Professional Resources

Professionals want to help their clients and
patients get through divorce a little easier.

Support Materials

Divorce & Parenting

Cooperative Parenting & Divorce – Local program that offers an interactive, comprehensive resources for parents to examine the complex reality of parenting apart. For info: 910-256-6163
Making Two Homes Work – Online educational program that examines the impact of conflict on children and how to create a more cooperative co-parenting relationship.
dc4k.org and divorcecare.org – Located nearby support groups where parents can share experiences and rebuild their lives. Children aged 5-12 can participate in activities and make friends with others going through similar transitions.

 

Mental Health

Dr. Phillip Sharp – Psychologist, New Hanover County
phillipsharp.truepath.com
Insight Health Services – Linda Whitlock, MSW, New Hanover County
insightwellnessservices.com
Integrated Therapy Associates – Yael Gold, Ph.D., New Hanover County
itahealing.com
Delta Behavioral Health – Maggie Brice, MSW, New Hanover County
deltadbt.com
Wilmington Psych – Tom Boeker, M.D., Ph.D., New Hanover County
wilmingtonpsych.net
Agape Counseling Services – Troy Peverall, LPC, LCAS, CCS, New Hanover County
agape-counseling.org
Potentials – Shelley Chambers, MSW, LCSW, Wilmington, NC
potentials.com
Mary Christine Parks, LCSW, LCAS, Wilmington, NC
marychristineparks.com
Marcia Gadlin Gelman, Marriage & Family Therapist, LMT, LLC 717-208-8154
Wilmington NC Conseling – Charis Counseling Center, Kim Longbottom and Tracy Boyer-Matthews
wilmingtonnccounseling.com

 

Spiritual Health

Cape Fear Freewill – Baptist Church, New Hanover County
capefearchurch.publishpath.com
First Baptist Church – Wilmington, New Hanover County
fbcwilmington.org
Grace Baptist Church – Wilmington, New Hanover County
gracenc.org
Divorce Care – Spiritual Assistance, New Hanover County
divorcecare.org

 

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Shelter & Hotline (Wilmington) 910-343-0703
North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence 888-232-9124
Brunswick County, Hope Harbor Home 910-754-5726
hopeharborhome.org
Pender County, Safe Haven of Pender 910-259-8989
safehavenofpender.com

 

Other Resources

Salt Magazine
saltmagazinenc.com
Cape Fear Magazine
capefearlivingmag.com
Wrightsville Beach Magazine
wrightsvillebeachmagazine.com
Wilmington Magazine
wilmingtonncmagazine.com
Coastline Mortgage – Mortgage Consultants, All of North Carolina
coastline-mortgage.com
Wilma Magazine – Wilmington’s Magazine for Women, New Hanover County
wilmaontheweb.com
Focus on the Coast – Magazine, New Hanover County
focusonthecoast.com
IRS – To Request Copies of Federal Tax Returns
irs.gov
NC Dept. of Revenue – To Request Copies of NC State Tax Returns
dor.state.nc.us
Link to “Putting Children First” and “Mending Hearts” videos shown at the Custody Mediation Orientation/Parent Education Program that can be shared with extended family and friends to help them understand the court process and child’s experience of separation and conflict.
nccourts.org
Tools to simplify shared child custody with online calendars and tips on how to conduct a business-like relationship with your co-parent.
ourfamilywizard.com
Free kit, Little Children, Big Challenges includes DVD, children’s storybook and guide for parents and caregivers.
sesamestreet.org
Tips for parents on ways to resolve differences and put children first.
proudtoparent.org
Hector Ingram, MAI
ncappraiser.com
Tuck Sleep Foundation
https://www.tuck.com/

 

Private Investigators

Lighthouse Investigative – Serving the Wilmington, NC area and beyond, Lighthouse Investigative stands by to provide you with the information you need at a competitive price.
lighthouseinvestigative.com
Bert Croom, LLC – Private Investigations, New Hanover County
bertcroom.com
Cape Fear Investigative Services – Private Investigator, New Hanover County
capefearinvestigative.com
East Coast Private Investigations – Private Investigator, New Hanover County
eastcoastprivateinvestigations.com

 

Family Law Attorneys in other Counties

Separating Together – Adrian J. Davis, Wake County
separatingtogether.com
Hatcher Law Group – Rowan, Stanly and Union Counties
hatcherlawgroup.com
Rosen Law Firm – Durham, Cabarrus, Wake, Orange, Gaston, Johnston, Mecklenburg Counties
rosen.com

 

Child Support

N.C. Child Support Guidelines – Child Support Resource, North Carolina
nddhacts01.dhhs.state.nc.us/WorkSheet.jsp
N.C. Child Support Calculator – Rosen Law Firm, North Carolina
rosen.com/childcalculator
N.C. Division of Social Services – N.C. Department of Health and Human Services
ncdhhs.gov
N.C. Child Support Enforcement – eChild Support, North Carolina
ncchildsupport.com

 

Collaborative Attorneys

Amy Ezzell
coastalcollab.com/aimee-l-ezzell
J. Albert Clyburn
wilmingtonfamilylaw.com
Ashley Michael
coastalcollab.squarespace.com/ashley-michael

 

Attorneys in Other Areas of Practice

Butler & Butler, L.L.P. – Bankruptcy Attorneys, New Hanover County
butlerbutler.com
The Cole Law Firm – Criminal Attorney, New Hanover County
aldenbcole.com
T.W. Kerner, PLLC – Business Attorney, New Hanover County
twkerner.com
Goolsby Law Firm – Criminal Attorney, New Hanover County
goolsbylaw.com
White and Hearne, LLP – Criminal Attorneys, New Hanover County
whiteandhearne.com
Kincaid and Associates – Business, Taxation, Employment, Estate Planning Attorney, New Hanover County
kincaidandassociates.com
Butler & Butler, L.L.P. – Bankruptcy Attorneys, New Hanover County
butlerbutler.com
The Cole Law Firm – Criminal Attorney, New Hanover County
aldenbcole.com

 

Books

The Truth About Children & Divorce: Dealing With Emotions So You and Your Children Can Thrive (Emery)
Putting Children First: Proven Parenting Strategies for Helping Children Thrive Through Divorce (J. Pedro-Carroll)
The Good Divorce: Keeping Your Family Together When Your Marriage Comes Apart (C. Ahrons)
Mom’s House, Dad’s House: A Complete Guide for Parents (I. Ricci, PhD)
Does Wednesday Mean Mom’s House or Dad’s: Parenting Together While Living Apart (M. Ackerman)
Divorce Poison: How to Protect Your Family from Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing (R. Warshak, PhD)
Good Parenting Through Your Divorce: The Essential Guide (M. E. Hannibal)
The Co-parenting Survival Guide: Letting Go of Conflict After a Difficult Divorce (E. Thayer, PhD)
Always Dad: Being a Great Dad During & After Divorce (P. Mandelstein)
101 Ways to Be a Long Distance Super-Dad… or Mom, Too! (G. Newman)
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking when Stakes are High (K. Patterson)

 

Helpful Info

From the Blog

How porn addiction affects marriage and causes divorce

I know that about 1/4 of my clients or their spouses are addicted at any point in time. What is so bad about an addict’s life? Why do they turn to drugs or porn? They own houses, cars, kids, pets, savings, vacations, and tons of stuff. Many of my clients, and maybe even my staff or I, are addicted to their mobile phones even. Porn addiction is a rampant reason for divorce. Porn addiction is likely the first step before a spouse cheats. Addiction is everywhere.

New research out of Portugal is teaching us that the American ideas on addiction are creating more problems. Portugal is the only nation that has decriminalized all drugs. Basically, it is not against the law to take any drug in Portugal.  The ideas about nudity and porn are also different in Europe also.

I just returned from my trip to Germany.  While there I spent hours riding on the trains and had plenty of time to think.  I thought about the clients who are porn addicts and how watching a stranger having sex on a computer screen is causing them to lose the actual person they are married to.  We can blame the spouse for not engaging in sex with their husband or wife under the belief that if only there was enough sex there is no need for porn.  But porn is used in place of human connection just like all addictive substances.  So when I see a case that involves a spouse’s use of porn, I now need to think about what type of human connections they have available to them.  Can this porn addiction stop?  Will the porn watching happen in the presence of the minor children or be on a computer they use?  The issue is pervasive in the United States and marriages are suffering because of porn. Porn is not the only addictive substance which our society is abusing, but it is one of the most hurtful to the other spouse.  A spouse that is being abandoned for porn blames themselves and finds fault within, thus suffering an identity crisis or at least a drop in self-esteem.

If you love someone with an addiction – click the link and watch the Ted Talk that pops up. Tell me what you think….are we on the right road with tough love or do we simply need more honest, authentic, and sympathetic love?

Divorce is a death that is filled with sorrow.

I recently read A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, which I highly recommend especially during the time of a divorce. One quote hit me like a ton of bricks: “Sorrow is unreliable in that way. When people don’t share it there is a good chance that it will drive them apart instead.

At the time of the vows you remember the hope, the joy, and sometimes the fear?  And now here you are – at the death of the dream. Divorce happens. It starts with the unfixable emotional hurts and culminates in separation.

That’s where I come in as an attorney. My clients have to share their sorrow and loss with me. I don’t take it upon myself, because sorrow is so very personal, but when shared it is lessened. When the pain of separation and divorce is understood and when the intricacies of the financial and legal issues are managed, then the emotional pain can be felt and moved through. It doesn’t disappear, but like all emotional pain, it can dull with time and new joys can fill the void.

Just yesterday I received an angry email from a client and I was confused. Prior to the email I had not heard any concerns, any hurt, any frustration. I had thought the case was moving in the right direction and the client was happy with both the representation and the future. How wrong. Yet, how could I have known?

Healing the Sorrow of Divorce

The worse thing for a divorce attorney is when the client suffers in silence. When my clients keeps their pain locked inside and won’t share it, I am lost in the quagmire of trying to help with no clear direction. That has the tendency to cause poor outcomes, a lack of understanding, and a loss of rights. So do the best a client can do is to be honest with me as their attorney.  Tell me of the loss you suffer through daily or when the pain is so much that the process becomes muddy and confusing or unbearable for that day. I care and I never want you to suffer in silence.

Here is a link to the book I mentioned:

Janet L. Gemmell

Q&A: Worried About Money

Question:  I have been married for 12 years to my husband.  He only works part-time.  Will I owe him alimony and if so how much and for how long?  – Worried About Money

Dear Worried About Money:

Alimony (and it’s kissing cousin Post Separation Support) are paid by a spouse that earns more to a spouse that earns less.  It does not matter if you are a husband or wife, the statute does not consider gender.  Based solely on what you wrote, yes you may owe alimony.

Now, the rest of your question is difficult.  In some NC counties there are alimony calculators or formulas, but we do not use one here.  The judge looks at the reasonable needs of both parties based off of their budgets and incomes which they provide on financial affidavits to the court.  The court may consider why your spouse is not employed full-time and can even impute him with income.  If he is imputed with income, then the court treats him as if he is actually earning that amount.  In that case, he may earn enough of imputed income that you would not owe him any alimony.  Before you agree to anything, go and at least meet with an attorney and find out what they think about your specific situation.  You could end up paying for years, so make sure the amount is correct.  You could also end up not paying at all.  That is more than enough reason to meet with an attorney.  Best of luck!

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information above is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. This answer is provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

Don’t Understand

Question:

Dear Cape Fear Family Law:

Do I need to file for separation?  How is that different from divorce?

-Don’t Understand

 

Answer:

Dear Don’t Understand:

Separation is the date you and your spouse start to live separately – not in separate rooms in the same house, but in different homes.  Divorce is the legal end to the marriage, which you can file for 1 day and 1 year after the date of separation.  The issues of post separation support, alimony, and property division need to occur prior to divorce, or the rights are lost.  Forever lost!  If you want to keep your attorney fees and costs to a minimum, try to resolve things through a Separation Agreement or through the courts as close to the separation date as before.  Talk to an attorney about your options and get moving.

 

 

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information above is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. This answer is provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

 

Duct Tape Needed

Question:

Dear Cape Fear Family Law:

I am supposed to co-parent with my ex, but he is impossible.  He constantly tells the children things they should not know – how much I receive in child support, that I have a new boyfriend, or things about our marriage that are in the past.  How do you parent with someone that hates you?  Can the court help me shut him up?

-Duct Tape Needed

 

Answer:

Dear Duct Tape Needed:

It is amazingly difficult to co-parent with someone that is involving the children in disputes they have with you. I hope you have enrolled your children in counseling so they can learn to cope and handle his negative behavior.  Court may be an option, if you need the court to order him to participate in counseling, etc. However, sometimes we just have to cope with negative parenting, try to parallel parent instead of co-parenting, and get counseling advice. Talk to an attorney about your options and stay positive.

 

 

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information above is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. This answer is provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

That’s Mine!

Question:

Dear Cape Fear Family Law:

My mother passed away 5 years ago and left me some family land.  About 3 years ago my husband and I cashed in some investments and built a house.  I found my husband cheating with my friend.  Since I inherited the land, are both the house and land mine?  I don’t have to share it with him, right?

-That’s mine!

 

Answer:

Dear That’s mine!:

Separate property is generally inherited, gifted to you, or items owned prior to marriage.  The land was inherited and would be separate, however I suspect that you may have changed the title during the time you were building the house!  This happens often during a refinance.  If you did change the title to include your husband’s name, you may have “gifted” the property to the marriage so that it is marital and not separate.  See an attorney before you do anything else and have them look!  Best of luck.

 

 

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information above is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. This answer is provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.