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Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “How can an attorney help me with my Divorce or Separation in North Carolina?”

 

In divorce court, as in any court, litigants must tell the truth. If they do not—aside from damaging their own case—they may face charges for perjury or contempt of court, and the fallout from telling untruths under oath may extend well beyond the courtroom, as a recent case involving a Louisiana police chief has underscored.

Oath of office Charlotte Mecklenburg Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law AttorneyThe chief in question is Lafayette, Louisiana Police Chief Kenny Vines. On January 20, Circuit Judge Ray Martin held Vines in contempt of court after determining that Vines had presented false documents to the court during his divorce case. Judge Martin fined Vines $100 and ordered him to serve a five-day jail sentence, although the jail sentence was suspended on the condition that Vines pay the fine.

The Fifth Circuit District Attorney’s office convened a grand jury to consider whether Vines should be charged with perjury in connection with false statements Vines made about the divorce documents while under oath. Last Friday, a Chambers County grand jury indicted Vines on perjury charges. As soon as Vines was informed of the indictment, he entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors.

According to a statement released on Monday by Fifth-Circuit prosecutors, Vines pled guilty to second-degree perjury and the perjury charge arose out of statements Vines had made to the Circuit Court while under oath. Vines was sentenced to six months in prison, but the sentence was suspended on the condition that he complete twelve months of probation.

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Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” I’m considering separating from my spouse; what actions should I refrain from doing?”

 

What stands to reason does not always stand up to reality, and a new study from a team led by a doctor at Harvard Medical School is driving that point home.

Doctor Mecklenburg Child Custody Lawyer North Carolina Divorce AttorneyDoctor Anupam Jena of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School led a team that analyzed American Community Survey responses from 250,000 physicians, dentists, pharmacists and health-care executives, according to the Washington Post. The researchers also studied survey answers from 59,000 lawyers and 6.3 million non-health-care professionals. The study results were published last week in a journal titled The BMJ.

Dr. Jena said that going into the study, he encountered “this conception or notion that doctors are more likely to be divorced, not only more than other health-care professionals, but the population at large.” This conception or notion, the Post suggested, dovetailed with the perception that doctors work long hours, have demanding schedules, and operate in high-stress day-to-day work environments.

Those conditions sound like a recipe for high divorce rates.

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Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What does uncontested divorce mean?”

 

When Fats Domino sings about finding his thrill on Blueberry Hill, you can almost hear in the mournful piano chords he plays that descend into the chorus that though his dream “came true” and though “the wind in the willow played love’s sweet melody,” the vows his lover made “were never to be.”

Divorce Hotel Mecklenburg Divorce Lawyer Charlotte Family Law AttorneyThose whose vows were not to be can climb a different kind of promontory, in Saratoga Springs, New York at the Gideon Putnam Resort, where the Dutch Company Divorce Hotel is offering couples weekend luxury packages that include a divorce.

Jim Halfens—Divorce Hotel’s founder—said the company deploys a team of professionals to settle out divorces during the three-day Divorce Hotel trips. He said couples typically split the cost of the stay, which runs anywhere from $3,500 to $10,000.

Halfens describes the process as “intense, a rollercoaster and a pressure cooker,” but in the end, he said, it saves couples a lot of drawn-out negativity. “When the weekend is over, both will sign the divorce agreement and everybody can go on with their lives,” Halfens said.

Of course, not all spouses will be able to resolve their differences at a one-weekend stay at the Divorce Hotel, and Halfens explained that at a minimum, spouses must “be able to wish each other a positive new future.”

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Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What can I do to gain custody of my child in North Carolina?”

 

Finding advice on divorce is like finding advice on dieting or exercise: it is everywhere. Whether you through an expert’s “ten tips,” another expert’s “twenty rules,” or another expert’s one-hundred one-word divorce descriptors, both the divorce process and processing all the divorce advice one is bound to receive can prove taxing.

Broken Heart Charlotte Divorce Attorney North Carolina Child custody LawyerA west-Texas counselor and therapist has made it easy for those contemplating or going through divorce, publishing in the San Angelo Standard a list of “Do’s” and a list of “Don’ts” for those who desire as “mindful a transition as possible.”

The therapist—Adrianne Albarado Ortiz—focuses her practice on children, many of whom experience emotional trauma as a result of their parents’ divorce. As far as “Don’ts,” Ms. Ortiz encourages couples with children not to seek to sabotage their children’s relationship with their spouse or exes by using malicious words against the other parent. Ms. Ortiz said this could actually backfire “and cause the child to generate resentment” towards the parent who is seeking to undermine the other parent.

The focus throughout a divorce process, Ortiz said, should be on the well-being of children involved. That means parents should never use their children as pawns to seek to gain the upper hand in divorce disputes. Ortiz said divorcing parents should never seek to obtain information from children about the other parent, and should not ask their children to choose sides when it comes to scheduling conflicts.

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Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” I’m considering separating from my spouse; what actions should I refrain from doing?”

 

A spouse’s cruel words and outrageous treatment drove you to a divorce attorney in the first place, but now the divorce attorney is telling you the cruel treatment no more matters to your case than whether you broke your leg skiing or broke it getting hit by a car.

Lady liberty Charlotte Mecklenburg Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law AttorneyThe point is, the leg is broken.

In medicine, of course, the answer is the fix the leg. In the world of marriages, a common answer to a couple’s problems—the opposite of fixing it—is to get a divorce. Many couples who arrive at this point turn to the legal system to find something they never experienced in their marriage: justice.

A family law attorney writing for the Buffalo Law Journal has a warning for justice seekers: In the family law courts, it’s business, not personal.

Family law attorney Steven Wiseman says courts use guidelines to render decisions on matters like child support and spousal maintenance. Courts have some discretion to deviate from these guidelines, but the fact that a spouse may have been “a lying, cheating, son of a you-know-what” is simply not relevant.

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Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “How long does getting a divorce take?”

 

That special time of year is looming—April 15. That is not the date on which Santa Claus comes tumbling down the chimney with a slew of nice gifts to leave under the tree. Quite the opposite: April 15 is the date every year on which Americans pay their dues to Uncle Sam and to their respective state governments.

Tax collector Divorce Lawyer in Charlotte Family Law attorney in North CarolinaNot all state governments impose an income tax, but this state (North Carolina) does, and the federal government expects its dues. Aside from whatever complications one has experienced in the past with figuring and paying taxes, if one has recently divorced, one should beware, because new complications may be aplenty.

Even if one has not yet divorced but is engaged in the divorce process, tax time could prove especially troublesome. What, for instance, is one’s filing status? Is one married and filing jointly or married and filing separately? And, importantly, who is the Head of Household for tax purposes?

Unfortunately, answering these queries may require not only conversation with—but also the cooperation of—one’s ex or soon-to-be ex. This could prove vexing, and especially so if the ugliness if a divorce proceeding is looming over the erstwhile tedious task of preparing taxes.

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Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What can I do to gain custody of my child in North Carolina?”

 

Custody battles of the future may involve battles between litigants that are—in all our legal history—utterly foreign. That is because, for the first time in recorded history, scientists are on the verge of creating three-parent babies.

Mitochondria Charlotte Family Law Attorney Mecklenburg Divorce LawyerOnce that formerly inconceivable reality comes to term, if one (plus one, plus one) wills it, the normal progress and processes of life will follow, and those will inevitably include family units splitting up and launching battles for custody of a child or children.

Except then it will be three (or more) parents fighting for custody, instead of two. That means—potentially—three lawyers or more… ugh.

So far, scientific experimentation with three-parent babies has been limited to animals. Last week, however, the British House of Commons voted to allow the licensing of facilities in the United Kingdom that may allow genetic modification of human embryos.

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Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What can I do to gain custody of my child in North Carolina?”

 

In North Carolina, the ultimate arbiter of custody is the District Court judge. The District Court judge is vested, by statute, with the authority to determine who should have custody of a child and the terms under which custody shall be exercised.

Child on school bus Mecklenburg Divorce Lawyer Family Law Law firmOf course, the decisions of a District Court judge are subject to appeal, but when parties do appeal a District Court decision and one of the state courts of appeal decides to entertain the appeal, those courts frequently uphold the decisions of District Courts, and if they do not, many times they simply clarify the manner in which a judge should have considered the case and send it right back to the District Court to consider the case anew.

A party’s presentation regarding custody is made in District Court, and the person a party needs to convince is the District Court judge. Many parties believe a good way of convincing a District Court judge that they should have custody of a child is to have the child testify before the court. After all, who better knows what is in one’s best interest than oneself?

The problem with that ideas is that minor children are considered “infants” or “incompetents” under North Carolina law. Minor children do not have the capacity, for instance, to enter into contracts. A court will not take a proposal to allow a minor child to testify lightly. A judge will likely conduct a hearing to consider whether testimony would be appropriate in a particular case, and if so, what measures or protections may be afforded to the child while testifying.

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Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” I’m considering separating from my spouse; what actions should I refrain from doing?”

 

A longtime divorce mediator thought she was as prepared as anyone could be when the storms that brought on her own divorce rolled in. Now the mediator—Nicole Feuer—is urging couples who are contemplating divorce to think hard about issues  the divorce solution will not resolve and the pains that the divorce process may inflict.

Deep concentration Charlotte Mecklenburg Divorce Attorney North Carolina Family law law firmA spouse may be so far beyond that proverbial third strike that one could not imagine ever patching things up. One may even feel indifferent regarding whether one ever has to interact with a spouse again. Maybe one would be happier if one never saw one’s spouse again.

If one has children, however, one may be forced to deal with one’s ex spouse. Feuer reminds those considering divorce that the bad behaviors that drove one to divorce an ex do not disappear just because of the divorce. In fact, an ex spouse may be more prone to seek to push one’s buttons after a divorce than beforehand or during the divorce process.

What can one do? Feuer encourages divorcees to “let it go and not let it get to [one] anymore.” That may be easier said than done, Feuer says, but holding on to anger towards an ex spouse can damage a person emotionally, spiritually and even physically. One cannot change who an ex spouse is, how someone behaves or what someone has said or done. One can, however, learn to let go of the past and move beyond one’s anger. In fact, Feuer says, one must move beyond one’s anger to enjoy the fruits of a post-divorce life.

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Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” Is there some property that the judge cannot divide?

 

Any litigant looking for something less than the proverbial blood wants to spend as little as possible getting from here to there. Some litigants are out for the proverbial blood, however, and seem willing to spend as much as it takes to draw it.

Everyone talking at once Charlotte Mecklenburg Divorce Attorney North Carolina Equitable Distribution LawyerThankfully, our system of legal justice limits litigants to well-known causes of action and certain limited remedies. In the family-law context, these remedies include a decree of divorce, an award of money or property under various legal theories, an award of custody of a child or children and, in some cases, the imposition of one or more injunctions prescribing or prohibiting certain actions or omissions.

Parties to a divorce action can take some simple steps to spend as little as possible getting to the finish line. The first step, writes Geoff Williams in US News and World Report, is learning to compromise. This can be difficult, because even spouses who do compromise may feel regretful about their decisions.

Judy Crockett of Manistee, Michigan, for instance, regretted her decision to accept her husband’s offer of forty percent of retirement assets. She said she decided not to fight for a full half of the retirement assets because her husband was older and in ill health at the time of their divorce.

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