Articles Posted in ClientVille

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Mediation is a fantastic alternative method of settling your case and often more satisfying than going to court.  It is likely that a few issues stand between settlement and more prolonged litigation. This is where mediation can really shine—it lets you laser focus on the few things you really care about. A mediator must be a neutral third party that also happens to be an expert in family law, or a former judge that has decided many family law cases. In all court-ordered mediations, there are rules. In North Carolina, some new rules have been passed and can be found in NCGS § 7A-38.4A. This is a quick reference for how some of those rules will apply to your mediation.

Who can be a mediator for Family Financial Mediation?

The mediator must be certified. A list of certified mediators is published and updated at the NC Courts website. To be certified, the mediator must have an understanding of family law in North Carolina. There is also a laundry list of qualifications, classes, and educational requirements. These requirements can be found in Rule 8 of the Rules for Settlement Procedures in District Court Family Financial Cases. To be blunt, your mediator is highly qualified in the area of family law. Continue reading →

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Defendant Mother appeals from the trial court’s order on child support and custody.  The Court of Appeals reverses and remands.

Plaintiff Father and Defendant Mother married on January 1, 1994.  The parties had two sons and separated on May 10, 1997.  The parties’ divorce judgment was filed on August 17, 1998, which incorporated their separation agreement.  The separation agreement provided a custodial schedule that directed the parties’ two sons to reside primarily with Defendant Mother and to spend every other weekend and summer vacation with Plaintiff Father.  The agreement further provided that Plaintiff Father would pay half of the children’s uninsured medical and dental expenses and $200.00 each month as additional child support. Continue reading →

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Last post, we wrote about some cursory copyright issues regarding non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Today, we are going to dive into what happens when NFTs are part of a divorce. While divorce itself is nothing uncommon or new, the NFT craze and how they will be split up is surely uncharted territory for the courts. Continue reading →

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Morris v. Powell, 840 S.E.2d 223, 269 N.C.App. 496 (N.C. App. 2020):

North Carolina has very recently decided a case of first impression regarding “de facto emancipation.” Emancipation is typically one of the listed termination events for child support. This is when a child, who has not yet attained the age of majority, petitions the court to be independent and free from parental control. Our statutes allow anyone who is 16 years of age or older to petition the court for a judicial decree of emancipation, if they have been a resident for at least six months in the same county in North Carolina. Continue reading →

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Ex-football star Clinton Portis is in hot water for non-payment of child support. Portis was a second-round pick by the Denver Broncos back in 2002, then was traded to Washington.  He is also a two-time Pro Bowler whose NFL earnings exceeded $43 million during his career until he retired in 2012.  Despite this, Portis filed for bankruptcy in 2015, claiming mismanagement of funds by his financial advisors. Continue reading →

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Argueta v. Baker, 137 A.D.3d 1020, 27 N.Y.S.3d 237 (2016)

There are times where parents do not effectively co-parent. There are even times where one parent goes out of their way to interfere in the parent-child relationship with the other parent. There are ways to enforce the controlling custody order, such as contempt. But New York seems to also have another avenue of relief, asking the court to terminate child support. Note: this is not North Carolina law, it is from New York. Continue reading →

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Harris v. Harris, 352 S.E.2d 869, 84 N.C.App. 353 (N.C. App. 1987)

In the case above, the plaintiff was ordered to pay to defendant an Equitable Distribution (ED) distributive award in the amount of $23,706.82, but payment of the award was postponed until the parties’ youngest child reached age 18 or graduated from high school. The Court of Appeals reversed because, at the time, such a postponement would have extended the distributive award to seven years after the termination of the marriage. This was significant, as the court is not to order a distributive award that would be paid “over such an extended time period that the payment thereof will be treated by the Internal Revenue Service as ordinary income.” Here, the courts look to IRS regulations to prevent taxes on the transfer of property incident to divorce, and IRS rules say gains or losses that result from transfers are not treated as ordinary income if they relate to the cessation of the marriage. However, if a transfer occurs more than six years after the termination of the marriage, one presumes it is not related to the cessation of the marriage. 26 CFR § 1.1041-1T.  That would be rebuttable but involves more work. Continue reading →

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Mendez v. Mendez, 2021-NCCOA-680 (2021)

  • Facts: Plaintiff was ordered to pay defendant $2,271 per month in child support pursuant to a child support order filed in 2015. In 2018, Defendant filed a motion to modify child support. Defendant’s monthly gross income was $3,964. She asserted that the children’s needs have increased with their age, including involvement in new extracurricular activities such as music, fencing, and acting classes. For the initial 2015 order, Plaintiff made much more income. He was a department of defense contractor, owned a business, and VA disability benefits. In 2019, Plaintiff’s VA benefits were increased due to his diagnosis with prostate cancer. In 2018, Plaintiff was admitted to law school and would be attending when his cancer treatments ended. The trial court reduced Plaintiff’s child support obligation due to his decreased income. Defendant appeals.

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Every January 1, countless people make resolutions to change the type of person they will be for the next calendar year. Favorites areas for improvement are health, education, and motivation. I will exercise at the gym every day. I will become vegan. I will read 100 novels by the end of the year. I will argue before the Supreme Court. All of these are very good, very productive, very intense goals. The funny thing is that these resolutions have one thing in common: they all kind of lack fun. Think about it, isn’t that why they are resolutions and not habits by now? So, while I certainly applaud lofty resolutions, here are a few that are less intensive and more fun. Continue reading →

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In our last post, we wrote and talked about the basics of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. They have some value on the market, and when things have value there will be a fight. When I first heard that a Nyan cat NFT sold for hundreds of thousands, and then when a simple picture of a Shiba Inu dog (the image at the heart of the the memecoin dogecoin and, predating that, just the general doge meme) also sold for a bunch of money, I began to wonder how copyright worked in this new NFT realm. Clearly, there was an artist that created the Nyan cat gif/meme/video, just like there would be a dog owner and photographer for the Shiba. Who should be getting paid from the sale of the associated NFTs? Continue reading →