Articles Posted in ClientVille

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The division of property is one of the most significant factors in many North Carolina divorces. Spouses accumulate substantial assets and debts throughout their marriage, including real estate, retirement accounts, investment portfolios, vehicles, and bank accounts. North Carolina statutes support equitable distribution, meaning that if either spouse requests it a court will determine a fair and equitable division of marital property.

Spouses with prenuptial or premarital agreements may believe that this contract prevents an equitable distribution of property in a divorce, but that may not be true. Precise wording is critical because not all agreements meet the requirements to waive equitable distribution.

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North Carolina courts base spousal support decisions on the financial requirements of each spouse and their respective incomes. This is the general approach taken whenever a party in a divorce moves for post-separation support. However, many spouses wonder if marital misconduct factors into temporary support obligations, and the answer is yes.

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Alienation of affection and criminal conversation may be available legal remedies in North Carolina if your spouse has an affair. Alienation of affection holds the paramour (the person your spouse cheats with) liable for interfering in a marital relationship. Criminal conversation holds that person responsible for engaging in sexual activity with someone else’s spouse.

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Typically, custody is only granted in North Carolina between two biological parents or if it is determined that a parent is unable to care for the child. The constitutional rights of a biological parent are difficult to overcome, and courts give greater weight to that relationship over others. However, this standard leaves out a large number of households, including same-sex spouses, long-term dating partners, and adoptive parents.

In these situations, courts may apply the psychological parent doctrine. A psychological parent is someone who establishes a close relationship with a child through day-to-day interaction and companionship and fulfills the child’s physical, emotional, and psychological needs.

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North Carolina Statute § 50B-3.1 states that if an emergency or ex parte protective order is issued, and the abuse involves a deadly weapon or threat of a deadly weapon, the abuser must surrender their firearms, ammunition, and firearm permits. Knowing what qualifies as a deadly weapon is important, but making that determination is not always easy. In general terms, a deadly weapon is any object that could cause death or severe harm. Items like guns, knives, baseball bats, and hammers would fall into this category, but what about other everyday items or household objects?

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Y Michael Yin, JD

Hunter v. Hunter, 2024-NCCOA-______ (2024).

Facts:  In June 2023, a family dispute turned violent between the Plaintiff and the Defendant, his father. The altercation arose over a disagreement regarding the Plaintiff’s daughter attending bible school. During the argument, the Defendant struck the Plaintiff in the neck, causing him to fall to the ground and suffer a concussion. This incident occurred in the presence of the Plaintiff’s fiancé and daughter, who were seated in a nearby car.

Following the altercation, the Plaintiff filed a complaint seeking a domestic violence protective order. The court responded promptly by issuing an ex parte domestic violence protective order on the same day.

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Y Michael Yin, JD

GREEN V. CARTER, 2024-NCCOA-______ (2024).

Facts:  The case involves two women, Mother and Partner, who had an on-and-off romantic relationship and planned to have a child together through IVF. Although only one woman gave birth and was listed as the mother on the birth certificate due to Michigan law, both participated in selecting the sperm donor and jointly named the child. After their relationship ended, they moved to North Carolina.

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Y Michael Yin, JD

In civil cases, defendants sometimes go to great lengths to avoid being served. The reasons they do this can come down to anything, including just making it difficult for you. Service according to our rules of civil procedure begins with the sheriff or by mailing it USPS certified mail. When those methods are unsuccessful because your ex is avoiding service, we here at Woodruff often get a private investigator to track them down and personally serve them.

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In North Carolina, the courts determine child custody based on the best interests of the child. If a child is taken from their biological parents or legal guardians, there are often reunification procedures in place. However, reunification is not always included in permanency planning orders.

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Domestic violence is a severe offense. If you’ve been falsely accused by a spouse, partner, or household member, you must take the allegations seriously, even if you know you are innocent.

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