With many North Carolina families forced to spend more time together as a result of lockdowns or unemployment from COVID-19, some couples are finding they no longer want to be married. Spouses are experiencing fear of being exposed to COVID, fighting over finances, and many other minor issues. If you find yourself in this situation, one of the first steps in the divorce process is to legally separate from your spouse. If you are not sure of how to become legally separated, seek the advice of a family law attorney. Continue reading →
When parties begin the process of divorce, many people feel that that they should include college expenses in a separation agreement. One or both spouses want to ensure that the college expenses for their minor children are covered when the children reach that milestone. But should you agree to cover college expenses in your separation agreement? Continue reading →
Padilla v. Whitley De Padilla, COA19-478 (2020) (unpublished).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 →
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 →
Best v. Staton, (unpublished).
Equitable Distribution is one of the mechanisms by which former spouses separate their personal and real property. It requires the right timing and, since not all property can be easily split, the right kind of appraisal. Real property is especially valuable, and sometimes difficult to assess. In the case below, we discuss why you should consult an expert in Equitable Distribution. Continue reading →
A few years ago, when our state’s leading public university was hit with a public records request regarding a campus sexual assault, the school’s response led to a Constitutional standoff. The United States is a republic where the states have a great deal of autonomy, but what happens when a state institution seems to violate federal law? Continue reading →
Logue v. Logue, No. COA19-831 (unpublished opinion)
One of the most important issues dealt with by experienced family law and divorce attorneys across the country, and especially in the Piedmont Triad, is the division of property (also known as equitable distribution). When there are shared business interests, the valuation of the business(es) adds another layer of complexity. Read on to see how the date of separation, a ‘fact’ on which the parties are not always in agreement, can greatly affect the dollar amounts in property division. Continue reading →
Finn v. Finn, COA 19-520 (Unpublished opinion)
Alimony can be a complex element in divorce. How much is fair and reasonable, how it is categorized for tax purposes, or even whether it is owed at all are matters often left to the discretion of judges. Here in the Piedmont area of North Carolina, we had a case that required some back-and-forth among the judges to get it right.
Facts: This is a previously remanded case from the North Carolina Court of Appeals instructing the trial court to make additional findings for alimony and attorney fees.
Schorse v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo. 2018176, 2018 WL 5270556 (2018)
(a) Facts: Husband was a computer programmer and wife was a physician. During the marriage, the wife earned 80% to 90% of the parties’ income.
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In our practice in Greensboro, North Carolina, it is not uncommon for the parties in a divorce to agree verbally to a change in child support payments. Read on to see how such an apparent show of comity may not hold up in the eyes of the court.