Appeals are very technical. Last time, we covered the technicalities in a Record on Appeal. Now we address the appellate brief. The Brief is where the case is won or lost. It contains the arguments of counsel on why the appellate court should overturn the court below. As one can imagine, an argument is made in writing is very different from arguments made orally. Over time, the appellate courts have adopted uniform rules on how to present an argument in a brief, which makes things more efficient and consistent. Continue reading →
Appeals are very technical. A filing with the Court of Appeals can happen after a final judgment, or as an interlocutory appeal—meaning before the final judgment. But in order for the Court of Appeals to properly hear your case, you have to provide them with all the facts. The Court of Appeals is not a fact-finding court; you are bound by the facts that were presented in the trial level, and further bound by the facts that you present to the Court. Those facts are included in the “Record on Appeal.” Continue reading →
Craven County o/b/o Jessica L. Wooten v. Adel Hageb (No. COA20-442)
Defendant Adel Hageb (“Father”) and Plaintiff Jessica L. Wooten (“Mother”) were never married but were involved in a romantic relationship. Mother gave birth to a child in 2016 and another child in 2017. After it was determined that Adel was the biological father of both children, the court consolidated the two child support cases and ordered Father to provide health insurance coverage for both children and pay Mother $2,554.00 per month in child support. Then, on September 9, 2019, the issue of permanent child support came on for hearing. The court found Father to have a gross income of $19,454.39 per month. Additionally, although two children born of another relationship lived full-time with Father, the court gave Father credit for one child because Father’s name was not listed on the birth certificate of the other child. Father timely appealed. Continue reading →
Graham v. Jones, 270 N.C. App. 674 (2020).
In North Carolina, grandparents have the ability to have their concerns for custody and visitation heard by the courts. Our statutes allow any parent, relative, or other person claiming a right to custody to institute an action for child custody. Grandparents are relatives of the minor child, and thus have standing to file for custody. But the laws surrounding grandparent custody and visitation are extremely nuanced as a result of being developed over many years of case law. Below is one case that summarizes this area of law. Continue reading →
Divorce rates among couples age 50 and over are on the rise. These so-called “gray divorces” may be a result of many societal factors, including longer life expectancy, increased social mobility and earning potential, and changes in the stigma regarding divorce. Couples often stay in an unhappy marriage for their kids, but once the kids are grown and self-sufficient divorce becomes an option, especially if the aforementioned factors are at play. These gray divorces have implications that may not be present in other divorces. Continue reading →
Spouses who own businesses can often keep a tight lid on finances. This may not be an issue at the onset of marriage, but it means that often, the other spouse is clueless as to how the money is being made. In the unfortunate event of divorce, income becomes a bigger issue when litigating over support and property division. This post is to serve as a primer for two common business entities you may encounter in North Carolina: the C corporation (C corp) and the S corporation (S corp). Continue reading →
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (hereinafter “Plan”), also called the COVID-19 Stimulus Package, was passed by Congress and officially signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021. The Plan seeks to aid the economy in recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. One significant change the Plan provides for is a new federal enhanced child tax credit beginning July 15, 2021. Statistics show that the credit will go to roughly 39 million households with about 65 million children. For the 2021 tax year, the enhanced maximum child tax credit is $3,600 for children younger than age six (6) and $3,000 for children between the ages of six (6) and seventeen (17).
Browne v. Browne, 101 N.C. App. 617 (1991).
Child support in North Carolina is most commonly determined by using the presumptive guidelines. We have written about the use of the guidelines in the past, such as here. But not every case will be a guideline case. The guidelines themselves indicate that certain high earning families (as of today the upper limit is $360,000) are automatically removed from guideline consideration. But what if you believe your custody case – which is not a high-income case – ought to be nonguideline? Continue reading →
A lawsuit is initiated the day it is filed with the court. But the rules of law usually require that before your requested relief can be granted the other side gets their day in court. This is the fundamental basis of our legal system. It is one predicated not only on the laws and statutes developed, but also on providing fair and adequate notice for the party being complained of to come to court and answer the allegations. Therefore, the first big hurdle for getting legal remedy is giving the defendant notice that they are the subject of a lawsuit. This first hurdle is often called process and service of process. Continue reading →
Child support and child custody are frequent issues when spouses are planning to divorce. Today we will discuss some of the most basic aspects behind these two broad and complex issues. How do you file a claim for custody and/or support? What are the governing laws in North Carolina? And what are the types of child support you could receive? Continue reading →