Distinctive Representation in Sophisticated Family Law Matters
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In the Matter of R.D.B., A Minor Child (No. COA19-1019)

 

Many children in Guilford County have guardians appointed by the court for a variety of reasons. A child who no longer has any living biological parents is a common example of when a court will appoint an adult to step in and make decisions on behalf of the minor child. In the Matter of R.D.B. addresses how petitioners Ruby and Caleb Harkness—maternal grandparents of the minor child—appealed from the order appointing Raymond Mann to serve as the guardian of the minor child R.D.B. (“Robert”). Continue reading →

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In Reece v. Holt, the North Carolina Court of Appeals, in an unpublished opinion, reviewed N.C.G.S. Chapter 50 for child custody and subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiff Father claimed that an ex parte order established a “presumption” supporting a claim for domestic violence under N.C.G.S. § 50B. This article will focus on the domestic violence action only. Continue reading →

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The recent rollouts of the COVID-19 vaccines have revealed differences of opinion as to who will and who will not take the vaccine. When you are separated or divorced, who decides for the children? Continue reading →

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Koufman v. Koufman, 330 N.C. 93, 408 S.E.2d 729 (NC 1991)

 

Child support orders are modifiable in North Carolina when there is a substantial change in circumstances. But what happens when your child moves to a school away from home, such as a boarding school or preparatory academy? These institutions have dormitories where students live for most of the school year. They get breaks for holidays and summer. Tuition covers most of their living expenses. Below we discuss how the Court analyzed the expenses. Continue reading →

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A coworker recently asked me, “Why does Guilford County have two courthouses, unlike other counties in North Carolina?” I was born in Greensboro, have lived most of my life in Guilford County, and honestly had no idea. After a brief amount of internet searching, I ran across a 1999 article written in the News and Record by Paul Garber, “High Point Courthouse Changed Legal Landscape.” Continue reading →

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Bishop v. Bishop, ____ N.C. App. _____ (Dec. 2020)

 

Child support in North Carolina is typically determined by a formula set out by the legislature and applied in child support guidelines and their worksheets. However, it was known for some income levels that the formula no longer becomes equitable. Too low or too high of income both throw a wrench into the calculus. For higher income families, the court may forgo the use of the guidelines and make findings on the reasonable needs of the child when compared to a parent’s ability to pay; meaning it should account for their assets, debts, and lifestyle. Continue reading →

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In Ellis v. Ellis, the North Carolina Court of Appeals reviewed N.C.G.S. § 50-16.3A and the lower court’s application of the statute. It considered the sixteen relevant factors included in the statute to determine the amount, duration, and method of payment for an award of alimony when there were acts of marital misconduct condoned by the other spouse. Continue reading →

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Ubertaccio v. Ubertaccio, 588 S.E.2d 905 (N.C. App. 2003) (Levinson, J. concurring)

 

In North Carolina, Equitable Distribution (ED) is one of the common mechanisms by which former spouses divide their personal and real property. Stock options and salary substitutions acquired by a party are typically subject to ED. However, not all stock options are genuine stock options on their face. Nor should all forms of deferred compensation be subject to ED. Below, we discuss a Judge that agreed with the outcome, but not on the rationale of classifying a “stock option” in ED. Continue reading →

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When does your obligation to pay court-ordered child support payments stop? Like most issues in the legal field, it depends.

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Mims v. Parker, 839 S.E.2d 433 (N.C. App. 2020)

In North Carolina, dog owners can be liable for injuries caused by their dogs. We all love our friendly four-legged companions, but a dog is still an animal that can cause devastating injuries if it reacts poorly to a situation. We all have heard stories of how even the most kind and gentle ones can fly off the leash in a fit of madness. But our state limits liability for dog attacks to certain exceptions. Mims v. Parker is a case that addresses some of the liabilities. Continue reading →