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.
North Carolina General Statute § 14-39 defines kidnapping as the unlawful confining, restraining, or removing from one place to another, anyone 16 years of age or older without their consent and holding them for ransom, in furtherance of or fleeing a felony, causing serious bodily harm or terrorizing or holding that person in involuntary or sexual servitude. When a person is under the age of 16, it requires the parent’s or legal guardian’s consent before the minor can be restrained, confined, or removed from one place to another. Continue reading →
Bradley v. Bradley, No. COA20-48 (unpublished)
Plaintiff and Defendant married on May 20, 2006 and divorced on July 15, 2015. The parties had one daughter born March 7, 2011. The parties’ daughter was three years old when the original custody order was entered. Defendant filed a motion to modify child custody on July 13, 2017, seeking primary physical custody of their daughter and permission to relocate with their daughter to Alabama to reside with her fiancé. The trial court entered a judgment on July 19, 2019, awarding Defendant primary physical custody, allowing her to relocate to Alabama. Continue reading →
In Chica v. Chica, the North Carolina Court of Appeals, in an unpublished opinion, reviewed Plaintiff Father’s appeal of the trial court’s December 6, 2018 Order finding him in civil contempt and establishing purge conditions. Plaintiff Father also appealed the trial court’s April 2019 Order denying, in part, Plaintiff’s Motion for a New Trial related to the December 6, 2018 Order.
Chica v Chica, COA19-856 (N.C. Ct. App. 2020)
- Facts: Plaintiff Father and Defendant Mother were married on or about July 11, 1998. Two children were born of the marriage, and the parties separated in December 2014. The parties reached and the court entered a Consent Order for Child Support and Child Custody. The Consent Order’s relevant sections involve joint legal custody and decision-making, school assignment, medical and dental expenses, and the children’s private school.
In Price v. Boccardy, the North Carolina Court of Appeals, in an unpublished opinion, reviewed Defendant’s appeal from the trial court’s order denying Defendant’s Rule 60(b) motion to set aside a final custody order.
Price v. Boccardy, COA20-127 (N.C. App 2020).
Facts: Plaintiff and Defendant were the parents of a minor child, three-year-old A.B. Plaintiff Mother filed a verified complaint seeking custody, claiming that the minor child was at substantial risk for bodily injury and sexual abuse. Plaintiff received an ex parte order awarding her temporary legal and physical custody. Defendant filed an answer denying Plaintiff’s allegations and a counterclaim seeking temporary and permanent legal and physical custody. The trial court’s March 7, 2018 order included that the ex parte order would remain in effect, with Defendant Father receiving at least one supervised visitation per week until the permanent hearing was scheduled. Continue reading →
Ward v. Halprin, ___ N.C. App. ____.
Child custody has the potential to be heavily contested. In some cases, one parent wants to be able to have sole decision-making authority. In North Carolina, the ability to make these decisions is termed “legal custody.” Courts often grant parents joint legal custody. This means that either parent can make major life decisions regarding their children (usually education, religion, and non-emergency healthcare), often requiring the parents to make a good faith attempt at resolving issues in the decision-making process and providing legal recourse should they not resolve. However, the court can grant sole legal custody in some circumstances. Below is a case that did just that. Continue reading →
In the Matter of R.D.B., A Minor Child (No. COA19-1019)
Many children in Guilford County have guardians appointed by the court for a variety of reasons. A child who no longer has any living biological parents is a common example of when a court will appoint an adult to step in and make decisions on behalf of the minor child. In the Matter of R.D.B. addresses how petitioners Ruby and Caleb Harkness—maternal grandparents of the minor child—appealed from the order appointing Raymond Mann to serve as the guardian of the minor child R.D.B. (“Robert”). Continue reading →
In Reece v. Holt, the North Carolina Court of Appeals, in an unpublished opinion, reviewed N.C.G.S. Chapter 50 for child custody and subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiff Father claimed that an ex parte order established a “presumption” supporting a claim for domestic violence under N.C.G.S. § 50B. This article will focus on the domestic violence action only. Continue reading →
Mims v. Parker, 839 S.E.2d 433 (N.C. App. 2020)
In North Carolina, dog owners can be liable for injuries caused by their dogs. We all love our friendly four-legged companions, but a dog is still an animal that can cause devastating injuries if it reacts poorly to a situation. We all have heard stories of how even the most kind and gentle ones can fly off the leash in a fit of madness. But our state limits liability for dog attacks to certain exceptions. Mims v. Parker is a case that addresses some of the liabilities. Continue reading →
Suppose you are separated or divorced, or you have recently retired or been placed on disability, and are the parent of a minor child. If you receive dependent benefits through Social Security or the Veterans Administration, your child support obligation may be reduced or eliminated, provided you are not behind or delinquent on your current court-ordered payments. Continue reading →