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Board certified family law specialist Matt Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “How long does getting a divorce take?”


Getting to the point of wanting a divorce may have taken years. Getting the divorce may have taken years. Now the divorce is over. What to do?

Shooting range Charlotte Divorce Attorney North Carolina Child Custody LawyerMuch is to be gained by taking stock and learning to live in one’s new life. Over time, divorcees may learn to get over their anger and even to get along, to some degree or another, with an ex-spouse.

Amy Koko, who writes on her blog ExWifeNewLife, said it is important for people who have gone through a divorce to learn to live alone, to learn that they are strong and independent enough to fend for themselves.

Her advice dovetails with a new offer from a Las Vegas, Nevada business that specializes in helping people fend for themselves—with guns!

Machine Guns Vegas is promising an unforgettable post-divorce party package just in time for Valentine’s Day. The “Just Divorced” experience is designed, the company says, to encourage the recently divorced “to commemorate new beginnings—by shooting down any items that painfully remind them of their wedding day.”

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Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “My wife and I are not getting along If I leave the house, can she get me for abandonment?”


A well-known divorce mediator is encouraging people who are considering divorce to dispense with some common myths before taking the proverbial leap away from and out of marriage—especially if the marriage involves children.

Enjoying the view Charlotte Family Lawyer Mecklenburg Divorce AttorneyTo be frank, divorce mediator Debra Macleod says anyone considering divorce needs to stop lying to oneself about the effect the process will have on children—and on oneself.

First and foremost, if a person thinks divorce is going to solve all of one’s problems—even one’s problems with a (soon-to-be-ex) spouse, one may have another thing coming. In fact, being divorced may introduce a whole new host of heretofore un-encountered issues with one’s (now ex) spouse.

Now that you are divorced and sharing custody of your children, you have to contend with your ex-spouse’s new boyfriend or girlfriend. You now “have no control over the strangers that waltz in and out of your child’s life.”

And that’s a shame—a shame for you but more so a shame for the child who brought none of this upon oneself. Macleod says most divorces are caused by the mixing of “two self-focused, short-sighted adults who wallow in their own misery” and who don’t spend enough time thinking about others—namely their kids.

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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?”

Facebook was invented ostensibly for old friends to connect, namely old classmates whose faces might have appeared in a different, older kind of medium—in a yearbook.

Facebook man Charlotte Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Child Custody AttorneyThe twist was that was then and this is now—this being the digital age in which no distance is too great for old friends to meet.

Bridging the distance of time and space may be proving too great, however, for some married couples, as Facebook has become the “it” factor in a growing number of divorces. According to the Daily Mirror, a survey of caseloads at major family-law firms shows Facebook is a factor in as many as one-third of modern divorces.

Facebook’s role in martial harmony and divorces dovetails with other issues its ubiquitous presence has raised in the lives of its billion users. Using Facebook and posting information about one’s day-to-day life and activities means kissing privacy goodbye.

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Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Do I need an attorney to get a Divorce in North Carolina?”


The television network TLC has foisted the phenomenon of same-sex attracted husbands who married straight wives into the fore of the American public’s consciousness with its new program “My Husband Is Not Gay.”

Church of Jesus Christ Mecklenburg Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Child Custody AttorneyAs reported in the Salt Lake City Tribune, however, new statistics compiled by John Dehlin, Bill Bradshaw and Renee Galliher should be “sobering” to couples participating in the show. Dehlin is a doctoral student at Utah State University. Galliher—also of Utah State—assisted Dehlin in compiling the statistics. Bradshaw is a retired Brigham Young University professor.

They studied 1,612 “self-selected LGBT/same-sex attracted Mormons and former Mormons,” some single, some in committed same-sex relationships, and some of whom had entered into heterosexual marriages.

The researchers found that between 51-percent and 69-percent of “mixed-orientation Mormon marriages” ended in divorce. That is compared to the approximately 25-percent overall divorce rate among couples associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—also known as the Mormon church.

LGBT is an acronym that stands for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered.”

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Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “How will the judge divide our property?”


The Montana Supreme Court has sent a divorce case back to a trial court in Great Falls, Montana, to consider two post-trial motions brought by an ex-wife sick with breast cancer.

Supreme Court Mecklenburg Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law AttorneyThe ex-wife—Gail Patton—filed for divorce in March 2011. In September 2013, the District Court in Great Falls determined that the entire martial estate of Gail and her ex-husband Bill was just over one-million dollars.

Gail was awarded $99,296, but the net amount she received from Bill—after attorney’s fees—was $27,000.

The Pattons married in 1998. After their marriage, Gail’s health declined, and her left shoulder atrophied, leaving her with limited mobility. In addition, she suffered from debilitating knee and back pain and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. To make matters worse, in May 2013 Gail was diagnosed with breast cancer.

After her diagnosis, Gail filed two motions, arguing that the less-than-ten-percent share she received of the marital estate should be increased to account for her medical bills. The District Court refused to rule on Gail’s motions, and in October 2013, the court adopted the recommendations of a standing master—a judicial official tasked with finding facts in cases and making recommendations to the court—awarding Gail a net total of $27,000.

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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?”


Author and psychotherapist Abby Rodman says that couples contemplating, embroiled in, or nearing the finish line of a divorce need to embrace the wisdom of the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus: “Change is constant.” Change is constant, and if you are going through a divorce, you should embrace change, because change is certain, says Rodman.

uncomfortable people Charlotte NC Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law AttorneyRodman encourages couples to prepare for the worst. Preparing for the worst does not mean couples have to expect the worst, and in the long run the changes spawned by a divorce may lead to a better life than parties to a marriage are leading now. Painting too rosy a picture of post-divorce life, in one’s mind, however, may lead to unfulfilled expectations.

If divorce is a part of one’s life, Rodman says, it does not have to define one’s life. In reality, Rodman says, the rest of a person’s life goes on while a divorce is proceeding. If a person brings the rest of one’s life to a halt while a divorce is pending, Rodman says, one may miss out on new and important opportunities—doors that open into one’s new, post-marriage life.

The end of a marriage means the end of matrimonial bonds, and it also may bring to an end many other past times or traditions shared with a spouse. One may feel inclined to cast off and cast away the implements of one’s former life, tangible and intangible, but Rodman encourages those going through the divorce process not to “throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

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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?”


Mediation is supposed to provide the opposing parties in a claim the opportunity to resolve their differences amicably. The actions of a New York divorce mediator, however, have led to far-less-than amicable results, according to federal prosecutors.

People standing around Mecklenburg Divorce Attorney Charlotte Child Custody LawyerOn Wednesday, a New York-based divorce mediator pled guilty to charges stemming from his attempts to strong-arm men into giving their wives a “get.”

The man—White Plains, New York-based Martin Mordechai Wolmark—pled guilty on Wednesday in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey, to engaging in a conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce to commit extortion, according to United States Attorney Paul J. Fishman.

Wolmark and Rabbi Mendel Epstein—described by USA Today as “a prominent ultra-Orthodox divorce mediator from Brooklyn—were accused of leading “a gang of eight thugs” who tortured men into giving their wives a “get.”

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Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can any attorney help me with my family law needs in North Carolina?”


Remorse is, perhaps, the most difficult of human emotions. Anyone who has passed through the crucible of divorce may know what it means to contend with remorse, or to contend with “what could have been.”

Old couple Charlotte Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law AttorneySadly, many divorces leave a trail of broken hearts. These include the hearts of children, who are often unwitting, innocent victims of a broken marriage.

Adult children of divorced or divorcing parents are not immune to these feelings. To an adult child whose parents have been married for decades, the concept of divorce—at least applied to one’s own parents—may seem foreign. What’s more, because adult children tend to move away from their parents’ home, they may miss signs of marital trouble displayed behind closed doors.

Ellen Huerta, who writes about romantic breakups on her website Mend, recalls that since her parents’ marriage had survived her own childhood and young adulthood, she just assumed it would last forever—or until death did them part.

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Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What does a “No-Fault’ divorce mean in NC?”


About one-half of American marriages end in divorce.

Department of commerce Charlotte Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Child custody AttorneyMarriage counselors have been preaching that prevailing wisdom to couples for decades. People who have been through a messy divorce may point to the statistic with a disillusioned “I told you so” attitude. Divorce attorneys and other professionals who often deal with the most contentious divorces may feel even more disillusionment.

Researchers, however, can put their feelings aside and study the raw data. As consumers, as human beings and as professionals working in family law matters, we rely on the data and upon the work of researchers studying the data for a portrait of what marriage and divorce look like in the United States.

For a variety of reasons, our ability to rely on accurate data may be disappearing.

For years, researchers in the family-law field have relied on statistics compiled by the United States Government in its American Community Survey. It is the ground zero, so to speak, for researchers interested in marriage and divorce trends across different age groups, ethnicities and cultures within the United States.

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Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can I get the judge to order my spouse to pay my attorney’s fees in a property division case?”


The Huffington Post has identified what it describes as “a narrow group of smart, rational and reasonable individuals” who will join the flood of people all over the country starting the New Year by ending their marital relationships. It is, after all, the busiest time of year for divorce lawyers; however, these “smart, rational and reasonable” individuals will not be joining the flood of phone calls to divorce lawyers’ offices.

Document Review Charlotte Family Law Attorney North Carolina Divorce LawyerDiane L. Danois, J.D., says smart people don’t need divorce lawyers. First, she argues, much of family law is form-based, and most of the forms are available online at no cost. Even samples of Separation Agreements, Property Agreements and Custody Agreements can be found online and tailored—by “smart, rational and reasonable” individuals—to fit an individual couple’s needs.

As for property division, Danois says, financial affidavits guide couples through the steps of disclosing and labeling assets and liabilities. Smart people can figure out what martial property is, presumably. The assumption Ms. Danois appears to make, however, is that parties to marital relationships all have sharing, cooperative attitudes. Many people end up in my office, however, because of their spouses’ uncooperative and—at times—abusive and controlling attitudes. They need advocates to stand up for them because they feel intimidated by a spouse and by the legal system.

Of course, uncooperative, controlling, manipulative spouses would likely not fit under Ms. Danois’ definition of “smart, rational and reasonable” individuals, so perhaps the couples in need of divorce lawyers—by asserting the opposite of the premise—are those which feature at least one spouse who is uncooperative, or not “smart.”

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