Charlene Edwards Law Office

 Special Proceedings

Special Proceedings are actions before the Clerk of Superior Court. These include Adoptions, Name Changes, Incompetency Petitions and Restoration of Competency. 



Adoptions are a special proceedings before the clerk and there are many kinds. They include an independent adoptions between a birth parent and an adoptive parent or parents; an agency adoption where the Harnett County Department of Social Services has placed a child for adoption with the proposed adoptive parent or parents; a step-parent adoption where a step-parent adopts the child of his or her spouse, a relative adoption where a blood relationship exists between the biological and adoptive parents of the child, and, finally, an adult adoption where both the adoptive child and the adoptive parent are over the age of eighteen.

Competency Matters:

Individuals who do not have the capacity to make and communicate important decisions about their personal and financial affairs may require the assistance of a legally appointed decision maker, a guardian, to help them exercise their rights. The guardian must allow the individual the opportunity to participate, as fully as possible, in all decisions affecting them.

In order to make decisions based on what the individual would decide the guardian should seek information from the individual, the individual’s family, friends, or a type of legal document such as a Living Will or Healthcare Power of Attorney.

A person who has been declared incompetent can have their guardianship reversed and be restored to competency. The person who has a guardian, the guardian, or any other interested person can ask the Clerk of Superior Court to re-open the case. This is done by filing a written motion or petition with the clerk’s office.

The individual petitioning for the restoration is entitled to be represented by counsel, or if they are financially unable, a guardian ad litem can be appointed to represent them in the hearing. In order to be restored to competency the individual must prove that he or she is able to manage their own affairs and make and communicate important decisions concerning their self, family, and property.

Name Changes: There are several ways of enacting a legal name change:

Adoption Decree
Application by a widow or divorced woman for the resumption of:
a maiden name,
name of a prior deceased husband,
or prior divorced husband if children have that husband’s surname
Petition of Special Proceeding

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Open Hours

9am - 5pm M-F

Our Office

1170 N Main Street
Lilington NC, 27546

What we Do

Family Law
Wills & Estates
Special Proceedings
Juvenile Law
Custody Law

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