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Articles Posted in Children

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Padilla v. Whitley De Padilla, COA19-478 (2020) (unpublished).

Child custody orders are modifiable. In order to do so, the party seeking a modification must show a substantial change from the circumstances found in previous order that warrant the modification. It may seem obvious that a diminishment in the custodial parent’s life may meet that threshold. But below, we discuss a case where improvements in the noncustodial parent’s life warranted a modification in his favor, granting him more time with his kids and more decision-making abilities. Continue reading →

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By: Y Michael Yin, JD

Routten v. Routten, ______ N.C. _______ (2020).

Child Custody can be a hotly contested issue in divorce cases with minor children involved. In certain instances, a court can award sole custody to one parent and even deny visitation to the noncustodial parent. That determination is severe and, by law, must be substantiated by a factual basis for the denial. But what basis is required? Below, we discuss how one court did so, and the ensuing legal confusion that required the North Carolina Supreme Court to step in. Continue reading →

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Hamdan v. Freitekh, ______ N.C. App. _______ (2020) (COA19-929).

Here in North Carolina, and across the nation, the Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) sets the jurisdictional rules for how and where custody orders are enforced. The cardinal rule in custody cases has always been, and continues to be, adjudicated with the best interests of the child in mind. The UCCJEA aligns with that cardinal by preventing parents from forum shopping, instead ordering that disputes be litigated in the state with which the child and family have the closest ties. Continue reading →

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By: Y Michael Yin, JD

In our practice in Greensboro, North Carolina, it is not uncommon for the parties in a divorce to agree verbally to a change in child support payments. Read on to see how such an apparent show of comity may not hold up in the eyes of the court.

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Shak v. Shak, ____ Mass. _____, SJC-12748 (2020).

Nondisparagement clauses are ubiquitous in custody agreements and orders. Generally, they are a blanket prohibition on a parent from “talking bad” about the other parent in a form that the minor child(ren) will understand (whether in their presence or on social media, etc.). These clauses are commonly included so that the child will grow up in a less tumultuous environment, free from psychological harm that stems from hurtful exchanges of words. In fact, our own courts have guidelines that are commonly incorporated into custody orders. However, the Massachusetts Supreme Court recently reviewed these clauses under a constitutional lens, and the result is quite interesting. Continue reading →

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Demar v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo. 201991, 2019 WL 3244301 (2019)

(a) Facts: Husband and wife were divorced. The divorce decree, which was a consent judgment, provided that the child would reside primarily with the wife. The husband was permitted to claim the child as a dependent for tax purposes in odd-numbered years but only if he was current on child support and the wife’s income was less than $15,000. “If these conditions were met, Ms. DeMar agreed to execute Form 8332 or a similar written declaration.” 2019 WL 3244301, at *1. Continue reading →

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Skitzki v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo. 2019106, 2019 WL 3946102 (2019)

(a) Facts: Husband and wife were divorced. The divorce decree gave the father custody two weekends each month, one weekday per week if the mother was in Ohio, and three (before age four) or four weeks in the summer. It described both parents as “residential parent and legal custodian.” The decree further stated that the father “shall take” the child as a dependent for tax purposes in even-numbered years. Continue reading →

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Cook v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo. 201948, 2019 WL 2011087 (2019)

(a) Facts: An unmarried couple had a child. A New York court awarded custody to the mother. The order was silent on the tax exemption for the child. The parties orally agreed that the father could claim the exemption.

The father took the exemption. The IRS disallowed the exemption and assessed a deficiency. The husband appealed to the Tax Court. Continue reading →

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Miletello v. RMR Mech., Inc., 921 F.3d 493 (5th Cir. 2019)

(a) Facts: Husband and wife were engaged in divorce proceedings. A settlement agreement awarded to the wife $500,000 of the funds in the husband’s 401(k) plan.

Before the husband complied with the order, he died. Two days later, the state court incorporated the settlement into a court order. Fifteen months later, the state court entered a QDRO ordering the plan to pay the ex-wife the $500,000.

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By: Carolyn Woodruff, JD, CPA, CVA, and North Carolina Family Law Specialist

So, you have these sexual images of your ex in North Carolina that you think will embarrass him, but you should think twice before posting them on Facebook or publishing them anywhere else. Publication of naked pictures or other private images of a person without consent not only can subject you to serious civil action but also is a criminal act. NCGS Section 14-190.5A. You cannot transfer, publish, distribute, or reproduce sexual images of your ex. Further, you cannot use these images in any manner. Continue reading →