How to Survive Quarantine in Durham When Your Marriage Is Suffering

If your marriage was strained before the novel Coronavirus made landfall in Durham, NC, then you’re likely feeling really trapped right now. When it comes to “working on your marriage,” very few people would recommend being isolated at home with a spouse you hardly want to spend 10 minutes with – let alone days or weeks at a time. When couples typically commit to rebuilding their relationship, they usually don’t do it in the midst of a pandemic with “stay at home” orders. As such, today we’ll discuss how you can survive the next few weeks of quarantine in Durham when your marriage is already under pressure.

1. Quarantine in Durham? Keep it simple.

Since Durham County is currently under “stay at home” orders, chances are that you and your spouse are spending more time than either of you’d like in the same house together. These orders are not legal requirements to have serious conversations about the state of your marriage or long-term plans for the future. As you’re already well aware, those types of conversations can often spark big fights that should be avoided for the time being. Rather, keep conversation light when you must be in close proximity of each other.

Even better, limit conversation entirely. Binge-watch a series you’ve been wanting to watch on Netflix. Read that book you’ve been wanting to read. Deep clean the house. Tackle that home project you’ve never had time for. If somewhere along the way, you repair your marriage, so be it – but don’t plan for it right now.

2. Keep it together (in front of your kids)

Even under the best of circumstances, we suggest that you avoid fighting in front of your children, so we realize that asking you not to fight while you’re all cooped up in a house together is a huge challenge. This includes (but is not limited to) screaming matches, silent treatment, and passive-aggressive behavior. While you may be stressed about how you’re going to pay the bills while you’re out of work, or how you’re going to separate now that the entire country is dealing with this pandemic; your kids need to see their parents as safe and sane during this process. While we don’t suggest that you should all of a sudden pretend to be a perfect family, we do think you can handle keeping your cool in front of the kids.

If you find that you’re really struggling to keep it together, consider separating into different parts of your home. You might even suggest that the kids come along to watch a movie or read some books with you. While you might remember that the COVID-19 forced you to be with your ex for weeks at a time, your kids will remember making beautiful memories with their entire family.

3. “Stay at Home?”

If your relationship has any history of abuse or violence, or you strongly suspect that things could go there, you are not literally required to stay at your residence. You can always spend the duration of quarantine at a friend or family’s home. However, we do not recommend that you discuss these plans with your abuser.

Find a friend or family member who is willing to host you and your kids (if applicable) for the next few weeks, then send clothes, and any other supplies you might need to their place. If you don’t have anyone you can ask, you can go to a Violence Against Women (VAW) shelter or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and ask for assistance planning.

Of course, if you find yourself in the middle of a situation, leave immediately or call 911. Law enforcement is still available and willing to help!

Kevin Jones | Durham Divorce Attorney

If you or someone you know lives in the Durham, NC area and you are considering getting a divorce while under quarantine, contact Durham divorce attorney Kevin Jones for help.

Durham divorce attorney, Kevin E. Jones can help you navigate the divorce process and other legal matters in an ethical and proper manner.  Don’t let your health, finances and overall well being suffer because you’re unaware of your legal rights. Contact Kevin E Jones before making any final decisions.  Things happen and many people go without the proper representation when they need it most. Don’t be just another number.

 

 

 

Critical Reasons to Stop Texting While Driving – Durham Personal Injury Lawyer

According to Driving Laws, North Carolina’s distracted driving law “prohibits all motorists from texting and emailing while driving.” The ban also includes reading emails, text messages or scrolling through Facebook while driving (it does not apply to a motorist who is lawfully parked or stopped at a stoplight). As such, not only is distracted driving dangerous, it’s against the law. Unfortunately, many still do and will continue to do so because motorists are rarely pulled over for simply texting while driving. Only when an accident occurs by a driver who is texting while driving and someone gets injured does anyone seem to be interested in changing the behavior. With that in mind, today we’ll discuss critical reasons to stop texting while driving, and when you should seek skilled Durham Personal Injury Lawyer to pursue compensation for your personal injuries if you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident caused by something who was texting while driving.

3 Types of Distracted Driving

You can become distracted while driving for a variety of reasons (just ask a parent who is driving young children). These reasons fall into 3 categories: manual, cognitive and visual. Texting while driving falls into all three categories since it visually takes your eyes off the road, requires that you manually use one or both hands to text, and forces your mind to process the information within the text regardless of if you are sending or receiving.  While we could argue that problem solving why your son is hitting your daughter in the back seat might be just as distracting, texting while driving has proven to be the most fatal. If it wasn’t, there would not be a need for a Durham Personal Injury Lawyer to get involved. Still need convincing that you should put your phone down and just focus on the road? Here are two critical reasons to stop texting while driving.

Texting while Driving diverts your attention from the road: 

While you may think simply glancing at your phone for .25 seconds won’t cause any harm, the fact is that if you are reading or responding to a text, email, social media, etc is that your eyes and your brain are not focused on the road. In fact, a driver looks away from the road, on average, for five seconds to respond or read a message. Five seconds may not sound like much time, but when you’re behind the wheel going 55 miles per hour or more, that five seconds is all you need to drive the length of a football field. A football player would be blasted if he diverted his attention from running the field to check his phone during the final play of the game.

Just because you think you’re a safe driver, doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone else is. It’s up to you to pay attention to what you’re doing. If your eyes are not on the road, anything can happen. Maybe you barely miss that the speed limit changes, but the results could be fatal. You are 23 times more likely to crash when you text and drive. Do you really want to change it? Rather, wait until you’re safely parked (or at least stopped), before reading and responding to your phone.

Texting while driving can lead to a fatal accident

We readily admit that not every accident that was caused by a distracted driver who was texting leads to a fatality, the reality is that a fair amount of them do. In fact, the National Safety Council reports there are nearly 390,000 injuries each year from motorized vehicle accidents caused by texting while driving – that’s 1 in 4 car accidents. Furthermore, any use of cell phones while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes every year; and that texting while driving is 6x more likely to result in a crash, even more than drunk driving.

Most simply put, texting while driving causes problems, even if you’re just driving in a parking lot. But fatalities can be prevented. Just put your phone down while you drive. Easy, right? If not, or you just have trouble resisting temptation to respond to the ding of a notification, there are plenty of apps that can silence your notifications while you’re driving.

Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer in Durham, NC

If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by a distracted driver, you have a right to pursue fair and just compensation for your injuries. Durham attorney, Kevin E. Jones, is dedicated to fighting on behalf for those who have been personally injured and will do what is necessary to ensure the responsible party is held liable for your injuries. You should not have to pay for someone else’s texting mistakes.

Get started on your personal injury case today and reach out to our law firm to learn more about how we can assist you.

When Valentines Day Ends in Domestic Violence: Durham Domestic Violence Attorney

While many people will be celebrating Valentine’s Day today, we can’t help but think about the overwhelming number of people who are in domestically violent relationships right now. Specifically, roughly twenty people are physically abused by their loving” partners every minute, and nearly 5 million women are victims of physical abuse by their partners each year.

Although Valentine’s Day is one of three days of the year (Thanksgiving and Christmas) in which there is a slight decrease in domestic violence reports according to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, we’ve found that it’s also a time in which domestic violence victims tend to reflect on the state of their relationship, and get out! Whether you’re the one being abused, know of a loved one who is in an abusive relationship, or have witnessed domestic violence, we don’t take domestic violence lightly. Today we’ll discuss the various levels of protection domestic violence victims have and what you should know about getting out of an abusive relationship including contacting Kevin E. Jones, Durham domestic violence attorney.

Durham Domestic Violence Attorney

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is often defined as the physical assault of one partner by another within the context of a personal relationship. However, North Carolina victims of domestic violence are protected by both civil and criminal laws since domestic violence can be physical, emotional, sexual or financial. Let’s take a look at what that means according to North Carolina law.

Protection Under Civil Law

A person can be charged with committing domestic violence by doing one or more of the following acts against someone who he or she shares a personal relationship with (including spouse, significant other or a child):

  • Attempting to or intentionally causing injury to the other person(s)
  • Causing someone (or a member of someone’s family or household) to fear for their physical safety
  • Committing a sexual offense such as rape
  • Continued harassment that is so bad it inflicts substantial emotional distress on the victim
  • Any behavior or conduct with the intent to torment, terrorize, or terrify the other person

If you are a victim of any of these acts, you can apply for a Domestic Violence Protective Order, which is a civil court order signed by a judge that offers protection to victims. Your Durham Domestic Violence attorney can help you through this process.

Protection Under Criminal Law

Any of the above scenarios can escalate into a criminal domestic violence case in North Carolina and are prosecuted through general criminal status rather than domestic violence laws. However, if a judge determines that there is a “personal relationship” between the parties involved, he or she can impose special terms of probation on the case. Such previsions might include:

  • Requiring the defendant to undergo medical or psychiatric treatment
  • Attending or residing in a facility that provides rehabilitation, counseling, treatment, training, or residence for people on probation
  • Successful completion a Drug Treatment Court Program
  • Abstaining from consuming alcohol or continuous alcohol monitoring
  • Requiring the defendant to remain at home with the exception of commuting to and from the place of employment or school

If you are in a domestically violent situation, we want to help you get out before the violence reaches criminal levels, but we know that leaving a domestically violent situation is far from easy. Perhaps you don’t realize you’re in a domestically violent relationship, maybe you think others have it way worse. Maybe you think your situation is normal or that your partner will get better if you just stop triggering him (or her). So many victims of domestic violence rationalize the abuse they’re receiving, which only makes it that much harder for you to leave. But you shouldn’t have to live another day in fear.

Durham Domestic Violence Attorney

Your Durham Domestic Violence Attorney can help you quickly attain a restraining order to help protect you and your children. In addition, if you want to pursue a divorce, Kevin E. Jones can help you gather the evidence of abuse that you need to illustrate to the court that your safety, and that of your children, is at risk. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options when it comes to domestic violence. Don’t let another Valentine’s Day pass before getting out.

4 Steps to Getting a Divorce in North Carolina

Marriage is a rite of passage – a milestone that so many people in Durham, NC look forward to as they enter their 20s and 30s. In fact, more than 90 percent of people will marry by the age of 50. And, for the most part, a healthy marriage is good for your overall physical and mental health. A healthy marriage can lead to a healthy family, and children that are raised in a happy home are said to have fewer mental, physical, educational and social problems. That said, about 40 to 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce (even more if you include those who are married subsequent times).

Hollywood often portrays the divorce process as lengthy and dramatic, and it certainly can be for some couples. But, it doesn’t have to be. Divorce in North Carolina is a pretty straight forward process if you and your spouse can agree to the terms and conditions of your separation. As such, today we’ll discuss the 4 simple steps required to get a divorce in Durham, North Carolina.

divorce in durham

Step 1: Physically Separate

Once a married couple decides to end their marriage in divorce, they must first become physically separated. The couple can no longer cohabitate and must live in separate residences in order for the state of North Carolina to legally recognize the separation. It should be noted that a couple can be physically separated but not necessarily legally separated in our state until one of the parties obtains a “divorce from bed and board.”

There are a number of reasons that could be sited to obtain a legal separation including but not limited to abandonment, cruel and barbarous treatment, drug abuse, adultery, or engaging in a pattern of conduct that makes living conditions “intolerable and life burdensome.” Furthermore, a legal separation does not provide grounds for either spouse to remarry, but it does allow you to obtain orders for post-separation support, alimony, asset division, child custody or child support.

Step 2: Hire a Divorce Attorney in Durham, NC 

Actually, you may want to hire an attorney before you separate to help guide you through the process. However, it is not always necessary to have a divorce lawyer in order to get a divorce. Sometimes, simply asking the right questions and getting help from document preparers who will ensure your interests are represented is all that is required. However, even the most straight forward situations can become complicated, so you may want to seek assistance from an attorney in Durham just to be safe.

Once you’ve hired an attorney (or a legal document preparer), you’ll need to start collecting the following information:

  • Assets (property, savings, investments, etc)
  • Spousal Support (if necessary)
  • Debt
  • Legal Decision Making
  • Child Support
  • Parenting Time

Step 3. File a Divorce Complaint with the Clerk of Court in Your County.

Your next step will be to obtain an absolute divorce in Durham, which requires that one spouse files a complaint with the Clerk of Court in the county of residence. Your divorce attorney can do this on your behalf. The county Sheriff or a deputy will then serve divorce “papers” to the other spouse (typically delivered via certified mail).

Once you’ve been physically separated for at least 12 consecutive months, either spouse can then file for a legal divorce. Please note that the 12-month physical separation requirement in North Carolina resets if the couple chooses to move back in together (this does not include isolated incidents of marital relations).

Step 4: Finalize the Process and Appear Before the Judge

Before standing before a judge, you and your spouse will be required to finalize all decisions and agreements as it relates to the division of assets, child custody, alimony, etc. In many cases, these decisions can be made outside of court with the support of a mediator. However, if you cannot come to an agreement in this way, you’ll be required to attend a hearing in front of a judge to present evidence that supports your petition for divorce. A judge will decide how everything is divided, who will have custody of your children and then grant you a divorce in Durham.

If you want to know how do you get a divorce in NC, turn to us for help. Durham Divorce lawyer, Kevin E. Jones can help you resolve a divorce or child custody issue. We can also help with your insurance, injury and other legal matters in an ethical and proper manner. Don’t let your health, finances and overall wellbeing suffer because you’re unaware of your legal rights. Contact Kevin E Jones before making any final decisions.