A California woman is experiencing divorce in a way that has her fearing for her life. Patricia and Ronald Dunn are residents of Los Angeles and are in the process of getting divorced. However, Ronald is less than happy with the idea of divorcing Patricia. To say this is a contentious divorce is an understatement. At approximately 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 15, Ronald first arrived at the couple’s home in the Westmont neighborhood of South Los Angeles in his Chevy Impala. He crashed the car into the home while Patricia was still inside. Ronald then left and later returned with a dump truck, crashing that into the home as well. Ronald then backed up the dump truck and rammed multiple vehicles parked along the street.
Colleen Hoover is unstoppable. To say she is a best-selling novelist is an understatement. In 2022, Hoover held six of the top ten spots on The New York Times’ paperback fiction best-seller list. She has sold more than 20 million books. Her social media presence reaches far and wide. She has roughly 3.9 million followers across platforms and that number continues to grow each day. Reviews of her books have become a sensation on TikTok.
With such a large following, her fans, known as “CoHorts,” are sure to make their opinions known. As a result, it is no surprise the CoHorts were quick to speak out when Hoover announced her plans to design an adult coloring book based on her bestseller “It Ends With Us.”
Suppose you inherit money from a family member during your marriage. Is your inheritance subject to being divided under North Carolina’s equitable distribution statute? The brief answer: it depends.
North Carolina General Statute § 50-20 defines marital property as all real and personal property obtained and currently owned by either or both spouses during the marriage and before the date of separation unless that property is determined to be separate or divisible property. Separate property under N.C.G.S. §50-20 is real and personal property acquired by a spouse before or during the marriage through devise, descent, or gift. Applying the definitions of marital and separate property from N.C.G.S. § 50-20, any money or property you inherit from a family member would be separate property. Continue reading →
As family law attorneys, we are regularly asked by clients if they can record their spouse. In fact, in some cases, they are asking if we want a copy of the recording that they have already made. Yes, these recordings can possibly prove something was said or not said; there is the ability to corroborate as well. But admissibility of recordings is complex and a wholly separate area of law. Today, we discuss whether certain recordings are even legal and, depending on the answer to that question, whether your attorney can even listen to or view the recording. Continue reading →
Three days after your wedding, it happens: You realize you’ve made a HUGE mistake. No worries, though, you can just get an annulment, right? In North Carolina, maybe not! Unless you fall into a few very specific categories, you are going to have to get a divorce instead. Continue reading →
Say that you provided funds, checks, cash, or other payments to your ex since separation. You have a claim pending for equitable distribution, which seeks to divide your marital property. But court is slow. It can take some time for your case to be reached. When it is, how should the court treat those payments you made? Were they gifts, or were they something the court ought to consider in equitable distribution? Continue reading →
Cash v. Cash, 2022-NCCOA-706.
Facts: Mother and father were set for a trial on modification of child support. Five days before the trial date, father filed and served an amended financial standing affidavit that reported that his current income was $0 because he was laid off from his employment as a masonry supervisor. At the hearing, mother’s attorney argued that father had not supplied any updated income information. Father testified that he started a new masonry business and was not seeking any other employment, instead focusing on his business. He testified to his business income and expenses. Mother asked father if he provided any of his business financial information before the hearing, and father testified that he did not. Father then called his former boss to testify that father had been laid off because of salary, and that he was the most recently hired supervisor. Boss also testified that he did not offer father a different position with a reduced salary because Boss knew father and knew that father would not accept the job. The trial court found that father was not credible and acted in bad faith to deliberately suppress his income to avoid the child support obligation. The trial court imputed income to father, and father appeals. Continue reading →
Keenan v. Keenan, 2022-NCCOA-554, No. COA21-579 (Aug. 16, 2022)
In August 2020, Plaintiff’s ex-husband came to Plaintiff’s house to cut her grass. Seems innocent enough, right? But Defendant ex-husband had a history of physically, verbally, and emotionally abusing Plaintiff, had been texting Plaintiff inappropriate things, had been told multiple times not to come to Plaintiff’s house, and wouldn’t leave even though Plaintiff told him to four times. That context makes the situation seem very different, doesn’t it? Plaintiff got so nervous about what Defendant might do that it gave her a panic attack, and she filed for a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO). The DVPO was granted because the trial court found that Defendant placed “the aggrieved party or a member of [her] family or household in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or continued harassment, as defined in [N.C.G.S. §] 14-277.3A, that rises to such a level as to inflict substantial emotional distress.” (N.C.G.S. § 50B-1 (a)(2)) Continue reading →
Let’s suppose that you provided funds, checks, cash, or other payments to your ex since separation. You have a claim pending for equitable distribution, which seeks to divide your marital property. But court is slow and it can take some time for the court to reach your case. When it does, how should the court treat those payments you made? Were they gifts, or were they something the court ought to consider in equitable distribution? Continue reading →