Articles Posted in ClientVille

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We’ve recently been writing about virtual currency, blockchains, and a regulatory sandbox for Fintechs. If you follow any of those topics with interest, you’ll very likely have heard of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. NFTs are no longer questionable internet pictures but have moved into the mainstream. (Even Dolce & Gabbana has joined the NFT bandwagon.) Whether the trend has staying power is another question, but to early investors the NFT world is one filled with opportunity. Continue reading →

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Clark v. Clark and Barrett, 2021-NCCOA-653 (2021)

  • Facts: The Clarks were a married couple in North Carolina. In 2016, Husband began an affair with Ms. Barrett, in Virginia. That same year while home in North Carolina, Wife discovered text messages between Husband and Barrett. Husband finally left the marital home after Wife threatened to call Barrett and ask about the affair. Husband’s intimate relationship with Barrett went as far as conceiving a child with Barrett via in vitro fertilization. Things became contentious. In March of 2018, Wife began to interact with Husband on a social network named Kik, wherein Husband was using an alias. Husband, using the alias, sent a message to Wife containing a topless photo of Wife, and saying that this photo was being circulated in internet chat rooms. In May, Wife discovered the same photo on a Facebook “weight loss” advertisement, but with the nipples censored. Wife sued Husband for violating the revenge porn statute, NCGS 14-190.5A. Husband was found to have violated the statute. He appealed.

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Salvadore v. Salvadore, 2021-NCCOA-680 (2021 unpublished)

  • Facts: Wife and Husband married in 1989. During their marriage, Husband would frequently change his job. Husband had a peculiar habit every time he changed jobs that required relocation to another state. He would stay in hotels and campgrounds in the new state while Wife would stay at the marital residence at the old state. Husband would also regularly return to the marital residence on weekends. This would continue until the couple bought a new home in the new state. When Husband accepted a new job in New York, he continued this habit. However, before he left, he asked for a separation on April 17, 2017. But true to habit, he stayed in hotels in campgrounds in New York, while returning to the marital residence in North Carolina on weekends. This happened until July 16, 2017—the last night he spent in the marital residence with Wife. As part of his appeal of an equitable distribution order, he argued that the date of separation should have been April 2017, not the July 2017 date.

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In the same vein as a previous post about starting new holiday traditions after separation, here are some fun ways Christmas is celebrated in other countries!

Japan: Kentucky Fried Chicken, the Christmas dinner of champions. Thanks to a marketing campaign in the mid-1970s, Japanese children associate the holiday with KFC. It is complete with the Colonel in Santa getups, themed containers for chicken and drinks, and a special Christmas combo bucket complete with all the secret spice chicken, salad, and cake. The lines get so busy that customers may wait up to two hours to get a bucket to go. Appreciation of food has no borders, and there is no reason why fried chicken can’t be the centerpiece to the Christmas dinner (except maybe health reasons).

The Netherlands: clogs for Christmas. Sinterklaas is the Santa analog over in the Dutch part of the world. He is dressed in red, has a long white beard, and keeps creepy tabs on the children that have been good and those that have been bad. But instead of reindeer and sleighs, he arrives on a boat…from Spain. The fun part for any kid will always be presents. In the Netherlands, children will leave their shoes (or clogs) next to the fireplace or stove and awake to find gifts and treats stuffed therein. Good luck getting a PS5 to fit in a shoe. (Maybe the Dutch have it all figured out.)

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We’ve all experienced trying times during the pandemic. From school and business closures throwing a wrench in our daily plans to mask-wearing as the new normal, the pandemic has brought about many disputes and concerns, especially among divorced parents who share custody of their children. One Washington State father, Richard John Burke, is paying the price of his actions related to the pandemic after pleading guilty to three counts of first-degree custodial interference in late August.

Burke shares three sons aged 6, 7, and 10 with his ex-wife. On March 24, Burke was supposed to return his three sons to their mother pursuant to a court-ordered parenting plan.  Instead he communicated to his ex-wife that he would be keeping his three sons for an additional four days.  Then, on March 28, Burke failed again to return the children to their mother. On March 29, the children’s school called the mother to let her know Burke had contacted them to state the children would no longer be attending school and to unenroll them immediately.

Burke pushed conspiracy theories about masks and the COVID-19 vaccine. He believed that the children’s school’s masking policy was “an absolute crime,” and also stated that one of his sons “will never be vaccinated again.” Upon deciding that he needed to take extraordinary measures to “protect his boys,” Burke fled with the three children. A judge authorized a $500,000 warrant for Burke’s arrest, and he was eventually taken into custody in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.

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In the Northern Hemisphere the 2021 winter solstice will occur on December 21st. Winter solstice is when the North Pole is tilted farthest away from the sun.  At this time, the Arctic Circle is cloaked in darkness and the longest night of the year happens.  The winter solstice also signifies a turning point where the days begin gradually to get longer again.

Many cultures around the world have a long history of celebrating the winter solstice. Cultures attach great meaning to the solstices because the sun is a sacred star at the center of the solar system.  The sun not only serves as a function of time, but it also sets the weather and indicates agricultural patterns, which were extremely important for historical civilizations.

Solstice Celebrations Around the World

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For some who are freshly separated from a spouse, the holidays can be difficult. There are a lot of emotions at play, and the holidays are generally a time to be with friends and family. When you are in the middle of a separation, all those traditions and memories are reminders of how things used to be. Everything is upended as you begin splitting your former lives. It may be a lonely time, but there is a reason why the separation was necessary. Never forget that this choice was made for long-term happiness. One great way to get that feeling of a fresh start is to begin some new traditions. Continue reading →

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North Carolina’s statutes include a provision, chapter 50B, for an individual who is in a personal relationship to apply for a protective order. The name given is domestic violence protective order, and it is an Order of the court that accomplishes three things; the defendant must avoid certain acts, they must avoid specific locations (such as a the plaintiff’s home), and awards temporary custody of minor children to the nonoffending party. However, 50B actions are only applicable to parties that are in a personal relationship. That means spouses and former spouses, dating partners, current and former household members, parents, and a few more categories. The rule is that the parties share a personal history. Continue reading →

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Jackson v. Jackson, 2021-NCCOA-614 (2021)

  1. Facts: Mother and Father had an unincorporated child support agreement for their three children. Custody was shared between the parties. Later, one child aged out. Mother then relocated, and one child moved with her. The other remaining minor child moved in with Father. For this period, Father sought temporary child support and termination of his previous child support obligation because of the change in custody situation. Mother then filed a breach of contract for Father’s lowering and subsequent cessation of child support payments. At trial the court considered Father’s bonuses and commissions as part of his income. His base salary was $58,000, but he testified that he expected to get commissions even though he had not yet received any. The court found that father’s income was $71,000 annually.

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Thanksgiving is always a time of year that I look forward to.  Every Thanksgiving my family reconvenes under the same roof to eat amazing food and swap stories.  It is a time when you are truly able to slow down and enjoy each other’s company as a prelude to the Christmas season. Continue reading →