Child custody orders in North Carolina are binding, and both parents must abide by the terms to avoid facing legal consequences. Despite this, it is possible to modify an order if there has been a change in the circumstances of either party and if the modification is in the best interest of the child. How does a judge weigh these two considerations, and does one factor need to be proven before the other? Continue reading →
Deciding to relocate with children is not always easy, as numerous factors must be considered. Divorced, separated, or unmarried parents with custody orders have additional considerations they must think about both before and after they move. Continue reading →
When parents are divorced or no longer together, child support is a way for the non-custodial parent to contribute to the reasonable needs of the child. It may seem relatively straightforward, and in many cases it is. However, child support can become a complex issue because so many factors are used to determine the arrangements.
Factors in Child Support Determinations
Divorce can be a challenging time, especially when children are involved. One of the most complex aspects of ending a marriage is determining custody and visitation rights. The case of Davidson v. Tuttle, 2022-NCCOA-622 offers a window into the intricate nature of these decisions and how they can change over time. Continue reading →
Child custody and child support are two separate matters, but that doesn’t mean that one cannot impact the other. Custody frequently impacts support since the amount of time the child spends with each parent is a factor in calculating child support obligations. However, many parents wonder if failure to pay child support means visitation can be withheld.
The parent that receives child support cannot legally deny the other parent visitation with the child if they fail to make the ordered support payments. The payee spouse can file a Motion for Order to Show Cause, which allows them to ask the court to hold the other parent in contempt for violating the court order. Continue reading →
Co-parenting can be a challenging journey, but when done successfully, it can provide stability and support for children growing up in a separated or divorced family. Effective co-parenting requires cooperation, communication, and a commitment to putting your child’s well-being first. Here are seven valuable tips to help you navigate the path of successful co-parenting. Continue reading →
Edwards v. Anderson, 2023-NCCOA-______ (2023) (unpublished)
- Facts: Parents were never married but had one child together. The child custody order contained a provision wherein romantic guests could not stay overnight with the parent with whom custody is scheduled. Overnight was defined as any time after 8:00pm. However, the provision also noted that Plaintiff, at the time of the hearing, was residing with his girlfriend, so that the provision will apply to him should he end that relationship. Other findings established that the live-in girlfriend and Plaintiff had been dating for at least five years, had a good relationship with the minor child, and acted as a parent to the minor child. Defendant did not have any relationship at the time, and no findings were made as to the same. Defendant appealed on the basis that the overnight provision was unfair, inequitable, and implied some kind of equal protection claim, and also that the term overnight is not commonly associated with 8:00pm.
When it comes to family law matters, service members face unique challenges due to the nature of their duty. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) plays a crucial role in ensuring that the rights and responsibilities of military parents are protected during legal proceedings related to child custody and support. Continue reading →
Marecic v. Baker, 2023-NCCOA-______ (2023) (unpublished).
- Facts: The case involved a dispute between the Plaintiff and Defendant, who are the biological parents of a minor child named R.J.M. The parties never married but purchased real estate in North Carolina and Florida during their relationship. Defendant had two older children from a previous marriage. Initially, they lived together with the children in North Carolina. Their relationship ended in January 2017, and Defendant and her two children moved to an apartment while Plaintiff stayed in their property. Despite the separation, they shared custody of R.J.M., with Plaintiff covering most of Defendant’s living expenses and expenses related to all the children. Actions commenced in December 2018 when Plaintiff filed for child custody, child support, attorney’s fees, and alternative dispute resolution. Defendant responded with a complaint for various matters, and the cases were consolidated. Temporary child custody orders were issued in March and July 2019, followed by a permanent child custody order in May 2021, granting shared custody on a rotating schedule. In May 2022, the trial court issued a child support order, and in June 2022, Defendant’s attorney filed for attorney’s fees. In August 2022, the trial court ordered Plaintiff to pay for some of defendant’s legal expenses. Plaintiff appealed.