When a marriage ends, many former couples carry hurt, anger, grief, resentment, and hostility towards each other. Some former spouses cannot let go of these feelings even after the divorce. What happens to the children of these marriages when those feelings carry over into their post-separation lives? Continue reading →
In re F.S.T.Y. and A.A.L.Y., ____NC______ No.129A19 (2020).
Termination of parental rights cases are complicated and difficult. Even more so when one parent is out of state and having to litigate in North Carolina. In the case below, we discuss how the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld a termination of parental rights for an out of state parent that had no ties to North Carolina whatsoever. 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Padilla v. Whitley De Padilla, COA19-478 (2020) (unpublished).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Best v. Staton, (unpublished).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 →
In re NNB, COA 19-261 (Unpublished opinion)
The family courts in North Carolina operate under one abiding principle: the best interest of the child. This overarching concept takes precedence over every other consideration and can produce unexpected results. This article discusses a recent case in our county in which a father wanted custody of his minor child, but circumstances were not good for his case. 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.
Hamdan v. Freitekh, ______ N.C. App. _______ (2020) (COA19-929).
Here in North Carolina, and across the nation, the Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) sets the jurisdictional rules for how and where custody orders are enforced. The cardinal rule in custody cases has always been, and continues to be, adjudicated with the best interests of the child in mind. The UCCJEA aligns with that cardinal by preventing parents from forum shopping, instead ordering that disputes be litigated in the state with which the child and family have the closest ties. Continue reading →