws and guidelines must be adhered to throughout the entire process. It is advised the families hire an attorney before beginning the adoption process on their own.

Seeking Relief? Allow Our Firm to Help You Move Forward

Our firm has the experience that you need on your side, we will be able to answer any questions you may have, discuss your options with you and advise you of the best action for you to take in your situation. Each Carteret County family law attorney at our firm is devoted to bettering our community, and has been since 1908. You can be sure that if you choose to work with us that we will work to provide you with the best outcome of your situation that we can.

Contact Wheatly Law Firm at (252) 728-3158 to schedule a consultation