In Part 1, we talked about the confusing hodgepodge that is international and US surrogacy law. In considering surrogacy, you may be hoping to keep things close to home to keep travel costs down and stay close to everyone involved and wondering what the law is here in North Carolina. While North Carolina doesn’t have any specific law regarding surrogacy, most judges in the state will grant intended parents pre-birth orders protecting their status as parents, and North Carolina is considered a surrogacy-friendly state. Continue reading →
Thousands of families around the world have successfully grown with the help of a surrogate mother, and you may have decided that surrogacy is the best option for your family. But before you decide, be sure you’ve done your homework. The legality of surrogacy changes depending on where you are, even within the United States. No one wants to get to the birth of their child and find that they aren’t the child’s legal parents based on local laws. If you are using international surrogacy, your child may even end up with no legal parents or citizenship due to differing laws about who is a legal parent at birth. Continue reading →
This May, Mental Health Awareness Month, we examine how mental health stigmas impact child custody cases and what to consider if you are a parent diagnosed with a mental illness.
Lately, it seems like everywhere you turn, people are discussing Amber Heard and Johnny Depp. A lot has been said about Heard’s mental health issues and the testimony given by psychologist Shannon Curry, who described those with borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder as showing “a lot of cruelty,” “very concerned with their image,” and playing a “victim or princess role.”
Dozier v. Dozier, 2022-NCCOA-307 (unpublished) (2022)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Davidson v. Davidson, 2022-NCCOA-267 (unpublished)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 →
May 2nd through the 6th, 2022 is Teacher Appreciation Week in the United States. Join us in celebrating and honoring the tireless work that teachers do to nurture and educate the next generation!
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.
Joseph Maldonado-Passage, aka Joe Exotic and the star of the Netflix hit Tiger King, is set to marry a former fellow inmate, John Graham, pending his divorce from current husband, Dillon Passage. Joe was convicted of a failed murder-for-hire plot that targeted his archenemy, Carole Baskin. Baskin was also featured in the Netflix hit Tiger King. Joe was also convicted of violating wildlife laws in the operation of his zoo, the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, located in Oklahoma. Joe was originally sentenced to 22 years in prison. In January 2022, a judge reduced his sentence by one year to 21 years.