Family Law

We understand that cases involving families can be stressful and take a toll emotionally. Our family law attorneys focus on several aspects of family law and stand ready to work towards a smooth resolution to the matter at hand.
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Separation Agreements


A separation agreement is a contract between two spouses who are separating. This agreement includes terms relating to many aspects of the separation, such as which spouse is responsible for certain bills, which spouse gets to live in the marital home, where the children will live, spousal support (alimony), and how personal property will be divided.

A separation agreement is not a requirement in order to be separated, but it can make things easier in the long run and resolve legal issues, all while protecting the rights of each spouse. If there is a separation agreement in place that addresses a wide variety of issues, the couple may be able to avoid a lengthy court battle.

In the event that one party violates the separation agreement, the other party can sue for breach of contract. The attorneys at Hopler, Wilms, & Hanna, PLLC routinely draft separation agreements and assist in filing suit for violations of such agreements.

Uncontested Absolute Divorce

When a couple decides to end their marriage, it can be a trying time for both parties. In some situations, the idea of a divorce is “uncontested”, meaning it is agreed upon by both parties and neither party anticipates any disagreement. However, even if both parties are in agreement, the process of obtaining the divorce can be difficult, and our attorneys are here to help.

Before a couple can begin the process of obtaining a divorce in North Carolina, both parties must live separate and apart for twelve months. Either party may file for the divorce once the twelve-month period ends. The attorneys at Hopler, Wilms, & Hanna, PLLC can assist in preparing the divorce complaint and accompanying documentation, filing for the divorce, and representing clients in the court hearing. If the parties both agree, a divorce can usually be obtained in a little over a month.

Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement, commonly referred to as a “pre-nup,” is a contract entered into by two prospective spouses before marriage that includes provisions relating to property rights, spousal support, and disposition of death benefits from life insurance, to name a few. A prenuptial agreement governs what will happen to these things should the marriage ever dissolve.

Prenuptial agreements allow prospective spouses to protect separate property owned prior to marriage. Normally, people consider prenuptial agreements if a prospective spouse owns a considerable amount of real estate, earns significant income, owes a significant amount of debt, or has children from a prior marriage.
Each couple should decide whether or not a prenuptial agreement is the right choice for them based on their circumstances. To assist in deciding if a prenuptial agreement is the best route to take, it is advised that the prospective spouses speak to an attorney. Our family law attorneys have years of experience in protecting separate property through the drafting of prenuptial agreements.

Free Trader Agreements

Free Trader Agreements allows spouses to freely purchase and sell real property without the consent or joinder of the other. This means that when selling real property, the other spouse is not required to sign off on the deed. This is helpful if the spouses separate and one spouse owns property in which they intend to sell. Sometimes, spouses disagree and sales do not go through because one spouse refuses to sign off on the paperwork. With a Free Trader Agreement, one can avoid the headache and can freely trade without agreement from the other spouse. One thing to note is that if property is titled in both spouses names, both spouses will still need to sign the deed regardless of whether or not there is a Free Trader Agreement in place.

Free Trader Agreements are fairly easy to execute, as long as both spouses are willing to sign. Once the document is signed by both parties, the document is filed with the Register of Deeds. Our attorneys will draft the agreement and take care of appropriately filing the document, making the process as simple as possible for our clients.


Adoption provides prospective parents with the establishment of a legal relationship with the child. The procedure for an adoption in North Carolina will vary depending on whether you are adopting an infant, adopting a relative, adopting a stepchild(ren), or finding a better fit for a child. Initially, the process starts with filing a Petition for Adoption which must include various documents that must be completed prior to the adoption petition being filed. Therefore, there is leg-work to be completed before you can even start the court process portion of an adoption. Preplacement assessments and consents or termination of the biological parents’ parental rights play a large role in the documents required to get to the point of filing a Petition for Adoption.

Because the steps for an Adoption are dependent on the type of adoption to take place, an attorney helps with support throughout the process as well as helping you obtain the materials needed for an adoption, filing a Petition with the court,

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