June is Men’s Health Month, and after a messy separation you may imagine that health is not a priority. To help raise awareness of the topic, here are a few tips to get the mind and body back on the right track. After all, it can take a lot of energy to withstand the ups and downs of a contentious divorce case. Continue reading →
A couple in India, Sanjeev Ranjan Prasad and his wife Sadhana Prasad, are retired and longing for a grandchild. The couple have one son, who received pilot training in the United States and is currently a pilot. Approximately six years ago, Sanjeev and Sadhana arranged for their son to marry their now daughter-in-law. According to Sanjeev and Sadhana, more than enough time has passed for the couple to settle into married life and begin having children.
Surrogacy and in-vitro fertilization are generally not possible without gamete donors. However, like surrogacy contracts, gamete donation isn’t addressed by North Carolina statutes or cases. Both donors and intended parents need to protect themselves under North Carolina’s contract laws by making sure they have a strong contract addressing their interests. As with surrogacy, a contract needs to be reviewed by independent legal counsel for each party prior to signing and then signed before any gametes are fertilized. Continue reading →
We’ve written before on the importance of establishing some new routines and traditions after (or during) a tough separation and divorce. Sometimes if you focus on the simple things it can make the difficult and complicated seem easier to deal with, especially in a contentious custody case. The courts believe that they ought to do what is in the best interests of the kids, and so should you. This May, treat yourself and your kids to some soul-nourishing pizza. You can eat veggies some other day. Continue reading →
As we discussed in Part 2 of our series, North Carolina doesn’t have statutes or case law protecting surrogates and intended parents, so the best way to protect yourself, no matter your role in the process, is to have an ironclad surrogacy contract. A surrogacy contract should be reviewed by independent legal counsel for both parties and signed prior to any medical procedures. No matter how sure the parties may feel at the time, the contract should be carefully considered by the parties and reviewed by attorneys. Continue reading →
In Part 1, we talked about the confusing hodgepodge that is international and US surrogacy law. In considering surrogacy, you may be hoping to keep things close to home to keep travel costs down and stay close to everyone involved and wondering what the law is here in North Carolina. While North Carolina doesn’t have any specific law regarding surrogacy, most judges in the state will grant intended parents pre-birth orders protecting their status as parents, and North Carolina is considered a surrogacy-friendly state. Continue reading →
Thousands of families around the world have successfully grown with the help of a surrogate mother, and you may have decided that surrogacy is the best option for your family. But before you decide, be sure you’ve done your homework. The legality of surrogacy changes depending on where you are, even within the United States. No one wants to get to the birth of their child and find that they aren’t the child’s legal parents based on local laws. If you are using international surrogacy, your child may even end up with no legal parents or citizenship due to differing laws about who is a legal parent at birth. Continue reading →
This May, Mental Health Awareness Month, we examine how mental health stigmas impact child custody cases and what to consider if you are a parent diagnosed with a mental illness.
Lately, it seems like everywhere you turn, people are discussing Amber Heard and Johnny Depp. A lot has been said about Heard’s mental health issues and the testimony given by psychologist Shannon Curry, who described those with borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder as showing “a lot of cruelty,” “very concerned with their image,” and playing a “victim or princess role.”
Dozier v. Dozier, 2022-NCCOA-307 (unpublished) (2022)
In North Carolina, an Equitable Distribution (ED) judgment is a final court-ordered distribution of the marital assets. Unlike child support, alimony, or custody, these are not modifiable upon showing the court that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. A rule 60 motion is one that is essentially asking the court for relief from the judgment entered. There are many grounds for asking relief. In an interesting twist, one party sought to void one particular section of an ED judgment, rather than the whole thing.
Davidson v. Davidson, 2022-NCCOA-267 (unpublished)
In North Carolina, alimony orders are modifiable upon showing the court that there has been a substantial change in circumstances for either party. In doing so, the trial court ought to revisit many of the factors that justified the original alimony order. The main requirement is that the modification order must relate to the financial needs of the dependent spouse and/or the ability to pay of the supporting spouse. Continue reading →