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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “Do I need an attorney to get a Divorce in North Carolina?”

 

Last year pop star Hilary Duff announced she was filing for divorce from her hockey player husband Mike Comrie. At the time, it seemed clear the two had grown distant from one another and that Comrie’s busy career had made it difficult for Duff to juggle the demands of her career and being a mother to a two-year-old boy.

 

Two roads diverge Charlotte Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law AttorneyThough many assumed the divorce would move forward like so many do, it appears that a recent romantic trip may have saved the marriage. According to gossip sites, Duff has now decided to call off the divorce after she and her estranged spouse took a recent Valentine’s Day vacation to the Bahamas.

 

In the Bahamas, Duff and Comrie were able to reconnect, discuss some of their issues and realized that they still have strong feelings for each other. Sources say that Comrie broke down and begged for a second chance, saying that he would be willing to make changes that he had ignored the first time around.

 

Specifically, Duff has said she needs Comrie to agree to take a more active role in raising their young son given the work commitments she is dealing with. Rather than live as a single mother, Duff is apparently demanding a commitment that she will have an equal partner in caring for the child.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “When do you get alimony?”

 

In a surprising case out of New York City, a woman had her divorce settlement reduced by a family court judge after the judge found that the woman’s airing of her husband’s dirty laundry hurt his business.

 

Trip Warning Sign Charlotte Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law AttorneyThe decision, issued by Justice Laura Drager, means that Janice Schacter will now walk away with 17 percent of what used to be her husband’s $5 million law firm partnership ($855,000). The judge noted that the wife’s constant sniping online, in the press and to others in their social circle cost her millions of dollars, with the woman initially poised to walk away with half the $5 million partnership.

 

The problems for Janice and Ira Schacter began years ago, back in 2007, when the two got into a physical altercation and, soon thereafter, filed for divorce. The couple’s split was contentious from the very beginning, with both parties attempting to smear the other’s good name. Police were called numerous times, stories were written, restraining orders filed and the presiding judges says she had to contend with numerous inappropriate outbursts in the courtroom.

 

During this time, Janice Schacter’s actions to slander her husband went above and beyond a normal person’s attempt to merely bring to light a partner’s bad behavior. Janice judiciously spread stories around the Manhattan legal world about how her husband physically abused her, cheated on her, was engaged to a Playboy “Coed of the Week” and withheld money from his children. The stories garnered so much attention that at one point Ira was mockingly named “Lawyer of the Month” on the legal website AboveTheLaw.

 

In that article, details of Ira’s engagement to the Playboy bunny were discussed, as was Janice’s accusation that Ira had blown more than $200,000 on an engagement ring for the Playmate while refusing to contribute money towards his hearing-impaired daughter’s $12,000 hearing aids.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “What does a “No-Fault’ divorce mean in NC?”

 

Though it’s a painful lesson to learn, many couples have come to realize that what happens online can impact the real world, in sometimes surprisingly negative ways. Problems with social media are numerous, including the ease with which users meet new people, flirt, exchange inappropriate messages or photographs or send thoughtless or angry emails that can then be misconstrued or blown out of proportion.

 

Tweeter Image Charlotte Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law AttorneyGiven all these ugly possibilities, it perhaps isn’t a surprise that researchers say that users of certain important social networking sites experience more marital trouble than those who stay away. Only a few weeks ago, one study claims that those who are active Facebook users are more likely to be unfaithful to their romantic partners.

 

In that study, the researcher concluded that Facebook users who are in a relationship that is less than 36 months old are the most susceptible to online infidelity. Those in longer relationships evidently have enough of a history that the lure of Facebook does not burn quite as bright.

 

Now, research out of the University of Missouri says that users who are among the most active on Twitter are far more likely to experience conflict with their romantic partners than those who either stay away from the service or use it only sparingly. The study says that much of the conflict is actually Twitter-related, indicating that messages or encounters over the social networking service are to blame for the subsequent hostility.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “Do I need an attorney to get a Divorce in North Carolina?”

 

Most couples hope that in the event of a divorce they would be able to remain civil with one another, remembering all the good times and avoiding petty jealousies or anger. While that might be a best-case scenario, it is unfortunately not the most common outcome. Divorce can be emotionally grueling, costly and generally demoralizing. However, divorce, like all things, will eventually come to an end. The following are some tips by a collection of family law experts designed to help those going through a divorce keep the big picture in mind.

 

Yoga Pose Charlotte Family Law Lawyer North Carolina Divorce AttorneyFirst things first, those who have seen the divorce process from the outside say that couples need to prepare for a long haul. Though you can and should hope that a divorce goes smoothly and remains on friendly terms, it is important that you prepare yourself for the worst. Brace yourself for a possible stressful and lengthy process and try to keep some energy in reserves for those days when it seems like there’s no end in sight. By hoping for the best and preparing for the worst you can ensure you aren’t caught unaware in cases where the divorce goes less than smoothly.

 

Another important piece of advice is to carefully choose your advisors and then rely on them during the hard parts of the divorce process. After selecting a North Carolina family law attorney, it is important to seriously consider his or her advice. After all, they understand not only the specifics of your case, but also the legal implications of your decisions. Though the decisions are ultimately your own, remember that you are in a vulnerable and emotional state and that relying on those who have experience with the divorce process is an excellent way to make your own divorce process easier.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “Can you guarantee I will get the resolution I want?”

 

An unfortunate study published by the Minnesota Population Center recently revealed some troubling news about the nation’s divorce rate. Rather than leveling off or declining, as many experts have long believed, the group says that the number is actually increasing and that the increases appear to be spread across nearly every age group.

 

Increasing Chart Charlotte Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law AttorneyFor decades now, sociologists across the country have insisted that divorce rates for all couples have been in a steady decline since peaking in the early 1980s. However, armed with new and more extensive data gathered from the 2008 American Community Survey, it appears that this picture may have been overly optimistic.

 

The group says that it now appears to be the case that divorce rates are higher than previously thought, especially among older groups where divorce rates are said to have skyrocketed. Researchers say that the Baby Boom generation has continued demonstrating the same pattern of high marital instability even as they age. This trait has led to a threefold increase in the divorce rate of those between 60 and 65 since 1990. For those above 65, the divorce rate is up 500 percent.

 

Though Boomers have been blamed for much of the increase in divorce rates, younger generations have seen similar instability. Those in their 30s and 40s have also seen rising divorce rates, something experts say may be linked to increased cohabitation prior to marriage. Though living with a partner before marriage is no longer seen as a predictor of divorce, it also has not been shown to strengthen relationship stability.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “How long does getting a divorce take?”

 

A recent article discussed some great advice for those either considering divorce or in the midst of an ongoing split. The advice comes from the perspective of a family law attorney and is meant to ensure divorce litigants avoid some common pitfalls during the process. By trying to be mindful of the following issues you could go a long way to improving the overall divorce experience.

 

To do list North Carolina Family Law Attorney Charlotte Divorce LawyerFirst things first, it is important that you keep your eyes on the prize. What is the prize? Divorce. When people begin the divorce process and meet with their family law attorney they almost always have a clear goal in mind. Divorcing with as little pain as possible, securing a workable custody arrangement and reaching an equitable division of financial assets. Sounds good. The problem is that as the divorce process kicks into gear it becomes easy to lose sight of these goals and instead become consumed with daily bickering. Rather than get bogged down in minutiae, try and keep your focus on your long-term goals and rise above the day-to-day squabbles; let your attorney worry about those things.

 

It is also important to understand that avoiding unnecessary fights is not the same thing as giving up. Some divorce litigants make the mistake of thinking that those attorneys who insist on fighting for every last cup and saucer are the good ones. They think this kind of behavior shows devotion or toughness. In reality, engaging in unnecessary arguments only pads their legal bill and wastes money you could use later when starting your new life. Though no one advocates being a pushover, a truly experienced attorney will know what things are worthy of a fight and what things aren’t.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “I’m considering separating from my spouse; what actions should I refrain from doing?”

 

A bill in Massachusetts currently making its way through the legislature is aimed at reducing the instances of funny business between individuals who are in the process of divorcing. Specifically, the legislation would prohibit all sexual contact for divorcing spouses who live at home with their children until the divorce proceedings are finalized.

 

No Sperm Sign Charlotte Divorce Attorney North Carolina Separation LawyerEven more ridiculous is that the bill says that for a parent to have sex he or she would first have to get a judge to sign an order approving the deed, something that many have said is downright preposterous.

 

The legislation specifically says that in any divorce or separation where there are children involved, the party remaining in the marital residence “shall not conduct a dating or sexual relationship within the home until a divorce is final and all financial and custody issues are resolved…” The only exception contained in the legislation is for cases where a judge has granted express permission.

 

The bill was originally introduced by State Senator Richard Ross back in early 2013 and failed to garner the support necessary to pass. This time, Ross says he thinks there is a chance the bill might earn enough support to get signed into law. Though Ross is the official sponsor of the bill, he curiously says he does not personally support it.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “What does a “No-Fault’ divorce mean in NC?”

 

A recent article in the Huffington Post discussed a common complaint that many clients have with their family law attorneys: a lack of communication. The article, written by a divorcee and now paralegal, offers insight into the problem as well as advice on how to ensure you don’t fall into an annoying trap of bad communication with your attorney.

 

Rotary phone 1 Charlotte Divorce Attorney North Carolina Family Law LawyerIn almost all aspects of life, communication is key. In fact, a breakdown in communication often contributes to many people’s decision to file for divorce in the first place. Given the time, money and stress involved in a divorce, you do not want to make an already tough situation worse by communicating badly with the one person who you’ve hired to help see you through the process.

 

Communication is critical during the North Carolina divorce process given how many sensitive issues need to be worked out before the divorce can be finalized. When communication breaks down between an attorney and his or her client, it can end up causing frustration on both sides as well as waste serious time and money.

 

Rather than wait for things to get bad and then having a meltdown over unmet expectations, the author of the Huffington Post piece suggests some proactive conversation with your lawyer from the very beginning to ensure communication lines stay open. To guarantee that you both are on the same page about how much communication is possible and the ways in which it should occur, it is a good idea to discuss communication procedures in your initial meeting with the lawyer.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “Do I need an attorney to get a Divorce in North Carolina?”

 

A recent article in the Huffington Post dealt with the issue of debt and divorce. Many people understand that when a couple in North Carolina files for divorce they must equitably divide their assets and liabilities (debts). However, what you may not realize is that the division worked out between you and your spouse does not alter the contract you signed with the company you owe money to.

 

Cutting credit cards Charlotte Divorce Attorney North Carolina equitable distribution LawyerThe problem is that in cases where couples spend time hammering out detailed divorce settlement agreements regarding how debts will be divided, many are shocked to discover that the divorce decree does not have the power to change the agreements with creditors. This means that even though the divorce agreement clearly says your spouse will be responsible for the car loan or for paying the credit card debt, if he or she flakes, the creditor can turn around and come after you for the money (assuming your name was on the debt in the first place).

 

The reason is that divorce decrees are agreements between two parties, husbands and wives, and they have no legal force to change previous agreements made with third parties, such as credit card companies or mortgage lenders. This means that no matter how detailed your divorce decree is in assigning responsibility for marital debts, you will both be considered legally responsible for all common debt until it is either paid off or refinanced.

 

So how can things go wrong? The most common way that debt turns problematic is when one party either cannot or will not continue making the payments he or she agreed to make as part of the divorce settlement agreement. That means if your spouse stops paying the mortgage, the car note or the credit cards, you can find yourself in trouble given that the creditor will likely turn to you to pay the remaining balance of the loan, regardless of what your divorce agreement says.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “Does adultery affect who gets custody?”

 

Apparently it’s true what they say, dogs really are man’s best friends. And women’s best friends. Oh, and don’t forget about the cats. A recent survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers discovered that more divorcing couples are fighting over custody of their pets today than ever before.

 

cat in a box Charlotte Divorce Attorney North Carolina custody LawyerSpecifically, the survey found that 27 percent of lawyers say they have seen a rise in the number of people engaged in pet custody disputes during the past five years. Additionally, 22 percent of lawyers say that the judges across the country are more receptive to hearing pet custody cases. Another 20 percent of respondents said that courts instead preferred to treat pets only as assets, not willing to engage in conversations about custody.

 

Sadly, experts say that many instances of pet custody battles are often brought by one spouse as an attempt to gain leverage over the other spouse who actually has a deep attachment to the animal. In these cases, one spouse believes that by threatening to keep the animal for him or herself, it might be possible to extract other concessions from the pet-loving spouse.

 

The problem with this strategy (beyond the fact that it is sad and needlessly hostile) is that judges often see through this fight as it quickly becomes obvious which person truly does have the deeper connection to the animal. When this happens, it can end up making judges angry with the one spouse for wasting the court’s time on a frivolous matter.

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