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Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “How Can I protect myself from my spouses spending habits?”

Most people spend all year looking forward to vacation. It’s a time to relax, unwind and enjoy the company of loved ones. Vacations would also seem to be a perfect opportunity to strengthen your relationship, a chance for one-on-one bonding and increased communication. Though many people hope that vacations will shore up shaky marriages, a recent study by researchers at the University of Washington indicates that marriages are more likely to be undone by a vacation.

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Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What does a “No-Fault’ divorce mean in NC?”

If you’re preparing for a North Carolina divorce, you likely realize the first step will require formally notifying your spouse of your decision to end the marriage. This step is known as serving notice. Typically service takes place in person, by hiring a process server or local law enforcement to deliver the necessary documents. In cases where the person is difficult to locate it can be possible to serve notice by other means, including by certified mail. In the worst cases, where spouses appear to have vanished without a trace, publishing a notice in a local newspaper can suffice. But what about social media? Increasingly, social media is being viewed as possible means of effecting service. To find out more about the possibility of using Facebook or Twitter to start your divorce, keep reading.

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Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “Can I keep my Kids from seeing the other parent?”

Divorce often comes with new burdens, many of them financial. In addition to the cost of dividing your assets, paying attorneys and adjusting to a budget based on only one income, those going through a split also have to get new housing on their own. Many people underestimate this expense, forgetting that the same money that used to support one joint household will now need to be divided to support two separate homes.

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Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What does uncontested divorce mean?”

Divorce can be a complicated affair for any family, but for military families, the matter can be even more complex. It should go without saying that military families in general face unique challenges that civilian families do not; deployment and placement elsewhere on duty means that military parents and their children must grow used to being away from each other for extended periods of time. However, no matter how accustomed to physical separation a military family may grow out of necessity, many are not prepared for the more permanent fissure of divorce.

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Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: ” Is there some property that the judge cannot divide?”

One of the most difficult parts of a divorce can be agreeing to an equitable division of marital property. There are many components of the financial pie that need to be accounted for, including the house, the cars, the bank accounts, retirement funds, stocks, bonds and personal property. Another asset, and potentially a valuable one, that many people may not think of are legal judgments, specifically personal injury awards and settlements. In some cases, these can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and represent a sizable share of a couple’s assets. The question is, are these judgments marital property or do they belong to the injured party? To find out more, keep reading.

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Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What rules are there for Father’s Right in NC?”

When it comes to paternity, the law in North Carolina has been designed to favor married couples. Married couples benefit because when a child is born to a married couple, the husband and wife are automatically viewed as being legal parents of the child. This can be a great thing in that it immediately bestows important rights and responsibilities on the couple, saving the hassle of having to establish paternity. The problem is that this can work against some couples, specifically, those where the child born during the marriage is not the biological child of the husband. In these cases, the father will have to fight a rather long battle to have the presumption of paternity reversed. To learn more about paternity and how it can prove problematic in certain custody/child support cases, keep reading.

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Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What does uncontested divorce mean?”

Many people view divorce as a one-size-fits-all process. They imagine filing papers and appearing in court and talking to lawyers and taking the stand, all the things that have been shown on television and in movies. The reality is that divorce is as varied as relationships and that each one happens somewhat differently. Though contentious litigation is certainly one approach, it isn’t the only one. To learn more about different ways of handling your divorce, keep reading.

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Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “Can I sue someone for breaking up my marriage?”

Many people have heard about common-law marriage, believing incorrectly that if you only live with a person for a certain number of years you can become legally married despite never going through the formal steps. While common-law marriage does exist, it does only under very limited circumstances and only in a small number of states. In fact, these days a variety of legal hurdles have been constructed to ensure that it is very rare for a court to acknowledge the validity of a common-law marriage.

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Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What are my custody rights if the other parent moves?”

As anyone who has ever been through a divorce with children knows, custody is almost always the thorniest issue to be resolved. Though it can be difficult to reach agreement with a spouse privately, it is often better to try this rather than hand your case over to a judge to decide. A recent custody decision out of Virginia illustrates this point well, with the judge handing down what many view as a bizarre order which says that the girl at the center of the custody dispute is prohibited from practicing or playing golf.

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Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “Who pays for the children’s health insurance and co-pays?”

Note: This is Part II in a series examining the state of legal rights for same-sex married couples, a year after the U.S. Supreme Court recognized their constitutional right to marry. Part 1 can be found here.