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Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What rules are there for Father’s Right in NC?”

 

In a viral story out of the UK, a 26-year-old sperm donor has used Facebook to father 10 children from nine different women.  In 2014, Kenzie Kilpatrick created a Facebook page offering sperm donations to women wanting to have a baby.  So far, his donations have yielded seven children, with three more due within the next month.

Pregnancy_test_ Mecklenburg Divorce Lawyer Charlotte custody attorneyThe number of sperm donations initiated through social media appears to be growing.  According to Allen Murdoch, a sperm donor located here in the U.S., the main rationale behind using Facebook is that you get to converse with the other party and get a sense for what type of personality the other party has.

When Kilpatrick made the decision to become a sperm donor, he chose to forego using a sperm bank or fertility center.  Citing the high fees involved, Kilpatrick says “A child shouldn’t have a price, nor should happiness.”

Professor Adam Balen, Chairman of the British Fertility Society, strongly objects to Kilpatrick’s method of donating sperm.  According to Balen, donating sperm without medical assistance is “very dangerous, as sperm can carry all sorts of sexually transmitted infections” that could harm both the mother and child.  Professor Allan Pacey, chair of the 2008 committee that produced the UK’s sperm and egg donor screening guidelines, echoed Balen’s sentiments.  “Screening of donors needs professional input.  With regard to the screening for blood borne viruses (such as HIV) there is a need to quarantine the sperm for six months so [the medical professionals] can be assured that the donor is not in the process of seroconversion (where the test shows negative but [the donor] is actually positive).  With a ‘fresh donation’ this is not possible and so there are real risks.”

Dr. Jamie Grifo, program director at the NYU Langone Fertility Center, says that U.S. sperm banks have regulations in place that mandate each sperm sample be tested not only for HIV, hepatitis, and other STD’s, but also for recessive genes that might lead to a child being born with conditions such as cystic fibrosis.

In addition to the health concerns that arise from social media sperm donations, there is also the potential for legal complications.  Going through a sperm bank or fertility center permits donors to remain anonymous, thus shielding them from ever having to provide child support.  However, for donors choosing to hand over their sperm after a conversation on social media, the law is less clear.

Just last year, a Kansas court ruled that a sperm donor must pay child support despite the fact that the donor had signed documents waiving his parental rights.  In 2009, Kansas resident William Marotta answered a lesbian couple’s Craigslist ad seeking a sperm donor.  Using Marotta’s donation, the couple had a baby girl via artificial insemination. When the couple ended their relationship, the State filed a petition for child support against Marotta, even though Marotta had signed a contract relinquishing all rights to the child.  Kansas law requires a licensed physician be involved in the insemination process, and since Marotta handed over the sperm without involving a physician, he was held financially liable for the child as the child’s father.

The aforementioned health and legal concerns strongly support the use of medical professionals in the sperm donation process, at least until North Carolina further addresses the issue.

If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter, then you need the help of experienced family-law attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina who can help guide you through the often confusing process of divorce. Please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (855) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.

 

 

About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAWMatthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was born and raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A certified Family-Law Specialist, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state and administrative courts in North Carolina, before the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, and before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Sources:

 

https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/man-has-fathered-10-babies-with-9-women-thanks-to-124692805082.html

http://www.lifenews.com/2015/06/30/man-calling-himself-the-facebook-sperm-donor-has-fathered-10-babies-by-nine-women/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/11756422/The-sperm-network-Why-are-men-donating-their-seed-via-Facebook.html

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/23/justice/kansas-sperm-donation/

http://sogpubs.unc.edu//electronicversions/pdfs/flb18.pdf?

 

 

Image Credit:

By Klaus Hoffmeier [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1f/Pregnancy_test_result.jpg 

 

 

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Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Does adultery affect my divorce case?”

 

By now you have likely heard of the Ashley Madison hack.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the site, and the countless others who pretend to be unfamiliar with it, Ashley Madison is a website designed explicitly for finding an affair and cheating partners in your local area.  It prides itself on being the “world’s leading married dating service for discreet encounters.”  A few days ago, the website was hacked by a group threatening to release all customer names, addresses, and credit card transactions if the site is not shut down.  Ashley Madison’s parent company, Avid Life Media (ALM), has since hired an IT security team to work on the breach.

Infidelity Image Charlotte Divorce Lawyer Mecklenburg Alimony AttorneyThe hackers are calling themselves the “Impact Team,” and they appear to be upset about Ashley Madison’s “full delete” service.  For a $19 fee, Ashley Madison promises to remove a customer’s site usage history and personally identifiable information from the site.  According to the hackers, ALM has been profiting from this service without actually deleting the information.  The hackers are now in possession of it, and if Ashley Madison is not shut down, they are threatening to slowly release that data over time and make “over 37 million members have a very bad day, including many rich and powerful people.”

CNN writer Emily Jane Fox published an article explaining how the hack could be “Christmas in July” for divorce lawyers if the hackers do in fact release the names of Ashley Madison’s customers.  The release could trigger a flood of divorces filed by individuals dealing with the personal and public humiliation of having a spouse on the list.  While Ms. Fox is likely correct in her prediction of a swell in divorce filings due to revealed infidelity, experience has shown that couples handle infidelity revelations in a variety of ways.  For some, divorce is seen as the only option in response to an affair, but for others, and likely a surprise to the people experiencing this situation, they will pursue other options to save the marriage such as religious guidance, marriage counseling, denial, or a host of other responses that a person might prefer to the drastic life changing event that divorce can be.

The Ashley Madison hack should not be viewed as a “Christmas in July” for family law attorneys.  Filing for divorce should be considered a last resort after all reconciliation efforts have been exhausted.  Try to open the lines of communication with your spouse to identify issues that are causing you both to grow apart.  If that does not work, many people move on to seek professional help from a marriage counselor who can attempt to foster healthy and productive communication.  Once reconciliation efforts have been exhausted, and it becomes clear that the marriage cannot work, then consulting with a local divorce attorney might be the most logical course of action.

If the “Impact Team” releases the names and addresses of Ashley Madison’s 37 million customers, Charlotte area residents will undoubtedly be exposed.  As we have discussed in a previous blog: in a 2014 news release, Ashley Madison purposefully revealed that over 65,000 members come from the Charlotte metropolitan area, with the Huntersville area having the highest concentration of subscribers.

If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter, then you need the help of experienced family-law attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina who can help guide you through the often confusing process of divorce. Please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (855) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.

 

 

About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAWMatthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was born and raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A certified Family-Law Specialist, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state and administrative courts in North Carolina, before the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, and before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Sources:

http://money.cnn.com/2015/07/20/news/ashley-madison-divorce-lawyers/

http://money.cnn.com/2015/07/20/technology/ashley-madison-hack/

http://krebsonsecurity.com/2015/07/online-cheating-site-ashleymadison-hacked/

http://www.charlottedivorcelawyerblog.com/2014/05/areas-charlotte-rank-highest-terms-infidelity.html

 

 

Image Credit:

“A Buzzi Der fliehende Liebhaber” by A. Buzzi – [1]. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_Buzzi_Der_fliehende_Liebhaber.jpg#/media/File:A_Buzzi_Der_fliehende_Liebhaber.jpg

 

 

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Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “When do you get alimony?”

 

Ben Affleck’s appearance at San Diego Comic Con this past weekend to promote his upcoming film, Batman v. Superman:  Dawn of Justice, brought back memories of his previous attempt to portray a superhero on screen.  In 2003, Affleck starred as the masked vigilante Daredevil in a movie that was widely panned by critics and fans alike.  Overall, 2003 had to be a tough year for his fans; sitting through Daredevil, Paycheck, and Gigli within a twelve-month span would take its toll on anyone.

Ben_Affleck Charlotte Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Alimony AttorneyFor Affleck, however, Daredevil yielded much more than a terrible movie.  Affleck developed an off-screen romance with Daredevil co-star Jennifer Garner, and the two married in June 2005.  Since marrying Garner in 2005, Affleck’s career has taken off.  Just last year, he starred in the critically acclaimed film Gone Girl.  He has also displayed his “wicked smaht” storytelling in directing recent films such as Argo, The Town, and Gone Baby Gone.

Unfortunately, the romance that started twelve years ago on the set of Daredevil was not meant to last.  On June 30th, Affleck and Garner announced plans to divorce.  The announcement came one day after the pair celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary.

The timing of the announcement raised a few eyebrows in the legal community.  Under California divorce law, a ten-year-long marriage is considered a “marriage of long duration.”  Why is this significant?  According to Jessica Levinson, professor of law at Loyola Law School L.A., for marriages lasting less than ten years, “Judges often award spousal support for half the length of the marriage.”  However, because Affleck and Garner’s marriage made it to the ten-year mark, the “half the length of the marriage” alimony formula no longer applies.  A judge could award alimony to the lower-earning spouse (Garner) for an indefinite length of time.  This potentially allows Garner to go after a larger share of Affleck’s reported net worth of $75 million, a figure that is only expected to increase in the coming years.  Big paydays are in line for Affleck as he is set to play Bruce Wayne/Batman in four different movies between now and 2019.

Unlike California, North Carolina divorce law does not single out marriages lasting ten years or more with regards to calculating alimony.  However, the duration of the marriage is still a very important factor in determining how much the dependent spouse will be awarded.  Typically, the longer the duration of marriage, the longer a court will require alimony payments be made to the dependent spouse.

Perhaps the most important lesson to be learned from the Affleck/Garner split is that children should be the top priority in any divorce action.  The actors have three children:  Violet, 9, Seraphina, 6, and Samuel, 3.  Following the divorce announcement, Affleck and Garner took the children to the Bahamas to get them away from the resulting media frenzy.  In addition, the pair intends to continue living in their 8,800-square-foot Pacific Palisades, California, mansion and co-parenting their children.

If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter, then you need the help of experienced family-law attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina who can help guide you through the often confusing process of divorce. Please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (855) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.

 

 

About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAWMatthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was born and raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A certified Family-Law Specialist, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state and administrative courts in North Carolina, before the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, and before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Sources:

 

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=fam&group=04001-05000&file=4330-4339

http://www.bostonherald.com/inside_track/celebrity_news/2015/06/ben_affleck_and_jennifer_garner_are_on_the_brink_of_splitting

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2015/06/30/its-official-ben-affleck-and-jennifer-garner-have-split/

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_50/GS_50-16.3A.html

http://www.people.com/article/ben-affleck-jennifer-garner-split

http://www.people.com/article/ben-affleck-jennifer-garner-divorce-split-living-together

 

 

Image Credit:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/59/Ben_Affleck_2008.jpg 

 

 

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Top Ways to Lower Your Attorney’s Fees

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Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “How much does it cost to get divorced, and how does the billing process work?”

 

Elura Nanos bills herself as an author, a television personality, an entrepreneur, a mother, and of all things a former divorce lawyer. The “former” in her title means that she can provide extra-frank advice about what to look for in a divorce lawyer, since she has no interest in being your divorce lawyer.

Woman on phone Charlotte Divorce Lawyer Mecklenburg Family AttorneyNanos may have left “the life of pinstripes, mahogany desks and secretaries” behind, but she has not stopped giving legal advice, helping “out friends and relatives with their own divorces,” and in the process saving them from the frustration and expense of the divorce system.

That system, Nanos writes, was “more than a little disgusting,” but she trains her disgust upon “the machine of divorce practice in general” as opposed to divorce lawyers themselves, noting that most of the lawyers she encountered were “good, honest, hardworking professionals.”

What divorce lawyers offer, Nanos writes, is similar to what a carpenter offers: knowledge of a specialized area coupled with a specialized set of skills that, by and large, you lack. You pay the lawyer to employ his or her skill, knowledge and expertise to advocate on your behalf.

Lawyers charge varying hourly and flat-fee rates depending on the nature of a case and the actions involved. “There are good and bad lawyers at every price range,” Nanos notes.

Nanos writes that good lawyers refrain from antagonizing their clients when they call to complain about a spouse or ex-spouse. Anyone going through a divorce wants a zealous advocate, but overzealous advocacy can overheat the pot, causing its contents to explode into a bitter, years-long war over what might otherwise be trifling.

Clients, however, are the ultimate arbiters of the conduct of a case. It is the clients who decide what issues in a case will be contested, and whether and to what extent they are willing to fight a spouse or ex-spouse in and out of court. Many times it is the clients who call repeatedly, Nanos writes, running up large bills. She says if there is not a legal reason for making the phone call, then take a friend out to lunch and talk to her—“it will be cheaper and more productive.”

Nanos related  in a January article in U.S. News and World Report how a client of hers incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees by calling every day and asking Nanos to speak to her parakeet over the telephone. The client, Nanos said, believed incorrectly that her ex-spouse would be forced to pay her legal bills, and “was trying to stick it to him.”

At the end of the years-long litigation, however, the client had to pay “the bulk of her own legal bills—birdie time included.”

If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter, then you need the help of experienced family-law attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina who can help guide you through the often confusing process of divorce. Please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (855) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.

 

 

About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAWMatthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was born and raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A certified Family-Law Specialist, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state and administrative courts in North Carolina, before the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, and before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elura-nanos/6-ways-your-divorce-lawye_b_7503618.html

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2015/01/27/how-youre-making-your-divorce-more-expensive

 

 

Image Credit:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Beautiful_Woman_with_Phone.jpg

 

 

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Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” Are overtime, bonuses, and commissions included in calculating child support?”

 

If you love your business as much as your spouse—or if you do not want to deal with the business complications that may arise when you divorce—you should convince your spouse to enter into a prenuptial agreement.

Wedding photo Charlotte Prenup Lawyer Mecklenburg Divorce AttorneyA prenuptial agreement is an agreement that spouses enter into before they get married. A typical prenuptial agreement will address how a business owned by one spouse will be valued and how any funds related to the business will be distributed.

Business valuations and distributions in the event of divorce can become complicated, especially when, for instance, a business is run as a partnership. One business partner may be divorcing his or her spouse. As a part of the divorce, a court may distribute a percentage of the business ownership interest to the partner’s spouse. Now a partner’s spouse is, in effect, a partner in the business, even though the other partners never consented to this and even though the spouse may know nothing about running the business. In practical terms, the spouse has to be bought off.

This raises a host of other potential issues that many business owners may wish to avoid. First, in order to determine how much to pay a spouse of a partner in order to purchase his or her interest, an overall value of a business must be established. Business valuations can be rather complicated, especially for businesses whose products or services are difficult to quantify.

Businesses and their partner-owners may wish to avoid a premature business valuation for other reasons. A business partner who is going through a divorce may want his or her business to be valued as modestly as possible under the circumstances, in order to minimize the amount to pay to a spouse in order to purchase the interest awarded by a divorce court.

If the business is up for sale to bona fide third parties, however, partners will want the valuation to run as high as possible, in order to maximize the profit on any sale. The higher the sale price, however, the more a divorcing partner has to pay to a partner-spouse. These potential conflicting interests can be avoided by a prenuptial agreement that provides a value and method of distribution to a spouse in the event of divorce.

Prenuptial agreements, however, come with their own hazards. How, for instance, does one broach the subject of divorce (and a prenuptial agreement) in the erstwhile blissful pre-marriage days? That may be easier for some couples than others, depending on the unique dynamics of each couple’s relationship.

Determining whether a prenuptial agreement is necessary may also depend on the nature of the business of putative spouses. Men and women who run their own businesses may be most in need of prenuptial agreements, especially those persons whose businesses offer unique products or services that relatively few people can produce.

If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter, then you need the help of experienced family-law attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina who can help guide you through the often confusing process of divorce. Please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (855) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.

 

 

About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAWMatthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was born and raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A certified Family-Law Specialist, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state and administrative courts in North Carolina, before the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, and before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-protect-a-business-from-divorce-2015-6

 

 

Image Credit:

“2X6NG” by Luchoang nguyen – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2X6NG.jpg#/media/File:2X6NG.jpg

 

 

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Surprising links found between chores, work, commute times, friendship, divorce

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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?”

 

Splitting household chores equally seemed like a good idea at the time, but that was before the divorce. How could one have known that splitting chores increased the odds of getting divorced?

Traffic Jam Charlotte Divorce Lawyer Mecklenburg Family Law AttorneyWell, if you are married and reading this, now you know.

According to researchers in Norway, couples who split household chores equally divorce at a higher rate than those who do not. Researchers believe the “even chore split” leads to the sense of a “business-like partnership” which, in turn, leads to less intimacy and more unhappiness and, in turn, a greater risk of divorce.

The Norwegian study is just one of nine surprising “causes” of divorce chronicled by Prevention.com. Some of the “surprising” divorce “causes” cited by Prevention are not that surprising, are well known and have been chronicled in this blog—among them that couples whose first child is a daughter are far more likely to divorce than couples whose first child is a boy, and that couples who see a serious illness affect a wife are more likely to divorce than couples featuring a healthy wife.

Females are more likely to divorce if they happen to work full-time as doctors. The opposite is true for males. Full-time male doctors have, on average, a lower divorce rate.

One of the more surprising divorce indicators involved the manner of getting to work instead of the work itself. Couples whose work commute is at least forty-five minutes long appear to have a higher rate of divorce than those who do not have such a long commute, according to Swedish researchers whose findings were published in a 2013 issue of the journal Urban Studies. The spike in the divorce rate for long commuters was observed regardless of whether both spouses engaged in the long commute or just one spouse did.

Of course, nearly everyone has heard the expression that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. I would correct the expression to say “What may be good for the goose may (or may not) be good for the gander.” This is true with divorce: just because a close friend (or friends) found that divorce was an appropriate remedy for marital troubles does not mean it is the right remedy for you.

According to researchers who published a study in Social Forces, however, the influence of divorcing friends is a strong one, so strong that researchers found that study participants who had a close friend or family member divorce were an astounding seventy-five percent more likely to divorce from their spouses.

If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter, it is best to consult with an experienced family-law attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina who can help guide you through the often confusing process of divorce. Please contact the experienced family-law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (855) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.

 

 

About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAWMatthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was born and raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.prevention.com/sex/weird-reasons-divorce

 

 

Image Credit

“Nitin04″ by Nitreg – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nitin04.jpg#/media/File:Nitin04.jpg

 

 

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Say No to social media and Yes to your marriage, says psychologist

Lower-income marriages divorce at higher rate, and it’s all men’s fault, author says

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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?”

 

Attorneys have long used Facebook and other social-media sites to compile evidence in divorce cases. Married users by the thousand have found out about their spouses’ cheating hearts through decidedly unceremonious Facebook status updates.

Bad typing posture Uptown Charlotte Divorce Lawyer Mecklenburg Child Custody Law FirmNow researchers are cautioning married couples against using social media altogether, warning that social-media activity may be driving a wedge between couples and speeding them on towards divorce.

The play-by-play of divorce filings, the back-and-forth of hearings, and one-sided accounts of reactions to testimony and rulings of various courts have been chronicled on social media to no end. At least one judge in New York is allowing parties to serve divorce complaints on adverse parties through Facebook.

With the ever-changing “relationship status,” Facebook took the lead in social media’s dabbling in divorce, but it is not alone. The 900-million users of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the new face of divorce, says Terre Haute, Indiana-based psychologist Bridget Roberts-Pittman.

It may appear, Roberts-Pittman told WTHI-TV, that social-media sites are the “it” factor in an increasing number of divorces, but she said that depends on how one defines “it.” She said that many couples encounter bumps in their relationships, and that “things like Facebook and Twitter can be the grease that slips [things] right out of control.”

In general, Roberts-Pittman said, while social-media sites enable people to communicate instantly with literally tens, hundreds, even thousands of people around the globe, electronic communications can also serve to create a barrier to face-to-face communication with those closest to a people, i.e. spouses.

In an ironic sense, then, “social media is disconnecting relationships on websites intended to keep people connected.”

A recent British study examining the relationship between social-media activity and divorces found that one-in-seven people interviewed had considered divorce based on a spouse’s questionable social-media activity.

Questionable social-media activity has led to a boom in business for private investigators. Greg Miller, a private investigator with Citizen’s Securing and Investigation in Terre Haute, told WTHI-TV that many of his customers have told him that social-media sites like Facebook have ruined their marriages.

To a private investigator like Miller, the sites serve as a kind of treasure map that he is able to use to track down the proverbial “other man or woman.” Except, all too often, Miller said, the other man or woman is not proverbial. He or she is real, and is the physical manifestation of the division between a husband and wife. All-to-often, social media served as the grease that smoothed a spouse’s transition out of marriage and into the arms of another paramour.

Social-media sites cannot, however, settle the issues that arise from behavior that ensues as a result of the connections they help foster. Those issues—divorce, alimony, custody of children, child support—must be hammered out in the real world, between real people, where the consequences of a person’s choices are real.

Faced with those potential consequences, many experts—including Roberts-Pittman—are encouraging couples who have said “I do” to marriage to say “I don’t” to social media.

Doing so could save their marriages.

If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter, it is best to consult with an experienced family-law attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina who can help guide you through the often confusing process of divorce. Please contact the experienced family-law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (855) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.

 

 

About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAWMatthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was born and raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Sources:

http://wthitv.com/2015/05/19/divorce-until-twitter-do-us-part/

 

 

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Woman-typing-on-laptop2.jpg

 

 

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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?”

 

Think divorce is tough? It’s not tough enough, say activists and legislators in several American states.

Family Values Charlotte Divorce Lawyer Mecklenburg Family Law AttorneySeveral high-profile American politicians—among them former presidential candidates Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum—have signed a “Marriage Vow” document produced in 2011 by the conservative organization Family Leader, according to Newsweek.

After taking the vow, policymakers would push legislation that promoted “prompt reform of uneconomic, anti-marriage aspects of welfare policy, tax policy, and marital/divorce law,” Newsweek reports.

The states of Arizona and Utah recently passed laws mandating marriage counseling courses and longer waiting periods for couples wanting a divorce. Legislators in Oklahoma, meanwhile, are considering a law that would require parenting classes for couples with children who are seeking a divorce. Couples in the State of Massachusetts who have children under the age of eighteen and seek a divorce are required to attend a six-hour parenting course, while couples in Arkansas must wait through a standard 540-day divorce processing period after living separate and apart for eighteen months. Both of the Carolinas and Maryland require yearlong separations before couples can file for divorce.

Some attorneys like New York lawyer Matthew Reischer think that making divorce more difficult is a good thing. He told Newsweek that if couples knew divorcing was difficult, they would exercise more caution and intelligence when marrying in the first place.

National divorce columnist Colleen Sheehy Orme, however, says that people are the problem, not laws. She said vindictive spouses play a cat-and-mouse game of “legalized bullying” and needlessly drag out divorce cases, swallowing up already stressed court resources.

Newsweek makes it clear where it stands on the issue, calling it “good news” that lawmakers in some states are trying to make divorce easier. California attorney Rackham Karlsson described a pilot program launched in that state’s capital, Sacramento, called One Day Divorce. Couples pay a $435 filing fee, per party (so $870 total), to “finalize their divorces quickly, cheaply and, most importantly, out of the courtroom.”

A supervising judge in the family law division of the Sacramento Superior Court gushed about the program, telling Newsweek that couples using the One Day Divorce program “are universally smiling and overflowing with joy to the point of high-fiving and hugging their volunteer attorneys—and just as frequently their newly divorced ex.”

Newsweek also cited a new application called Web Divorce Prep—“an online divorce documentation and record-keeping software platform”—geared towards making the process of divorce “easier,” as well as the not-so-new so-called “destination divorce” trend, ending its report with an anecdote from a self-ascribed “divorce encouragist” who said she and her husband split their assets themselves and only had to hire a lawyer “to file.”

If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter, it is best to consult with an experienced family-law attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina who can help guide you through the often confusing process of divorce. Please contact the experienced family-law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (855) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.

 

 

About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAW Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was born and raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.newsweek.com/breaking-hard-do-arkansas-why-divorce-laws-are-getting-stricter-332531

 

 

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:KdV08VitterFamilyValueMealA.jpg

 

 

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Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” I’m not getting along with my husband. We’ve been married two weeks and it was a mistake. Can’t I just get an annulment?”

 

Then-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and her family were thrust into the media spotlight in 2008 when Arizona Senator and then-presidential candidate John McCain named Palin as his running mate in the political race against (then Senator, now President) Barack Obama and running-mate Joseph Biden.

Bristol Palin Charlotte Divorce Lawyer Mecklenburg Family Law FirmSince McCain’s and Palin’s defeat, Palin and her family have been no strangers to the spotlight, with numerous television appearances, at least two reality television shows, and all manner of media reports, appearances and exposes featuring members of the Palin family.

Palin’s twenty-four-year-old daughter, Bristol, appeared in ABC’s television show Dancing With the Stars in 2014 and early 2015. Long before making headlines on the dance competition show, however, the younger Palin made news headlines for a much more personal matter: the birth of her son, Tripp, and her brief engagement to Levi Johnston.

The Palin-Johnston romance—featuring “one love child, two breakups and eight years of dating”—was so well-chronicled (and interesting, evidently) that media sources have continued to follow Bristol Palin, reporting on her recent engagement to ex-Marine and Medal-of-honor recipient Dakota Meyer.

Now, the Daily Mail reports, Bristol Palin is heartbroken again, and this time a secret marriage torpedoed her prospects at matrimonial happiness.

Back in 2008—the same year as Sarah Palin’s vice-presidential campaign—a then-nineteen-year-old Meyer married a young woman named Cassandra Wain in his home state of Kentucky. Meyer and Wain ultimately divorced in 2010. A friend of Wain’s told the Daily Mail that the marriage was a “mistake,” that Meyer and Wain remained civil and that the pair had been in touch as recently as October of last year.

Unfortunately, Bristol Palin did not know Meyer had been married, and only found out about the “secret marriage” recently. Now her marriage to Meyer is off, according to media reports.

Now for the fortunate side of the news: It’s a good thing Palin found out about the “secret marriage” before she married Meyer. Untangling her marriage on the basis of Meyer’s “secret marriage,” while possible, would likely have caused some unnecessary headaches.

In North Carolina, as in many states, a judge can “annul” a marriage in certain circumstances. Unlike a divorce, an annulment voids a marriage—or creates a situation in which, legally speaking, the marriage never existed.

The annulment would be the preferred legal device for a person in Bristol Palin’s shoes, if she had gone through with the wedding to Meyer and only found out about the “secret marriage” afterwards. Palin would be able to argue that Meyer had premised his marriage proposal on false information, and that if Palin had known about the “secret marriage,” she would not have married Meyer.

In North Carolina, parties can obtain an annulment where one party lacks the mental capacity to understand what a marriage is, where one party is impotent or underage, or where a marriage has occurred between family members, or where one party has relied on false information when agreeing to marry.

If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter, it is best to consult with an experienced family-law attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina who can help guide you through the often confusing process of divorce. Please contact the experienced family-law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (855) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.

 

 

About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAW Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was born and raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3086757/Bristol-Palin-s-wedding-CALLED-Sarah-Palin-announces-cancelled-nuptials-Facebook-post-days-ex-Marine-groom-s-secret-ex-wife-revealed.html

http://www.ew.com/article/2012/10/09/dwts-mark-ballas-on-bristol-palin-brawl-at-some-point-you-fight

http://abc.go.com/shows/dancing-with-the-stars

http://radaronline.com/exclusives/2014/05/bristol-palin-levi-johnston-tripp-child-support-custody-battle-court/

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/ByArticle/Chapter_50/Article_1.pdf

 

 

Image Credit

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bristol_Palin_by_Gage_Skidmore_4.jpg

 

 

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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?”

 

Joe Naugler says his “free range” children have been free to roam his twenty-six acre Breckenridge, Kentucky property—called “Blessed Little Homestead”—since their infancy.

Muddy Shoes Mecklenburg Divorce Lawyer Charlotte Family Law FirmNaugler’s brand of off-the-grid daily living and raising children has raised more than eyebrows in Breckenridge County. Naugler’s ten children were seized by Child Protective Services last week, according to the Daily Mail, after investigators found that the family was living in a tent, that Nicole Naugler—Joe Naugler’s pregnant wife and the mother of their ten children—had given birth in a tent, that the homestead had no running water or septic system, and that none of the Naugler children were enrolled in school.

Appearing in court to seek to regain custody of the children, Joe Naugler said that the children are homeschooled and that they are “at liberty to go or do what they want on their land,” according to the Daily Mail. That land—Child Protective Services officials allege–contains “numerous piles of garbage, broken glass and nails… scattered about the property…” and a pond with “no barrier around it to prevent the children from entering or falling in.” The Naugler children range in age from five to seventeen years.

Naugler’s nineteen-year-old estranged son appeared at the custody hearing on Monday and accused Joe Naugler of physical, sexual and mental abuse. The now adult son said he had not seen his father in nearly fifteen years, as he was removed from Joe Naugler’s custody when the boy was just four-and-a-half years old. “We had a very dysfunctional relationship,” he told the court.

The Naugler’s updated their “Blessed Little Homestead” page on social media site Facebook following the hearing, reporting that the judge ruled that their children would remain in the custody of Child Protective Services while the investigation into their free-range parenting continues.

The Nauglers say they are seeking to live “a simple, back to basics life,” and that they have been targeted by local authorities who disagree with their approach to parenting. They contend that Breckenridge County Sheriff Todd Pate and other officers entered their property without a warrant or probable cause, seized the couple’s children and arrested the Nauglers. Officers visited the property to conduct a welfare check, according to media reports.

Nicole Naugler was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after fleeing when Sheriff Pate and another deputy arrived at the Naugler’s property, officials have alleged. Nicole Naugler said she was trying to protect her children from the officers and that she was slammed belly-first against a police cruiser after being pulled over.

Joe Naugler, meanwhile, was charged with misdemeanor “menacing.” The menacing charge stemmed from a confrontation over water involving Naugler and a deputy, according to WBKO. The Nauglers were due to be arraigned on criminal charges on Tuesday.

If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter, it is best to consult with an experienced family-law attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina who can help guide you through the often confusing process of divorce. Please contact the experienced family-law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (855) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.

 

 

About the Author

ARNOLD & SMITH LAW Matthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was born and raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3077706/Alex-Brow-Joe-Naugler-s-son-testifies-against-free-range-father-Kentucky-court.html

http://www.saveourfamily.info/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2015/05/technically-nicole-naugler-is-not-a-homeschool-mom.html

http://www.wnd.com/2015/05/state-seizes-kids-from-family-living-off-grid/

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Statutes/statute.aspx?id=19733

http://www.wbko.com/home/headlines/Off-grid-Couple-Faces-Hearing-to-Regain-Child-Custody-303273911.html

 

 

Image Credit

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shoes-in-Mud-2759.jpg

 

 

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