COVID-19 UPDATE: Woodruff Family Law Group Remains Open and Operational - More Information Click Here.

Articles Tagged with custody

Published on:

By: S Dean Michaux, JD

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 →

Published on:

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 →

Published on:

By: Y Michael Yin, JD

Steele v. Steele, 36 N.C.App. 601 (1978).

In North Carolina and nationwide, character evidence is generally inadmissible in civil trials. Evidence of character and past conduct is not indicative of future conduct and cannot be used to prove that a party acted or will act in conformity with that character trait or past conduct (save for some exceptions). But in a trial for custody, can the court admit evidence of one parent’s character and past acts to show they are better suited to be the custodial parent? In the case below, the appeal court held that a trial court must make findings as follows:

  1. Facts: Mother and Father had a claim and hearing on child custody, among other matters. The child custody order as drafted by the trial court judge was deficient in findings of fact and conclusions of law. Mother actually conceded that indeed that order was deficient and joined in the appeal seeking remand and further findings.
Published on:

By: Y Michael Yin, JD

In North Carolina, a parent can lose custody over their minor children to the children’s grandparents. One way this can happen is by Order of the Court in a child custody proceeding. Child custody is never permanent, and below we discuss a way for parents to regain custody by motion to the Court. Continue reading →

Published on:

Davis v. Davis, 748 S.E.2d 594 (N.C. App. 2013)

Here we examine a North Carolina Court of Appeals case where the Defendant appealed the trial court denial of a motion to modify custody and a motion to hold the Plaintiff in contempt of court. For this article, we will focus only on the denial of the Motion for Contempt. Continue reading →

Published on:

IN THE MATTER OF: J.M. (No. COA19-421)

Under certain circumstances, a court will remove children from the custodial care and control of a biological parent and place them with a foster family. The court then develops primary and secondary case plans. The case plans consider the children’s best interests and whether the parent is deemed fit or unfit. Courts strive to reunify the children with a biological parent, but in cases where courts determine a parent is unfit, adoption and/or foster families are appropriate alternatives. The case below reveals key findings the trial court needs to make before ceasing reunification efforts between a Mother and her child. Continue reading →

Published on:

Padilla v. Whitley De Padilla, COA19-478 (2020) (unpublished).

Child custody orders are modifiable. In order to do so, the party seeking a modification must show a substantial change from the circumstances found in previous order that warrant the modification. It may seem obvious that a diminishment in the custodial parent’s life may meet that threshold. But below, we discuss a case where improvements in the noncustodial parent’s life warranted a modification in his favor, granting him more time with his kids and more decision-making abilities. Continue reading →

Published on:

By: Y Michael Yin, JD

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 →

Published on:

In re NNB, COA 19-261 (Unpublished opinion)

The family courts in North Carolina operate under one abiding principle: the best interest of the child. This overarching concept takes precedence over every other consideration and can produce unexpected results. This article discusses a recent case in our county in which a father wanted custody of his minor child, but circumstances were not good for his case. Continue reading →

Published on:

Shak v. Shak, ____ Mass. _____, SJC-12748 (2020).

Nondisparagement clauses are ubiquitous in custody agreements and orders. Generally, they are a blanket prohibition on a parent from “talking bad” about the other parent in a form that the minor child(ren) will understand (whether in their presence or on social media, etc.). These clauses are commonly included so that the child will grow up in a less tumultuous environment, free from psychological harm that stems from hurtful exchanges of words. In fact, our own courts have guidelines that are commonly incorporated into custody orders. However, the Massachusetts Supreme Court recently reviewed these clauses under a constitutional lens, and the result is quite interesting. Continue reading →