Kurt Busch is a professional racecar driver who recently had a big win at the Kansas Speedway with the 23XI Racing team he joined this season. Days after his win, news broke that Busch’s wife, Ashley, had filed for divorce in Florida. The couple were married in January 2017 on the island of St. Barts and have been married for five years.
Part 5: Custody Cases Involving LGBTQIA+ Children
Parenting LGBTQIA+ kids can be difficult; trying to protect your child from bullies and bigots is enough to give any parent a sleepless night. Supporting your child, especially if you aren’t familiar with the LBTQ community, can mean working hard to expand both your and your child’s horizons as you help find resources and mentors. Depending on the environment you were raised in, you may also be working to unlearn years and years of your own biases, both conscious and unconscious. It can all be incredibly overwhelming. It may seem like the added stress of a custody battle is the last thing you or your child needs, but if your child’s other parent is unsupportive of your child’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, using the law may be your only recourse to protect your child’s wellbeing. Continue reading →
Part 1: Custody Battles for LGBTQIA+ Parents
Every parent involved in a custody battle harbors at least some fear that they may lose custody of their child, no matter how unlikely it is. This fear is even greater for LGBTQIA+ parents, and understandably so. While acceptance for LGBTQIA+ individuals may be increasing, particularly since Obergefell v. Hodges, stigmas against LGBTQIA+ people can still influence custody decisions in North Carolina. If you are an LGBTQIA+ parent facing a custody hearing, it is important to engage an experienced family law attorney to help prevent those stigmas from keeping you away from your child. Continue reading →
June is Men’s Health Month, and after a messy separation you may imagine that health is not a priority. To help raise awareness of the topic, here are a few tips to get the mind and body back on the right track. After all, it can take a lot of energy to withstand the ups and downs of a contentious divorce case. Continue reading →
We’ve written before on the importance of establishing some new routines and traditions after (or during) a tough separation and divorce. Sometimes if you focus on the simple things it can make the difficult and complicated seem easier to deal with, especially in a contentious custody case. The courts believe that they ought to do what is in the best interests of the kids, and so should you. This May, treat yourself and your kids to some soul-nourishing pizza. You can eat veggies some other day. Continue reading →
Dozier v. Dozier, 2022-NCCOA-307 (unpublished) (2022)
In North Carolina, an Equitable Distribution (ED) judgment is a final court-ordered distribution of the marital assets. Unlike child support, alimony, or custody, these are not modifiable upon showing the court that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. A rule 60 motion is one that is essentially asking the court for relief from the judgment entered. There are many grounds for asking relief. In an interesting twist, one party sought to void one particular section of an ED judgment, rather than the whole thing.
Davidson v. Davidson, 2022-NCCOA-267 (unpublished)
In North Carolina, alimony orders are modifiable upon showing the court that there has been a substantial change in circumstances for either party. In doing so, the trial court ought to revisit many of the factors that justified the original alimony order. The main requirement is that the modification order must relate to the financial needs of the dependent spouse and/or the ability to pay of the supporting spouse. Continue reading →
Maiwald v. Maiwald, 2022-NCCOA-321 (unpublished) (2022)
In North Carolina, Equitable Distribution (ED) cases will classify, value, and distribute marital assets in a fair way. One major component is classification, as separate property (typically property not acquired during the marriage) is not distributed. If a party owns a business, however, even if the business was started before the marriage, it may have a significant marital component. If the business is marital, how do you value it? Value matters a lot. In distribution, the court will presume a 50/50 split and will also try not to split a business. (The record of ex-spouses working well together is not good.) So a bad valuation could result in a lopsided division. Courts will sometimes require the use of a certified business appraiser or business valuation expert. Continue reading →
Laurel Harmon, Legal Assistant
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health problems affect not just those with diagnosed mental illnesses. One in five adults will experience a mental health problem every year and one in twenty-five adults will experience a serious mental illness. When you are going through a difficult time, such as divorce and custody, your mental health can take a toll. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and anger are common during this time. Continue reading →
In the previous blog, we covered appraisal as a method of valuation of property in the context of Equitable Distribution in a separation. Equitable Distribution (ED) in North Carolina is a legal process by which the court divides the marital property between the parties. The three steps in an ED determination are classification, valuation, and distribution, and today we continue with a look at valuation.