What happens when a wife gives birth during a marriage, but the husband is not the biological father per DNA? Paternity in North Carolina is a legal issue—there are rights and responsibilities that come with being a legal father. As a primer, the common terminology in this area of law is as follows: Continue reading →
When it comes to child custody, the court has the authority and discretion to consider a wide array of factors to further the best interest of the child standard. One such factor is the physical and mental health of the parent. Impairment of one parent in a child custody dispute that stems from alcohol or substance abuse may raise a number of legitimate concerns about that person’s ability to parent.
Angel v. Sandoval, COA20-236 (unpublished 2020).
If your ex, or you, lost a job and income and considered modifying child support to a lower amount in response, it may not always mean that the modification will be granted. Here in North Carolina, it depends on the circumstances surrounding the job and income loss. If it was intentional, with bad faith, then the court may impute income based on the parent’s earning capacity rather than actual current income. However, the analysis is nuanced and can be difficult to show. Below is one such case where there simply was not enough evidence to impute. Continue reading →
There are unfortunate times where one individual who has become fully insured for social security benefits passes away or gives up a child for adoption. In such cases, however, the Social Security Administration has enacted rules to pass on the benefit to the children. But exactly what happens when the child receiving a benefit is going to be adopted? Does the benefit simply end because he or she now has a new parent? Potential adoptive parents should speak to an attorney if they are considering adoption of a child receiving social security benefits. Continue reading →
Alexander v. Alexander, ______ N.C. _______ (2021) (COA19-391).
In Greensboro, Grandparents may be awarded visitation rights if the Court deems it appropriate. Often, it is by intervening in the custody battle being fought by the custodial parents. Even after a final custody order is entered, a Grandparent may seek visitation when the circumstances affecting the child have substantially changed. But what happens when one of the parents passes away before the custody issue is resolved? Continue reading →
TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé television show has been an unexpected reality TV hit – so much so that there are now countless spin-offs involving the hijinks of favorite cast members. The culture shock is very engaging, and reality TV is all about entertainment, but there is a kernel of legal truth to the show and that is the K1 Visa. It is an avenue for immigration to the US for fiancés of American citizens. Once they arrive in America, the couple needs to legally marry within 90 days or risk removal procedures. The premise of the show is simple. Many things can go wrong in those 90 days, and it never fails that something does—it is almost always a train wreck waiting to happen, and viewers get front row seats to watch the carnage. Continue reading →
Spring in Greensboro brings certain things. Pollen, unexpected rain showers, warmer weather, and taxes. The American Rescue Plan was enacted as part of ongoing Covid-19 relief. This plan provides an additional relief check, subject to income-cap requirements based on either 2019 or 2020 tax returns (most recent filed). The Plan also provides for an advance on half of a potential child tax credit for next year. These payments may both be at issue in a divorce case. Having tax return money in contention between divorcing spouses is hardly a novel concept. But due to the legislation providing pandemic relief, many spouses must find creative ways to divide relief funds when they were based on joint filings. The child credit advance presents a new wrinkle in divorce and custody cases. Continue reading →
Are you recently separated or divorced and have started receiving bills for unpaid medical expenses of your former spouse? Are these bills for medical treatment your former spouse received after you separated? The Doctrine of Necessaries, which creates a legal duty for the husband to provide for the expenses of his wife, is still recognized in North Carolina. The most common necessary expense is unpaid medical bills of the other spouse. When the spouse receiving treatment cannot pay for services, the service provider will often sue the other spouse to satisfy the outstanding debt. Continue reading →
In recent celebrity news, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have decided to get divorced. Undoubtedly, the couple signed a prenuptial agreement that handles much of the property division claims. But one aspect that is interesting about their eventual property settlement, is the issue of royalties. It is likely that the couple have a provision about their royalties and other intellectual property (IP) in their prenuptial agreement, but let us consider how it would play out in North Carolina if they did not. Continue reading →