Articles Posted in Divorce

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North Carolina will soon decide whether to make gambling on sports legal. There are two bills, one in the North Carolina House, the other in the Senate. House Bill 631 of the 2021 Session is a bill to authorize and regulate sports wagering. Senate Bill 688 looks to be a mirror of the House Bill. In short, these bills would make wagering on professional sports legal in North Carolina. The operators of any sports betting business will be allowed to utilize cryptocurrencies as wagers or payments, meaning consumers can deposit cryptos in their accounts. The bills will define these cryptos as “cash equivalents.” These are assets convertible to cash for use in connection with authorized sports wagering. The legislation’s inclusion of cryptocurrencies is easily the most interesting element. The use of these virtual currencies could propel the value and usefulness of the payment medium even further. Continue reading →

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Stewart v. Shipley, 825 S.E.2d 684, 264 N.C.App. 241 (N.C. App. 2019)

You might imagine your civil court case as a game. All games have rules, and the handbook that tells you how to play the game is the Rules of Civil Procedure. And you can’t break the rules without consequences. The rules exist in a game to make things fair and efficient and ordinary. In this way, the Rules of Civil Procedure promotes fairness, efficiency, and order. Below is a case that talks about one of those rules. Continue reading →

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Matthew Taylor Coleman and his wife, Abby Coleman, were living a picturesque life in their Santa Barbara, California home with their two young children—Kaleo, a two-year-old boy, and Roxy, a ten-month-old girl— when events took a turn for the worse.  While the family was packing for a camping trip, Matthew allegedly placed the children in the family van and drove away without a word to Abby.  She was unable to reach him by phone but eventually tracked his location with the help of authorities and the Find My iPhone application.  After being stopped by law enforcement at the U.S.-Mexico border and taken into custody, Matthew told investigators he killed his children with a spearfishing gun after being “enlightened by QAnon and Illuminati conspiracy theories.”  Believing that Abby possessed serpent DNA that had been passed down to his children, Matthew claimed the death of his children was “saving the world from monsters.”  Matthew has been charged with the foreign murder of U.S. nationals.  Continue reading →

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WALTER V. WALTER 2021-NCCOA-428

The language contained in a consent order should be unambiguous and clearly state what each party is required to do under the order. When the reading of the order leads to multiple reasonable interpretations, it may become impossible to enforce through contempt. Below is a custody consent order that had one such line of ambiguous language: Continue reading →

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Wall v. Wall, 536 S.E.2d 647, 140 N.C. App. 303 (N.C. App. 2000)

There are various legal mechanisms by which former spouses separate their personal and real property. One mechanism is Equitable Distribution (ED). Practically speaking, however, no division of property should be accomplished without first obtaining an Order/Judgment from the court. This is especially true for more valuable and unique assets like real property. So what happens if you have your hearing, but don’t get an Order in a timely manner? Continue reading →

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Divorces among the stars continue to spark gossip throughout Hollywood, but recent developments in Kelly Clarkson’s divorce from Brandon Blackstock are turning heads.  The couple divorce papers were filed in June of 2020, after seven years of marriage.  Blackstock served as Clarkson’s talent manager during the marriage.  Recent reports note that he is opting for a post-divorce life out of the limelight by becoming a full-time rancher on the former couple’s ranch in Montana. Continue reading →

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Texts and emails relevant to your case can and should be exhibits. Often times, they prove or disprove that certain conversations were had. In the family law context, they often show certain things like discussion of finances, custody, verbal abuse, or even the overall character of a spouse. But there are barriers to cross before the texts can be admitted as evidence. Continue reading →

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In North Carolina, a stipulation, in the legal context, is an agreement between the parties in a lawsuit. It is most commonly used by parties to extend deadlines for responding to discovery or to agree on a factual finding that is uncontested. It can be done to minimize costs in litigation, because there is no need to spend time proving something that is agreed upon. Good practice dictates that stipulations are written and signed by the parties and/or attorneys and then presented to the court. Continue reading →

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Desai v. Desai, No.COA20-435 (July 2021) (unpublished)

An interim distribution is an order of the court that can be entered anytime after the filing of the equitable distribution (ED) claim and before the final judgment on equitable distribution. In these interim orders, the court can classify, value, and distribute certain assets or debts. This partial distribution can also provide for a distributive award that one party pays the other in exchange for the distribution of an asset or debt. So how does this affect the final judgment? Below is a case that explains simply what should happen. Continue reading →

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Unpublished Opinion – No. COA19-566

 

Carmen Cousin and Terry Cousin were married for seventeen years.  They separated in May 2016.  Upon separating, Carmen filed a complaint, which included a claim for equitable distribution.  Terry then filed an answer, which included a counterclaim for equitable distribution.  In the final equitable distribution order entered by the court in July 2018, the court assigned a value of $26,070.00 to the parties’ 1965 Lincoln Continental.  The court considered evidence showing the car to be fully restored, thus assigning it that value.  Furthermore, the court awarded Terry the parties’ Myrtle Beach property and ordered him to refinance the mortgage into his sole name before receiving the deed from Carmen.  Terry timely appealed this equitable distribution order.  Continue reading →