Plaintiff Nigel Williams (“Father”) and Defendant Latoria Johnson (“Mother”) were married on May 1, 2015. Father and Mother had one child born February 17, 2016. Father and Mother then separated on April 30, 2016. On January 17, 2017, Father filed a complaint for child custody. On April 28, 2017, a custody order was entered granting joint legal custody of the minor child to Father and Mother, primary physical custody to Mother, and secondary physical custody by visitation to Father.
Everyone has seen a hearing on TV, but very few people know the process that leads up to that hearing. 95% of family law cases get settled before they even go to trial. Family law cases can be very stressful, but knowing what’s coming next can help lessen that stress. For a few weeks, we will look at the steps of a family law case prior to a hearing.
Part 5: Motions and Rule 5 Notice Continue reading →
Wayne Hopper, Legal Assistant
Risen v. Risen, COA19-342 (N.C. Court App. 2020)
The legal term “contempt of court” describes situations when an individual either willfully refuses to follow or otherwise fails to obey a legally binding order issued by a court. North Carolina recognizes two types of contempt: criminal contempt and civil contempt. Criminal contempt is used when a party violates a court order (or otherwise showing disrespect for the court) and to deter future acts of contempt. Civil contempt is intended to provide a remedy for an injured party or to force compliance with an existing court order. But does contempt have limits? In North Carolina a trial court judge threatened two minor children with civil contempt during a custody dispute between their parents. Continue reading →
Scott v. Scott, 2021-NCCOA-636 (unpublished).
In North Carolina, contempt is the avenue to enforce many domestic court orders, including those that were part of a separation agreement, but only if the agreement is later incorporated into a court order/judgment. That is the situation in the case below, where the father had agreed to pay $2000 a year toward a college fund for the minor child, but later ceased payment. He was found in contempt, and later appealed. Continue reading →
There have been phones and computers around for decades now, and in the child custody context they have been instrumental in providing access to children for noncustodial parents. But since Facetime has come around, we are beginning to see some court documents, specifically custody orders, reference Facetime when crafting custodial schedules. The common form of this Facetime provision is to order that the custodial parent—the parent with physical custody of the child at the time—make the children available for Facetime calls. They differ by the duration of the call, and some will specify specific windows of time in which the noncustodial parent may call. Most also add some sort of “reasonableness” to the equation, so that the Facetime provision is not abused by either party. Continue reading →
In Chica v. Chica, the North Carolina Court of Appeals, in an unpublished opinion, reviewed Plaintiff Father’s appeal of the trial court’s December 6, 2018 Order finding him in civil contempt and establishing purge conditions. Plaintiff Father also appealed the trial court’s April 2019 Order denying, in part, Plaintiff’s Motion for a New Trial related to the December 6, 2018 Order.
Chica v Chica, COA19-856 (N.C. Ct. App. 2020)
- Facts: Plaintiff Father and Defendant Mother were married on or about July 11, 1998. Two children were born of the marriage, and the parties separated in December 2014. The parties reached and the court entered a Consent Order for Child Support and Child Custody. The Consent Order’s relevant sections involve joint legal custody and decision-making, school assignment, medical and dental expenses, and the children’s private school.