Articles Posted in Divorce

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Scott v. Scott, 2021-NCCOA-636 (unpublished).

In North Carolina, contempt is the avenue to enforce many domestic court orders, including those that were part of a separation agreement, but only if the agreement is later incorporated into a court order/judgment. That is the situation in the case below, where the father had agreed to pay $2000 a year toward a college fund for the minor child, but later ceased payment. He was found in contempt, and later appealed. Continue reading →

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https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/a-first-for-state-court-of-appeals-kona-mr-bear-dogs-divorce-visitation-rights/

Our pets and divorce saga continues. Today we have a tale from the state of Washington that continues this trend. A couple that separated in 2018 owned two dogs together: Kona and Mr. Bear. At the time, they co-parented the dogs extensively, texting each other schedules, grooming appointments, trainings, and social outings. Throughout the divorce proceedings, both parties emphasized how important the dogs were to them, and how important it was for the dogs not to be split up. Ultimately, the Husband got the dogs, but the Wife got a visitation schedule. Husband wanted to remove those visitation provisions, the court denied, and he appealed to the court of appeals. Husband won, and the visitation provisions were struck out. Continue reading →

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Unless your home is under a rock, you probably know that Adele released her fourth studio album on November 19, 2021.  This is Adele’s first new music since the release of her third studio album in 2015.  It has been six years since Adele fans have been graced with her music.  Needless to say, a lot has happened in Adele’s life over the last six years and her newest album was inspired by these struggles, including her divorce from her husband, Simon Konecki. Continue reading →

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Purvis v. Purvis, 2021-NCCOA-616 (2021).

It can be safely said that a majority of the parents in North Carolina want to see their children succeed. And to ensure that success, parents often take on large burdens to provide their children with as many opportunities as possible, including helping them with college. Some parents have to co-sign student loans. The case below discusses how a student loan may get classified when the parents split up. Continue reading →

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In a divorce that includes a retirement plan, a domestic relations order (DRO) is issued by the state court to assign benefits from the employer to another person (usually the employee’s spouse, known as the alternate payee). The retirement plan that administers these benefits must receive this order. Certain federal requirements must be met and it is up to the plan to determine if the order meets them. If the order meets the requirements, it then becomes a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). In the event that the order gets denied, the state court may modify the order to appease the plan’s objections. An appeal to a federal or state court may be made regarding the plan’s decision to qualify the DRO. The case below discusses an issue regarding a QDRO and if a wife is entitled to the benefits of their deceased ex-spouse. Continue reading →

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As family law attorneys, we are regularly asked by clients if they can record their spouse. In fact, in some cases, they are asking if we want a copy of the recording that they have already made. Yes, these recordings can possibly prove something was said or not said; there is the ability to corroborate as well. But admissibility of recordings is complex and a wholly separate area of law. Today, we discuss whether certain recordings are even legal and, depending on the answer to that question, whether your attorney can even listen to or view the recording. Continue reading →

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Divorce can be stressful.  The process of dividing property that has accumulated between you and your ex-spouse is a given.  Questions regarding how you will split all that you have shared – the marital residence, cars, custodial time with the children – are all commonplace questions individuals ask themselves when going through a divorce.  However, another issue has become increasingly commonplace among separating couples, and that is the question of how custody of family pets will be arranged.  As people begin increasingly to refer to pets as their “fur babies,” family pets are slowly becoming a contentious topic for many divorcing couples. Continue reading →

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World Mental Health Day helps raise mental health awareness and promotes proactive measures individuals can take to care for their mental health.  World Mental Health Day acknowledges the stigma around mental health and is working to alleviate it. Focusing on mental health and allowing individuals to have conversations about their mental health can make a huge difference. Continue reading →

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ZIMMERMAN V. ZIMMERMAN 2021-NCCOA-485

Previously, we have written about the use of stipulations in a case to maximize efficiency and what is required in an oral stipulation in the context of Equitable Distribution. (Our courts have held, for an oral stipulation on Equitable Distribution to be valid, that the parties must be read the terms of the stipulation and questioned as to whether they understand the legal effect of the agreement and then agree. McIntosh v. McIntosh, 328 S.E.2d 600, 74 N.C. App. 554 (N.C. App. 1985)). Continue reading →

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October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. Dogs are our best friends. Some seem to be made entirely of boundless energy and unconditional love. Studies have shown that in the presence of our four-legged friends, stress lowers, our happiness-promoting hormones increase, our blood pressure lowers, and our self-esteem increases. During a particularly messy divorce and separation, a furry companion could be the perfect way to cope with the stress. Take note that pet ownership, even with all the mental benefits, is a serious commitment. Do get a dog, but only if you are serious about the responsibilities of ownership. Continue reading →