With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing more and more families together for extended periods and creating increases in stress in the family setting, it is no surprise that there has been a rise in domestic violence and tension between partners. Continue reading →
The blame for divorce rates being higher than ever may lie with the coronavirus pandemic. Many lawyers are reporting that the weeks leading up to the holidays have been hectic for them. According to one report, courts have handled a much higher number of divorce filings than usual. Typically, the weeks before a holiday are quiet, as many couples do not wish to disturb family traditions, which generally include traveling and visits with extended family. However, with traveling and large family gatherings strongly discouraged this year, couples are opting not to wait until the start of the new year to cut ties.
Suppose you have filed a complaint requesting a domestic violence protective order against your partner, and before the return hearing required by law you decide that you want to dismiss the complaint. Victims of domestic violence sometimes dismiss claims out of fear of further harm or retaliation. Or they dismiss for other reasons: they decide to reconcile; they find themselves in an adverse financial position; they reconcile for the children; or they lack sufficient evidence to prosecute the claim. What type of dismissal should you enter if you are the victim and find you need to file the dismissal before the hearing? Continue reading →
On Friday, December 11, 2020, Chief Justice Cheri Beasley announced that in North Carolina non-essential, in-person court proceedings would be postponed for 30 days, beginning Monday, December 14, 2020. Unfortunately, this has become the norm as the state continues to battle the widespread effects of the coronavirus pandemic. With in-person court proceedings grinding to a halt, many divorced and separated parents are finding themselves in uncharted territory in terms of co-parenting. As a result, many parents have taken matters into their own hands and are beginning to make day-by-day decisions regarding what is best for their children in these situations.
Think of all the personal data that is collected by your smartphone. Voicemails, text messages, messaging apps, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and dating apps. These can all contain, if not confidential, highly personal and private information you may not want your spouse to have if you are going through a divorce. Thankfully, not all of the above can be readily accessed or requested by your spouse absent some strong showing of necessity. However, there still is some data that can be obtained by subpoena, that requires only a showing of relevancy to your case. Continue reading →
Generally, military disability benefits are exempt from distribution in equitable distribution actions. Here we see whether the court can consider these benefits as income to satisfy a distributive award pursuant to an equitable distribution order. (In this case, Plaintiff improperly filed a Rule 60 motion to set aside the judgment, which is outside the scope of this blog.) Continue reading →
Estes v. Battiston, ___ N.C. App. ___ (2020).
In North Carolina, Alienation of Affections and Criminal Conversation are common law torts called “heart-balm” torts that put civil liability on a third party for causing a breakdown in a marriage. In recent years, attempts by defendants to challenge the tort have relied on numerous constitutional bases. Below, we discuss one avenue attempted by a defendant to bring his constitutional challenges before a court. Continue reading →
In 2020, the holiday season will be one of the most tumultuous in recent years now that Covid-19 rates are beginning to rise again. For parents with ongoing custody cases or custody orders already in place, it presents an especially trying time. Travel is a large component of every holiday season. But before parents and children travel to see their relatives, they need to spend few minutes reflecting on their current custody arrangements. Violating a court order or recklessly leaving on a holiday trip can hurt your case or bring you in contempt of court. Continue reading →
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has made fundamental changes in how people interact with the world around them. Businesses immediately felt the impact. Small businesses of all kinds were forced to shut their doors in order to protect the public and their employees. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), among other emergency relief funds, was offered as a remedy. It was designed to provide needed cash flow in order to continue paying some of the necessities in running a business, such as employee payroll, mortgages/leases, and utilities. It has been almost ten months since the beginning of the pandemic. In this time, life carried on. Unhappy spouses still sought divorce. And as part of those divorces, businesses still required valuations, including businesses that utilized the PPP. But how can the PPP affect the value of a business? Continue reading →
So you’ve moved to Guilford County from Florida and up until your move you and your ex-spouse have been operating under a child custody order that was entered by a judge in a district court in Florida. Now what? North Carolina General Statutes § 50A-305 provides guidelines for registration of child custody determinations in North Carolina. This procedure is optional but may be of benefit to you and your situation. By registering a child custody order in this state, a parent can send a child to another state without concern that the state will not enforce the order if the parent in this state refuses to return the child. Continue reading →