Articles Tagged with child custody

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BOYLES V. ORRELL, 2022-NCCOA-916 (unpublished).

Facts: Mother and Father married in 2014 and separated about four months later. The couple had a daughter together, who is eight years old. The parties entered into a consent custody order and the mother had primary physical custody.

In March of 2020, the trial court entered a subsequent consent child custody order where it was ordered that neither parent would abuse alcohol or use illegal drugs, or abuse prescription drugs while with the minor child. It also allowed either party to request up to four random drug tests which would have to be performed within 24 hours. Continue reading →

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In October 2022, the North Carolina Court of Appeals addressed whether a parent who hasn’t had contact with their child because the child had been actively removed and hidden from them still has their constitutional right to parent their child. Continue reading →

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Cash v. Cash, 2022-NCCOA-706.

Facts: Mother and father were set for a trial on modification of child support. Five days before the trial date, father filed and served an amended financial standing affidavit that reported that his current income was $0 because he was laid off from his employment as a masonry supervisor. At the hearing, mother’s attorney argued that father had not supplied any updated income information. Father testified that he started a new masonry business and was not seeking any other employment, instead focusing on his business. He testified to his business income and expenses. Mother asked father if he provided any of his business financial information before the hearing, and father testified that he did not. Father then called his former boss to testify that father had been laid off because of salary, and that he was the most recently hired supervisor. Boss also testified that he did not offer father a different position with a reduced salary because Boss knew father and knew that father would not accept the job. The trial court found that father was not credible and acted in bad faith to deliberately suppress his income to avoid the child support obligation. The trial court imputed income to father, and father appeals. Continue reading →

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Keenan v. Keenan, 2022-NCCOA-554, No. COA21-579 (Aug. 16, 2022)

In August 2020, Plaintiff’s ex-husband came to Plaintiff’s house to cut her grass. Seems innocent enough, right? But Defendant ex-husband had a history of physically, verbally, and emotionally abusing Plaintiff, had been texting Plaintiff inappropriate things, had been told multiple times not to come to Plaintiff’s house, and wouldn’t leave even though Plaintiff told him to four times. That context makes the situation seem very different, doesn’t it? Plaintiff got so nervous about what Defendant might do that it gave her a panic attack, and she filed for a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO). The DVPO was granted because the trial court found that Defendant placed “the aggrieved party or a member of [her] family or household in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or continued harassment, as defined in [N.C.G.S. §] 14-277.3A, that rises to such a level as to inflict substantial emotional distress.” (N.C.G.S. § 50B-1 (a)(2)) Continue reading →

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Today, we are taking a look at the Indian[1] Child Welfare Act (ICWA), a federal law managed by the US Bureau of Indian Affairs. The ICWA was passed in 1978 to counteract the unfair treatment of Indigenous children in state and foster care. The US has a nasty history of forced assimilation programs where Indigenous children were stolen from their families and moved to boarding schools, where they were forced to abandon their Indigenous culture and heritage. Even though these programs have ended, Indigenous families still face cultural ignorance and bias in the foster care system. In a 2013 study, the percentage of children in foster care who were Indigenous was 2.5 times their percentage in the overall population. In some states, that number was up to 14.8 times. The ICWA helps to protect these children, their families, and the Indigenous Tribes in the United States. Continue reading →

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How often have you heard someone claim their grandmother was Native American? What about Italian? More people around the world claim to be Irish than there are people in all of Ireland! The lure of knowing where you come from has led to an explosion in commercial testing services like 23 & Me. As technology has advanced and databases of genetic profiles have grown, so has the information that those commercial genetic tests can provide. This includes health information and wide nets of genetic relatives you may have never known about. Everyone is familiar with genetic testing in custody and child support cases, but learning one’s genetic parentage can lead to a host of issues beyond custody and child support. Continue reading →

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For a non-legal parental figure in North Carolina, custody of a child is a complicated issue. North Carolina doesn’t have statutes that specifically address custody for a non-related, non-adoptive parental figure, so the courts have to rely on case law – cases that have been decided and explained by the Court of Appeals or the NC Supreme Court – to determine what the rules actually are for granting custody to a third party, such as a non-legal parent. Continue reading →

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As in any traditional family, no one goes into a family with three or more parents expecting it to fall apart but, like any traditional family, separation is always a possibility down the line. For those persons who live in a state that doesn’t allow them to become a legal parent to their child, such as in North Carolina, there are steps that a non-legal parent should take to help protect their custody rights should the worst happen. Continue reading →

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Shebalin v. Shebalin, 2022-NCCOA-410.

Facts:

This appeal arose from the appointment of a parenting coordinator. Parenting coordinators are often appointed to child custody cases when the parents absolutely cannot get along. Plaintiff and Defendant had a minor child together who was at the center of their custody dispute. The trial court’s finding was that the case had become “high conflict” and thus a parenting coordinator was appointed for a term of years. In 2019, Defendant filed a motion to appoint again and was met with a motion to dismiss. At the hearing on these motions in 2020, the trial court again labeled the case high conflict, denied the motion to dismiss, and then set out a future date for the appointment of a coordinator. Continue reading →

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If you are an intended parent who lives in a state that does not allow more than two persons to be named as legal parents on a child’s birth certificate, it is valuable to consider all your options when deciding the legal structure of your growing family. The law is not structured to deal with or protect non-traditional families, so existing legal structures have to be adapted and carefully applied to fit your situation. Because this is a complicated process and every non-traditional family is unique, you should talk to an experienced family law attorney to learn which options will be the best fit for your child before you take any steps to establish a parenting arrangement with three or more people. Continue reading →