Articles Posted in ClientVille

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Desai v. Desai, No.COA20-435 (July 2021) (unpublished)

Often in matrimonial cases, one party might question whether jewelry gifted to a spouse can be taken back in the property division phase of a separation and divorce. Jewelry and other assorted gifts often represent everlasting love and affection between spouses, so it is always slightly peculiar when one spouse requests the gift be returned. Below is a case about a special necklace given as part of a Hindu marriage celebration, and how our courts handled the issue. Continue reading →

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Crews v. Paysour, 261 N.C. App. 557 (2018)

  • Facts: Plaintiff and Defendants are the parents of a minor child. In 2012, Plaintiff filed an action for custody and child support. A temporary order for child support was entered in August of 2012. The parties were both in medical school at that time. Once they graduated and completed residency, their incomes increased. In 2014, Defendant filed notice for a permanent custody and child support hearing. In September 2014, the trial court heard evidence towards child support. No written order came from that hearing. In December 2014, a “rendition of judgment” was issued to the parties in a letter. In October 2015, the parties scheduled a conference to go over proposed orders and objections. In December 2015, the trial court finally entered an order for Plaintiff to pay child support prospectively and $23,529.00 in arrears for the period from December 2014 through October 2015. In a previous appeal, the Court remanded, based on a misapprehension of law, and allowed the trial court to consider more evidence. On remand, the trial court did not consider new evidence but accepted the Defendant’s arguments made in his appeal. Plaintiff appealed.

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Gray v. Holliday, COA20-425 (May 2021) (unpublished).

In Greensboro, grandparent visitation rights may be awarded if the Court deems it appropriate. This often happens by intervening in the custody battle being fought by the custodial parents. But what happens when one of the parents passes away before the custody issue is resolved? Or what happens in a case where there is no underlying custody litigation, and a grandparent wishes to begin one? Continue reading →

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Unpublished Opinion – No. COA19-566

 

Carmen Cousin and Terry Cousin were married for seventeen years.  They separated in May 2016.  Upon separating, Carmen filed a complaint, which included a claim for equitable distribution.  Terry then filed an answer, which included a counterclaim for equitable distribution.  In the final equitable distribution order entered by the court in July 2018, the court assigned a value of $26,070.00 to the parties’ 1965 Lincoln Continental.  The court considered evidence showing the car to be fully restored, thus assigning it that value.  Furthermore, the court awarded Terry the parties’ Myrtle Beach property and ordered him to refinance the mortgage into his sole name before receiving the deed from Carmen.  Terry timely appealed this equitable distribution order.  Continue reading →

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Handerson v. Wittig, No.COA20-924 (July 2021).

Modifications to child custody orders require a substantial change in circumstances affecting the welfare of the child. The change in circumstance is the gatekeeper. That alone will not amount to modification; the court still needs to determine if the change in circumstance affects the welfare of the child and if modification is in the child’s best interest. We see below that the Court has written about what kind of evidence is insufficient to support a change in circumstance when it fails to link with the welfare of the child. Continue reading →

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Craven County o/b/o Jessica L. Wooten v. Adel Hageb (No. COA20-442)

 

Defendant Adel Hageb (“Father”) and Plaintiff Jessica L. Wooten (“Mother”) were never married but were involved in a romantic relationship. Mother gave birth to a child in 2016 and another child in 2017. After it was determined that Adel was the biological father of both children, the court consolidated the two child support cases and ordered Father to provide health insurance coverage for both children and pay Mother $2,554.00 per month in child support. Then, on September 9, 2019, the issue of permanent child support came on for hearing.  The court found Father to have a gross income of $19,454.39 per month. Additionally, although two children born of another relationship lived full-time with Father, the court gave Father credit for one child because Father’s name was not listed on the birth certificate of the other child.  Father timely appealed.  Continue reading →

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Graham v. Jones, 270 N.C. App. 674 (2020).

In North Carolina, grandparents have the ability to have their concerns for custody and visitation heard by the courts. Our statutes allow any parent, relative, or other person claiming a right to custody to institute an action for child custody. Grandparents are relatives of the minor child, and thus have standing to file for custody. But the laws surrounding grandparent custody and visitation are extremely nuanced as a result of being developed over many years of case law. Below is one case that summarizes this area of law. Continue reading →

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The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (hereinafter “Plan”), also called the COVID-19 Stimulus Package, was passed by Congress and officially signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021.  The Plan seeks to aid the economy in recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. One significant change the Plan provides for is a new federal enhanced child tax credit beginning July 15, 2021. Statistics show that the credit will go to roughly 39 million households with about 65 million children. For the 2021 tax year, the enhanced maximum child tax credit is $3,600 for children younger than age six (6) and $3,000 for children between the ages of six (6) and seventeen (17).

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Browne v. Browne, 101 N.C. App. 617 (1991).

Child support in North Carolina is most commonly determined by using the presumptive guidelines. We have written about the use of the guidelines in the past, such as here. But not every case will be a guideline case. The guidelines themselves indicate that certain high earning families (as of today the upper limit is $360,000) are automatically removed from guideline consideration. But what if you believe your custody case – which is not a high-income case – ought to be nonguideline? Continue reading →

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A lawsuit is initiated the day it is filed with the court. But the rules of law usually require that before your requested relief can be granted the other side gets their day in court. This is the fundamental basis of our legal system. It is one predicated not only on the laws and statutes developed, but also on providing fair and adequate notice for the party being complained of to come to court and answer the allegations. Therefore, the first big hurdle for getting legal remedy is giving the defendant notice that they are the subject of a lawsuit. This first hurdle is often called process and service of process. Continue reading →