Articles Tagged with custody attorney

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Argueta v. Baker, 137 A.D.3d 1020, 27 N.Y.S.3d 237 (2016)

There are times where parents do not effectively co-parent. There are even times where one parent goes out of their way to interfere in the parent-child relationship with the other parent. There are ways to enforce the controlling custody order, such as contempt. But New York seems to also have another avenue of relief, asking the court to terminate child support. Note: this is not North Carolina law, it is from New York. Continue reading →

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JACOBS V. DUDLEY, 2021-NCCOA-571 (19 October 2021).

Child custody can be hotly contested. Often people will have third parties (i.e., not the parents or guardians of the child) involved in some custody disputes. These people include teachers, doctors, therapists, and extended family members. Such individuals are often asked to come to court to expound on the parenting abilities of the parties, the child’s performance in school, and perhaps even the psychological state of the child. Choosing a good witness to introduce facts to the case is important. Below, we see an instance where one bad witness backfired. Continue reading →

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The trial court awarded Plaintiff-Father Issac Munoz primary physical custody of the parties’ daughter.  Defendant-Mother Cassandra Munoz appealed.  The parties married in 2012 and the minor child was born in 2015.  Mother was, and still is, a member of the United States Army.  In 2016, the Mother was stationed at Fort Bragg near Fayetteville, North Carolina.  When the minor child was born, both Mother and Father worked, but they relied on extended family to care for the minor child as opposed to placing the minor child in daycare.  While living in Fayetteville in 2018, the parties separated.  At the time, Mother was anticipating deployment to Iraq. Continue reading →

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Alaska’s Supreme Court recently decided an issue revolving around custody of a minor child born through artificial insemination to a same-sex couple. As same-sex marriages and reproductive technologies continue to be more commonplace, we are seeing an increase in cases that involve such parties. The law, as always, lags behind the times a few years, but it is imperative that the courts begin setting a precedent to allow such parties to adequately address the family law issues that have been so familiar in opposite-sex couples. Continue reading →

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Blackwell v. Blackwell 2021-NCCOA-537

  1. Facts: Mother and Father began a child custody action. Mother subpoenaed numerous mental health documents from healthcare providers. These documents would have purportedly been used at trial to establish Father’s mental health and substance abuse. In 2016, the parties had consented to a custody schedule in a memorandum of judgment. Before the formal written order was entered, Mother filed to modify custody because her job had moved to Pennsylvania. The formal order was entered in December of 2016. Mother then took the child to Pennsylvania with her in 2017. Father filed for ex parte emergency custody, modification of custody, and contempt. Mother requested that the trial court examine the mental health records. At trial, the judge did not admit those records as evidence, stating that he was not concerned with events prior to the entry of the custody order. Eventually, Father’s motions were granted, and he was awarded with permanent custody. Mother appealed.

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There is a mess of a custody case in Massachusetts (MA) that arose from a very reckless surrogacy situation. Apparently, a same-sex couple posted to social media asking for help having a baby. A friend then offered to conceive with her boyfriend (read: the baby would be biologically unrelated to the couple seeking help) and then give the baby to the couple. You might guess what happened next. The friend gave birth and then decided she wanted to keep the baby. The courts in MA decided that these events amounted to an informal surrogacy. The case has been ongoing since 2018. MA has no surrogacy statutes despite judges and advocates calling for enactment of surrogacy laws. The 2021 opinion from the MA Court of Appeals in this case actually begins with a plea to the legislature for guidance on surrogacy arrangements (surrogacy contracts). Continue reading →

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Matthew Taylor Coleman and his wife, Abby Coleman, were living a picturesque life in their Santa Barbara, California home with their two young children—Kaleo, a two-year-old boy, and Roxy, a ten-month-old girl— when events took a turn for the worse.  While the family was packing for a camping trip, Matthew allegedly placed the children in the family van and drove away without a word to Abby.  She was unable to reach him by phone but eventually tracked his location with the help of authorities and the Find My iPhone application.  After being stopped by law enforcement at the U.S.-Mexico border and taken into custody, Matthew told investigators he killed his children with a spearfishing gun after being “enlightened by QAnon and Illuminati conspiracy theories.”  Believing that Abby possessed serpent DNA that had been passed down to his children, Matthew claimed the death of his children was “saving the world from monsters.”  Matthew has been charged with the foreign murder of U.S. nationals.  Continue reading →

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WALTER V. WALTER 2021-NCCOA-428

The language contained in a consent order should be unambiguous and clearly state what each party is required to do under the order. When the reading of the order leads to multiple reasonable interpretations, it may become impossible to enforce through contempt. Below is a custody consent order that had one such line of ambiguous language: Continue reading →

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Angelina Jolie recently experienced a small victory in her contentious custody dispute with Brad Pitt. The California Court of Appeals has disqualified the private judge, John Ouderkirk, from further ruling on the matter.  Jolie and Pitt selected Judge John Ouderkirk to handle the custody dispute in the hope that a private judge would further promote the privacy of the case.  However, last year, Jolie asked Ouderkirk to disqualify himself for failing to sufficiently disclose his business relationships with Pitt’s attorneys in a timely manner.  A lower court initially ruled that Jolie’s filing seeking disqualification came too late, but Jolie’s attorneys appealed from that order.  The California Court of Appeals then ruled that Ouderkirk’s business relationships with Pitt’s attorneys raised concerns for his impartiality. Continue reading →

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M.E.G. v. C.P., unpublished (2021).

It is not unheard of for one parent to move out of state. If the parties have minor children together, then the question is which parent is primarily going to have custody of the children. Many factors may come into play when making the determination. One set of parents in New Jersey tried to negotiate a relocation in an agreement. In this case, we see just how a court treats such agreement. Continue reading →