Articles Tagged with Parent

Published on:

Divorce and its aftermath can be (and usually are) chaotic. Having kids and keeping track of all their things was tough enough, and now you have to coordinate your parenting with someone you may not even want to talk to, much less strategize with. And on top of it all, you have to manage everything on your own. Talk about a trial by fire.

Luckily for you, there’s an app for that. Or several. These apps can’t do it all for you, but they can make things easier.

SquareHub (Free)

Published on:

Dear Carolyn,

Triad parent here, contemplating divorce, but I feel compelled to stay together for the children.  The children are ages ten and twelve.  However, the marriage is quite bad; we argue all the time.  We never do anything together, and sex—forget that.  I work, and my wife does not work.  Can you give me any insight into considerations for whether I should stay in the marriage for the children, or at least until they are in college?  I want to do what is best for the children.  I am miserable.

~ Miserable

Published on:

Jennifer A. Crissman, Attorney, Woodruff Family Law Group

            The name “Responsible Individuals List” may sound like an accolade to parents; however, this is a misnomer. For those unfortunate enough to find their family in the midst of an investigation of child abuse, neglect, and dependency the List is likely to be mentioned. It is important that anyone who finds themselves in this situation be aware of what the term means and the ramifications of being on this list.

The Responsible Individuals List and Consequences

            The actual list is comprised of the names of individuals who are found to be responsible for the abuse and serious neglect of a juvenile. The List was created by statute in 2006 in response to federal requirements under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). The primary goal of the federal regulation was to create a child abuse registry that was accessible to certain authorized agencies which must determine the fitness of an individual to care for or adopt children.

In 2010, the NC Court of Appeals held that placement on the List impacts an individual’s Constitutionally protected liberty interest. In re W.B.M., 690 S.E.2d 41 (N.C. App. 2010). Placement on the List can prevent an individual from being able to care for children, whether it be through employment, fostering or adopting. Although the List can affect a person’s ability to care for children, the statutes do not address the length of time an individual is placed on the List. The statutes also do not provide for an expungement procedure after a specified period has expired.

The List and Caring for One’s Children

            Although placement on the List can prevent a person from adopting or fostering, the List does not necessarily prohibit an individual from caring for their child. There are currently no cases in North Carolina that address being added to the Responsible Individuals List and then being denied reunification with your children. Further, North Carolina statute, the North Carolina Administrative Code and the Department of Social Services Manuals only address using the Responsible Individuals List for employment purposes or foster/adoption/kinship placement determinations. Currently, it appears the impact of being placed on the Responsible Individuals List is limited to children who are not biologically your own.

Continue reading →

Published on:

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, love is in the air and it is a great time to express it to those who you care about most.  It is important that during this festive season that you remember that your children are the ones who need your love the most and we are here to help with some creative ideas on how to make the most of your time with them.  When it comes to time with your children, it is important to remember the deliberate nature in which you must approach each moment you have with them.  Visitation must become more than simply being together; it is of the utmost importance to engage your children, take part in new and exciting experiences with them, and create lasting memories that you can share together for years to come.  Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to express and grow the love between you and your children and it never hurts to have a few ideas in your back pocket to make your time together special.

For younger children Valentine’s Day is a big deal; a good way to keep within the spirit of the holiday is to set aside time for fun and celebration.  A trip to Charlotte, NC provides many options to accomplish this.  Charlotte is home to the Discovery Place Museum- a childhood utopia that is sure to keep everyone entertained while engaging in interactive learning.  Afterwards, crafting valentines to exchange with each other and even take home is a great way for kids to express their love to both parents in a meaningful and fulfilling way. Continue reading →

Published on:

The previous two posts on premarital agreements have addressed future spouses who are considering signing a premarital agreement. The final two posts in this series will address the future spouses’ parents.

In particular, this post is directed at parents who have worked hard enough, and been fortunate enough, to accumulate significant property. You desire, naturally enough, to leave that property to your children. But you do not want that property to pass to your children’s spouses. How can this goal be accomplished?

Understand initially that you may not need any special measures. When a marriage ends in divorce, most states give special treatment to property acquired by gift or inheritance. In North Carolina, gifts and inheritances are defined as separate property that the court lacks the power to divide. N.C. Gen. Stat. (“G.S.”) § 50-20. Separate property includes not only the initial amount of the gift or inheritance, but also any future “passive appreciation” in that gift or inheritance—growth caused by market forces, and not by the funds or efforts of your children after they are married.

For example, assume you have investment stock, bonds, or a bank account. If by gift or devise, you transfer this property to your children, the property transferred will be separate property. Any future passive appreciation in the gift or devise will be separate property also. Upon divorce, your child’s spouse will not have any claim to separate property.

Continue reading →

Published on:

By Kristina Pisano, Blog Writer, Woodruff Family Law Group

Dad and I 2014

I am just like my Father: I have come to this realization as I get older. From the red hair, the red-headed temper and the overly kind and generous heart; I thank my father. It wasn’t until recently, though, that I realized how much I am like him. Quiet at times, especially around new people; he becomes the life of the party once he is around his people. I realized that in my mid-twenties I was the same way. Turning junk into treasure, an eye for color and design and the overwhelming and sometimes heavy load of putting everyone else’s needs and worries before myself is me and my father. He taught me how to drive the wide open roads respectfully in the Pennsylvania Mountains and the unique connection you can make with a four-legged friend. I owe my Dad the world and so much more. How will you spend Father’s Day with your Dad this year?

On Father’s Day weekend both the Greensboro Grasshoppers and the Winston-Salem Dash have home games. Nothing could be better than watching the great American pastime, baseball. Grab some hot dogs, a cold drink and of course a bag of peanuts and reminisce of playing catch in the backyard.

Published on:

By Tina Ray, Legal Assistant, Woodruff Family Law GroupTina

“Mom, can I have the iPad?” “Dad, can I play on your phone?”  How many times a day do you hear that?  If you have kids, you’ve probably heard those exact words.  My grandson loves to come home with me.  Why? To play games on my phone. As you can imagine, I really feel loved.  Don’t get me wrong, when you’re having a conversation with someone, or driving, it can be very helpful to have the cell phone or iPad babysitter.  But, sometimes parents and grandparents let it go too far.

Kids are kids. They are people that need exposure to….get this…. Nature.  Fresh Air. Other kids!  Some children would play on phones and iPads all day long and not come up for air unless the battery died.  They do learn some things from these games, but not everything they need to know.  Interaction with other humans is VERY important to their mental and physical growth.

Whether you use a Droid or Apple based product, there are many categories of games available for download. Just a few are; Family Games, Puzzles, Racing, Adventure, Action and Sports Games.  These games will often show you a rating and a description to allow you to decide if this is appropriate for your child.  However, once kids begin playing, sometimes these games will prompt for an upgrade or payment to continue playing or add a new gun or car to enhance play.  You will need to make sure that your phone or iPad is set not to allow any type of payment without your input.  Of course, your kid may get a little upset about this, but they will move past it as kids do.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Many prospective clients come to us with the question about “what does it really take to win my custody case in North Carolina?”  This raises the interesting question of what is a “win” in custody of a minor child.  “Winning” means different things to different parents.  For some parents, it is quality visitation.  For others, it is primary responsibility for the physical well-being of the child.  For some, it is fifty-fifty or bust!  The goal for all parents should be to keep the best interests of the child as the polar star—a guiding light.  Another valuable goal is to reduce the conflict surrounding the child in this time of change in the family.  A premise of this blog is that both parents are good people and good parents.  Future blogs will address unfit parents, grandparents and social services issues.

Generally, in North Carolina, custodial rights are divided into two parts:  legal custody and physical custody.  Legal custody is the parental right to decide what school the child attends, what extracurricular activities the child enrolls in, what doctors and dentists the child uses and similar decision making responsibilities.  Joint legal custody is freely given in court in the Piedmont Triad, provided both parents are fit and proper persons for custody.   Physical custody is which parent has the physical care of the child on which days and at what times.

Continue reading →