Divorce is rarely simple, and when children are involved the complexities can intensify. Child support is one of the most critical aspects that parents need to consider during the separation process. A recent North Carolina case, Bishop v. Bishop, sheds light on some crucial issues that can arise in child support matters, especially for high net-worth parents. Continue reading →
Child custody is often a highly contentious topic in family law because of both parents’ and guardians’ strong desires to spend as much time as possible with their child. If you currently have a permanent custody order in place, you may be able to have it amended. However, while it is possible for custody orders to be changed by the court, it is not something you can request on a whim; you must adhere to strict legal requirements.
North Carolina Requirements
Permanent custody orders require two elements in order for there to be a valid reason to amend them, which are:
Mother’s Day is a special occasion to honor and appreciate the remarkable women who have played a significant role in our lives. However, for those going through a divorce, this holiday can bring about mixed emotions and unique challenges.
In the typical custody arrangement, Mother’s Day is a special holiday that requires a small departure from the typical custodial schedule. Usually, Mom will have Mother’s Day, and Dad will get Father’s Day. It can be immensely valuable for Mothers in a shared custody situation to make the day special and positive. Continue reading →
IN RE: A.W., 2023-NCCOA-________ (2023).
- Facts: Orange County DSS received a report for domestic violence that occurred in September 2018, where Father dragged Mother into another room by her hair, struck her in the back of the head, threw her against a wall, and essentially choked Mother until she lost consciousness. Their child witnessed this violence. Father then sent threatening messages to Mother, wherein he made threats to kill Mother or the child. Father was criminally charged for his conduct. While a domestic violence order of protection was granted to Mother against Father, the two continued to have contact. DSS filed a petition. A hearing for TPR was eventually held where the trial court terminated Father’s parental rights on the grounds, among others, that the child was neglected. Father appeals.
BOYLES V. ORRELL, 2022-NCCOA-916 (unpublished).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 →
It’s your first holiday with your adopted child and you’ve done everything to make it perfect, with magazine-worthy tables of food, a home full of beautiful decorations, and lights twinkling just right in the annual family photo – at least until the dog eats the turkey, the cat knocks down the Christmas tree, and someone is blinking in every single picture! We all know that reality never goes exactly as you plan, but by following these tips to support your adopted child through the inevitable messiness, your first holiday season as a complete family can turn out better than you ever imagined! Continue reading →
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 →
Many adopted children grow up wondering, “Where did I come from?” Until the last 20 years or so, the only way to answer that question was to ask a court to unseal your adoption records, which rarely worked. However, as society has gained a greater understanding of the possible psychological and medical impacts of adoption, new options have opened to help adult adoptees learn their personal histories. There are four different ways for an adoptee to get information about their adoption and birth family: through their adoption agency, through a post-adoption intermediary program, through the courts, or through genetic testing. Going through the courts can be costly and time consuming, so it is usually best to try another option first. Continue reading →
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 →
In the United States, fewer than half of the children live in a household with just their siblings and married parents. The other children live in a variety of relationships and family structures that often mean that more than two people act as parents in a child’s life. Continue reading →