Articles Tagged with family lawyer

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Equitable Distribution in North Carolina is a legal process by which the court divides the marital property between the parties. It involves three steps: 1) classifying the property as marital or separate (or some mix); 2) assigning value to the property; and 3) distributing the property in an equitable manner between the parties. We have written a lot with emphasis on the first step of the analysis, classification. This makes sense in that the court will only distribute marital assets and not touch the separate. So today we will talk about the second step, valuation.

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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.

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Foxx v. Foxx, 2022-NCCOA-223 (5 April 2022) (unpublished).

Some statutes and case laws in North Carolina have a time component. In modifications of child support and custody, the trial court is sometimes required to make comparisons between the old facts and circumstances with the current ones in order to find whether there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Sometimes the old facts and circumstances just don’t exist because the prior order was a consent order. In these cases, trial courts ought to make findings about the facts in play at the time of the prior order, so as to make acceptable comparisons. In equitable distribution, one such statute asks the court to compare the income and estates of the parties at the time of the division of property. Again, it asks for a comparison at a specific point in time. Below is a case where the trial court did not make such comparison. Continue reading →

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In Part 1, we talked about the best way to protect your choices about your frozen embryos before the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) process takes place, but what can you do if you’re already past that point? As IVF becomes a more common technology, more and more couples who froze embryos during IVF are getting divorced. Many of those couples didn’t make plans or sign agreements about the possibility of divorce. Others have changed their minds since their agreements were originally made or just didn’t pay attention to one more form in the flurry of paperwork they signed at the clinic.

Is There Case Law in North Carolina?

Unfortunately, North Carolina doesn’t have any statutes or published case law on what happens in those situations. We have to look to other states to get an idea of what will happen in cases like this. Approaches in other states fall into three categories: the pure contract approach, the balancing test, and contemporaneous consent. It is unclear where North Carolina will eventually fall on this spectrum, but for now these will likely be decided case by case depending on the judge who hears the case. Continue reading →

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Samantha S. Erks, JD

Are you dreaming of a healthy, happy baby and planning to use in-vitro fertilization (IVF) to get there? You are far from alone. Over 80,000 babies are born from IVF every year in the United States. During the IVF process, embryos are created and implanted into the intended birth mother’s uterus, but usually there are more embryos than needed. The average couple who goes through IVF has about seven embryos left, resulting in over a million frozen embryos in storage in the US. There are several options for those remaining embryos, and you and your partner need to consider what will happen to yours. Continue reading →

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Before filing a complaint for absolute divorce, your attorney will request that you sign a Verification stating that all the claims and allegations contained in the complaint are accurate and true. This is not just to ensure that there is accuracy in the pleadings and that there are no mistakes. It is actually a requirement and essential part of the complaint for divorce. Put another way, without verification, the complaint will be dismissed. Our statutes[1] require that a verification be signed in front of a notary public or officer of the court. Continue reading →

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Today is April 11th and Johnny Depp’s defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard has begun in Fairfax, Virginia.  You can watch it here.  The pair met in 2011 during production of The Rum Diary and married in 2015.  In May 2016, the pair split when Heard filed for a domestic violence protective order against Depp.  Heard alleged Depp abused her and Depp denied the claims.  They settled their divorce in August 2016. Continue reading →

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Samantha S. Erks, JD

Same-sex dating relationships are just like opposite-sex relationships in many respects: meeting, dating, and, hopefully, moving on to something deeper. Sometimes, however, just like in opposite sex relationships, same-sex relationships eventually do not work out. And sometimes, same-sex relationships REALLY do not work out and, just like in opposite sex relationships, things can get scary. When that happens, when someone is threatening or stalking their ex, one would hope that an LGBTQ victim would be able to rely on the courts to protect them through a domestic violence protective order in the same way that a straight victim could. Until this year, however, that was not the case. Continue reading →

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Amy Setzer, Legal Assistant

For those dealing with a family law matter, whether it’s battling your ex for custody or severing ties with a divorce, Couples Appreciation Month probably doesn’t have you doing cartwheels through downtown. But if you’ve been keeping up with our series on developing healthy relationships, you know that these suggestions can be applied to your connections with many different types of people in your life. If you’re building a new romance or trying to fix your rapport with Mom, here are more tips for your toolbox. Continue reading →

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Amy Setzer, Legal Assistant

If you read the previous blog, you know April is Couples Appreciation Month.  Those of you going through a divorce probably don’t find this fact something to celebrate. Here at Woodruff Family Law Group, we work hard not only to help our clients get through their big “D”, but to get past it as well.  Part of moving forward after a strenuous break-up is healing yourself and hopefully finding new love.  While getting back in the saddle is tough, staying in it can be even tougher. Whether you find yourself in a new relationship or feel like the one you’re in has lost its sparkle, here’s some more tips on strengthening your bond with your special someone. Continue reading →