Divorce

Attempting to Avoid Child Support Obligations

Cash v. Cash, 2022-NCCOA-706.

Facts: Mother and father were set for a trial on modification of child support. Five days before the trial date, father filed and served an amended financial standing affidavit that reported that his current income was $0 because he was laid off from his employment as a masonry supervisor. At the hearing, mother’s attorney argued that father had not supplied any updated income information. Father testified that he started a new masonry business and was not seeking any other employment, instead focusing on his business. He testified to his business income and expenses. Mother asked father if he provided any of his business financial information before the hearing, and father testified that he did not. Father then called his former boss to testify that father had been laid off because of salary, and that he was the most recently hired supervisor. Boss also testified that he

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Divorce

Custody and the Constitutional Right to Parent

In October 2022, the North Carolina Court of Appeals addressed whether a parent who hasn’t had contact with their child because the child had been actively removed and hidden from them still has their constitutional right to parent their child.

In the United States, a parent has a constitutionally protected right to parent their children, which includes having custody of the child and making major decisions in the child’s life. That means that the Courts are going to assume that a parent is going to act in the best interest of their child unless there is clear evidence otherwise. The State doesn’t want to step between the parent and the child, even if other people want custody and could better provide for the child. However, the right to parent your child isn’t absolute. Parents can give up that right if they are unfit – for instance, being abusive or neglectful

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Divorce

How Court Treats Post Separation Payments, Part 2

Say that you provided funds, checks, cash, or other payments to your ex since separation. You have a claim pending for equitable distribution, which seeks to divide your marital property. But court is slow. It can take some time for your case to be reached. When it is, how should the court treat those payments you made? Were they gifts, or were they something the court ought to consider in equitable distribution?

In the previous installment, we talked about Cobb v. Cobb. There, Plaintiff paid roughly $45,000 to Defendant after separation. That money was in addition to sums paid to Defendant for child support. This means that there was no obligation to give Defendant that $45,000. The trial court treated that amount as an advance on the distribution of the marital estate. Defendant appealed and argued that it was error for the trial court to find that the $45,000 was

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Divorce

Tips for Holidays with Adopted Children

It’s your first holiday with your adopted child and you’ve done everything to make it perfect, with magazine-worthy tables of food, a home full of beautiful decorations, and lights twinkling just right in the annual family photo – at least until the dog eats the turkey, the cat knocks down the Christmas tree, and someone is blinking in every single picture! We all know that reality never goes exactly as you plan, but by following these tips to support your adopted child through the inevitable messiness, your first holiday season as a complete family can turn out better than you ever imagined!

Be sensitive to your child’s emotions.

The holidays can bring up difficult emotions for an adopted child. As everyone around them talks about the importance of family, adopted children may find themselves reflecting on their birth family and their past. Older adoptees may also have holiday memories that

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Divorce

DVPOs and Personal Jurisdiction

Many victims of domestic abuse who flee their abuser have to leave the state where the abuse occurred for a number of reasons. If you find yourself in this difficult situation and have moved to North Carolina, what does that mean for your ability to get a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO)? As it happens, it can make all the difference.

In North Carolina, courts can only hear claims for DVPOs if the plaintiff demonstrates that the court has personal jurisdiction over the defendant.[1] Personal jurisdiction is the right of that particular court to make decisions and enter orders about that person. If a court is to have personal jurisdiction, the court must comply with two different tests: the North Carolina long-arm statute and the Constitutional right to due process.

Long-Arm Statute

In a DVPO case, the North Carolina long-arm statute[2] gives North Carolina courts personal jurisdiction over

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