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 →
We all love a good Mulan-esque warrior story with a happy ending. Family law attorneys have seen it all and are the warriors and champions of family law related issues. Delving into the chaotic family disputes that clients present daily means almost nothing could come as a surprise. Yet, when a Kansas man challenged his Iowa ex-wife to a trial by sword fight to settle their child custody dispute, it appeared that there may indeed be something new under the sun.
Routten v. Routten, ______ N.C. _______ (2020).
Child Custody can be a hotly contested issue in divorce cases with minor children involved. In certain instances, a court can award sole custody to one parent and even deny visitation to the noncustodial parent. That determination is severe and, by law, must be substantiated by a factual basis for the denial. But what basis is required? Below, we discuss how one court did so, and the ensuing legal confusion that required the North Carolina Supreme Court to step in. Continue reading →