Mims v. Parker, 839 S.E.2d 433 (N.C. App. 2020)
In North Carolina, dog owners can be liable for injuries caused by their dogs. We all love our friendly four-legged companions, but a dog is still an animal that can cause devastating injuries if it reacts poorly to a situation. We all have heard stories of how even the most kind and gentle ones can fly off the leash in a fit of madness. But our state limits liability for dog attacks to certain exceptions. Mims v. Parker is a case that addresses some of the liabilities. Continue reading →
Suppose you are separated or divorced, or you have recently retired or been placed on disability, and are the parent of a minor child. If you receive dependent benefits through Social Security or the Veterans Administration, your child support obligation may be reduced or eliminated, provided you are not behind or delinquent on your current court-ordered payments. Continue reading →
So you’ve moved to Guilford County from Florida and up until your move you and your ex-spouse have been operating under a child custody order that was entered by a judge in a district court in Florida. Now what? North Carolina General Statutes § 50A-305 provides guidelines for registration of child custody determinations in North Carolina. This procedure is optional but may be of benefit to you and your situation. By registering a child custody order in this state, a parent can send a child to another state without concern that the state will not enforce the order if the parent in this state refuses to return the child. Continue reading →
No. COA19-493 (unpublished)
Plaintiff-Father Alex Harter and Defendant-Mother Hayley Eggleston were never married but are the parents of one child, born in 2010. Father and Mother lived together from December 2009 until separating in September 2012. Since separating in September 2012, disagreements regarding the minor child’s custody have resulted in contentious litigation. Plaintiff-Father initiated action in Moore County, North Carolina. After the court entered a consent order on January 31, 2013, Defendant-Mother and the minor child moved to Ohio. On November 5, 2018, Mother filed a verified “Motion to Remove” the case to the State of Ohio because North Carolina was an inconvenient forum. Plaintiff-Father appealed from the trial court’s decision that North Carolina was an inconvenient forum and that Ohio was a more convenient forum. Continue reading →
As we proceed through the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, domestic violence incidents have increased in North Carolina. Isolation and lockdown likely have exacerbated conditions that may have already been present in a rocky relationship. Financial woes and job losses have only added to the stress. Domestic violence and violence against intimate partners have been on the rise. Here, we will briefly discuss how the Court can grant emergency relief for the victims of domestic violence. Continue reading →
Doyle v. Doyle, 176 N.C. App. 547 (2006)
Sometimes, what kicks off a divorce is not a slow descent into a frustrating marriage, but instead a jarring and violent incident that cannot be reconciled. Domestic Violence Protective Orders (DVPO) can be granted to spouses that fear for their or their minor children’s safety. A DVPO plays a major role in a divorce case that includes claims for child custody. In North Carolina, our laws require that judges in child custody proceedings consider acts of domestic violence and safety of the child when making determinations. Is it fair for a judge in custody to allow new arguments for a settled case? Below, we discuss the implications of such a DVPO on child support through the lens of a legal doctrine called collateral estoppel.
(a) Facts: Plaintiff husband and Defendant wife married in 2001 and had one child together. They separated in 2003 and a complaint for child custody and support was filed in 2004. During this period, the parties alternated custody of the minor child on their own accord. On one such exchange, Plaintiff was at Defendant’s home to pick up the child when Defendant tried to prevent them leaving by trying to remove the child from Plaintiff’s arms. Defendant struck Plaintiff’s groin, and Plaintiff responded with his own use of force. Police were called and Defendant filed for a DVPO. Plaintiff filed a counterclaim for the same. Temporary custody was awarded to Defendant. In the DVPO hearing, the trial court Judge Mull found that Defendant had initiated the altercation, thus dismissing Defendant’s complaint and granting Plaintiff’s. In 2004, a hearing was conducted for the issues of child custody and support. At that hearing, trial court Judge Sigmon disagreed with Judge Mull, and ordered Defendant have primary physical custody. Plaintiff appealed.
School starts soon, and parents in the Piedmont Triad area are understandably worried about their children’s exposure to COVID-19. Do I send my child back to the classroom, home school them, or opt for online classes? Fears over the lack of social distancing, schools enforcing mask policies of older students, and not requiring mask wearing for younger children are just a few of the concerns. Many parents’ fears, when faced with the threat of exposure and further spread of COVID, are only made worse when the parents are no longer together and cannot agree on how to address the situation. If you find yourself dealing with whether your children should return to school, with or without a court-ordered custody order in place, an experienced family law attorney can assist you. Continue reading →
If you plan to file a child custody action in North Carolina, you will be required to participate in a Custody Mediation Program. Each district in North Carolina has specific operational procedures laid out in their local rules, and the rules for each county can be viewed online at www.NCcourts.gov. Continue reading →
We’ve all seen videos such as this one on the highly addictive TikTok app depicting parents dropping their kids off at Grandma and Grandpa’s house to achieve some much needed alone time. Ever since the Piedmont Triad began experiencing the monumental effects of COVID-19 in early March, both kids and parents alike are eager to experience a change of scenery from the all too familiar rooms of their own home. However, staying at home has become the new norm. It appears we will have ample time to become even more acquainted with our home offices as Guilford County Schools recently announced the 2020-2021 academic year will begin with remote learning through at least October 20, 2020. Continue reading →