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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?”

 

It is exceptionally rare for a divorce settlement, once finalized, to be thrown out. But that’s exactly what happened in the case of Terrence Howard, who convinced a California superior court judge to toss the settlement reached with Howard’s second wife Michelle Ghent. That divorce was signed and finalized in 2012, making the decision all the more remarkable for reopening a divorce long since closed.

 

gold dollar sign Charlotte Divorce Lawyer Mecklenburg Alimony AttorneyExperts say the recent challenge to the 2012 settlement came about for a few different reasons. First, Howard, though a famous actor, was said to be struggling financially for many reasons, one of which was the onerous terms of the 2012 settlement. Second, as part of that settlement Howard agreed to give Ghent a share of his future earnings. Howard is preparing for the second season premiere of his wildly popular Fox television show, Empire. It’s believed that he will be given a large raise due to the popularity of the show and many believe he wanted to ensure that his second wife did not see any of that new money.

 

To get out from under the terms of the 2012 settlement, Howard had to convince a judge to toss out the agreement, no easy task. In California, and elsewhere, getting a divorce settlement reopened can be incredibly difficult and generally only happens when one party can demonstrate fraud or duress. In this case, Howard went with duress.

 

Howard’s family law attorney laid out a detailed case showing how Ghent coerced Howard into signing the 2012 settlement despite its wildly one-sided terms. Howard played a voicemail from Ghent where she threatened to reveal damaging information about him publicly. Specifically, Ghent had threatened to sell nude videos of Howard, tell the media about Howard’s repeated affairs and reveal that she had suffered physical abuse. To keep quiet, she demanded money, and lots of it. At one point Howard had a lawyer deliver $40,000 to Ghent to prevent her from leaking damaging information to the press.

 

The judge presiding over the case said that it was clear Howard had been coerced into signing the 2012 settlement. That being said, the judge made clear to explain that he had little personal sympathy for Howard. The judge described Howard as a bully who had likely treated his former wife badly. However, even bullies can be bullied.
Now that the settlement has been tossed from court, Howard and Ghent will have to re-litigate their divorce. Interestingly, in the time since he signed the settlement with Ghent, Howard has already married and divorced a third woman. The negotiations with Ghent will likely be tense given the bitterness of the recent lawsuit, but Howard is in a good position now that he is out from under under the financially crippling deal he previously agreed to.

 

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 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.

 

 

Source: 

http://www.startribune.com/judge-set-to-rule-on-terrence-howard-divorce-settlement/322650601/

 

 

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http://www.freeimages.com/photo/shadow-dollar-sign-1239535

 

 

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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?”

 

According to a recent report in the International Business Times, divorce rates in Italy have surged over the past year, especially among older Italians. What’s responsible for the recent uptick in divorce? Mass infidelity? Social Upheaval? Bad food? Nope. The reason is a legal change in the separation time required before a petition for divorce can be signed off on by a judge.

 

Alarm Clock Charlotte Divorce Lawyer Mecklenburg Separation AttorneyThe rise is directly related to the passage of a law earlier this year that dramatically reduced the length of the divorce process. Previously, couples considering a divorce, even those interested in obtaining an uncontested divorce, were required to wait three years before moving forward. The mandatory separation period has since been lowered from three years to six months.

 

Experts says that the divorce rate for those couples older than age 65 has boomed as a result of the change, jumping from 13 percent of total divorce requests in 2010 to 20 percent today. The reason why older couples are especially eager to take advantage of the reduced waiting period is not entirely clear. Many believe that prior to the reduction in the separation period, older couples avoided filing for divorce, fearing that they may not live to see the conclusion of their case. Now that the waiting period has been shortened, the older couples are eager to start a new chapter in their lives and are more confident that the divorce can be wrapped up in time to build a new life post-divorce.

 

To get a sense of how much the numbers of changed, 500,000 separation and divorce requests were made in 2014, according to the Italian Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Since the new law took effect in April of this year, that number has already doubled.

 

What about in North Carolina?

 

Couples in North Carolina also have to pay attention to statutory separation requirements. Though three years would be unheard of in the U.S., there are many states (North Carolina included) where mandatory separation periods are longer than Italy’s current six months.

 

Under North Carolina law, couples must be separated for one year before they are allowed to file for divorce. Courts have held that to meet this requirement couples must have lived separate and apart for a period of one year. Courts interpret this as requiring that the couple be both physically separate during this period as well as emotionally separate, with the intention of at least one person to cease matrimonial cohabitation.

 

What if during the separation you and your spouse attempt to reconcile, does this start your one-year separation period over? The law in North Carolina clearly says that isolated incidents of sexual contact between the parties will not be enough, on their own, to toll the statutory separation period. Only if the couple has resumed marital relations, meaning the husband and wife relationship can be shown to have been reestablished by a totality of the circumstances, will the separation period be tolled.

 

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 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.

 

 

Source: 

https://radioboston.wbur.org/2015/08/06/shared-parenting

 

 

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http://www.freeimages.com/photo/tube-flip-calendar-clock-1418548

 

 

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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?”

 

Lawmakers in Massachusetts are currently holding hearings on a very important and very emotional issue for any parent: child custody. Specifically, legislators in the state are in the process of debating what if any changes to the existing system should be made. With a nationwide push to increase equality in child custody decisions, Massachusetts now finds itself wrestling with the same issues other states have before. How to weigh the potential benefit to children and parents that can come with legally mandated custody arrangements versus the wisdom of judicial discretion.

 

Family Picnic Charlotte Divorce Lawyer Mecklenburg Child Custody Law FirmThe issue began in Massachusetts like it does in many states; a group of parents, particularly fathers, stirred up debate among lawmakers who agreed to bring the issue forward. In this case, the debate began several years ago when the then governor, Deval Patrick, convened a committee of experts and lawmakers to study the issue of changes to child custody. The group finally issued its report last year, which found that, all things being equal, children’s best interests are served when parental responsibility is shared between parents.

 

This report was examined by the legislature and resulted in Senate Bill 834, which is now being considered by the body. The law strongly encourages, but does not require, that courts grant shared custody in a Massachusetts divorce. The law says that children should spend no less than one-third of their time with each parent. Parents who are cooperative can also be rewarded with increased custody or visitation while those who fail to follow court-ordered parenting plans face sanctions.

 

Many groups have rallied behind the bill, saying that it is high time for changes like this to be made. Decades ago, the “tender years doctrine” was used by courts across the country as a reason to award custody to children, the idea being that women are natural nurturers and that children would be better off in their care. This idea fell out of favor and was eventually replaced with an interest in joint custody. The problem is that “joint custody” rarely means the same thing to different people. A couple may agree on joint custody and then spend months fighting over what that looks like.

 

Today, research has led many to conclude that truly shared parenting is better for everyone. The majority of women work outside the home, something that represents a dramatic change from when the tender years doctrine was in force. Men are also expected and often do play much larger roles in parenting than in decades past. Finally, scientific research has indicated that children benefit emotionally and even physically from shared custody arrangements.

 

Though many see the benefits of shared custody, some wonder about the wisdom of dictating custody schedules and depriving judges of discretion. Years spent on the bench is a powerful tool in ensuring that the best interest of the child are taken into account and simply applying a one-size-fits-all policy to custody may end up causing harm. Legislators in Massachusetts and across the country will need to weigh the benefits of mandated shared custody with the potential costs.

 

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 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.

 

Source: 

https://radioboston.wbur.org/2015/08/06/shared-parenting

 

 

Image Credit:

http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/980044

 

 

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Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What children’s expenses are not covered by child support?”

A Duke University researcher who set out to test whether the adage that unmarried parents are most receptive to the idea of getting married in the “magic moment” right after a child’s birth was true found out the post-birth magic lasts longer than a moment.

Smiling baby Charlotte Custody Lawyer Mecklenburg Divorce AttorneyThe researcher, Christina Gibson-Davis, drew on a national study of some 5,255 children born out-of-wedlock in the United States.

Gibson-Davis’s study, which appears online July 2 in Demography, found that 64 percent of children born out of wedlock see their mothers marry. Half of post-conception marriages, however, end in divorce. Only 38 percent of post-conception marriages between biological mothers and fathers ended in divorce within 10 years, compared to 54 percent of marriages between biological mothers and stepfathers.

Gibson-Davis stressed that despite years of public attention to out-of-wedlock births, few studies have uncovered how children born in that setting actually live.

The study appeared to show that while many mothers and fathers do marry after the birth of a child, the so-called “magic moment” to marry often extends well beyond the days and weeks after a child’s birth – as long as three years in many cases.

In 2012 – the most recent year in which data was available – 49,170 children were born to unmarried mothers in North Carolina. Children born to unwed mothers face potential hurdles such as proving the identity of and obtaining support from one’s father. When a mother marries a child’s father – even after the child’s birth – the child is automatically “legitimated” in the eyes of the law.

Where a child is born out of wedlock and a marriage does not occur, however, a child can still be “legitimated” through a court proceeding. This gives the child the right to receive adequate support from each parent until the age of 18; the benefit of spending time with each parent regardless of who has physical custody of the child; the right to inherit property from each parent’s estate; and the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the event of the death of one or both parents.

If you or someone you know needs help with the legitimation process or has questions or concerns regarding marriage, child custody, child support, or divorce, please give me a call today to set up and appointment.

Arnold & Smith, PLLC is a Charlotte based criminal defense, traffic violation defense and civil litigation law firm servicing Charlotte and the surrounding area. If you or someone you know need legal assistance, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (855) 370-2828   or find additional resources here.

 

About the Author

ARNOLD&SMITH_243 3.jpgMatthew 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 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.

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

 

Sources:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-07/du-am070114.php

http://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/ByArticle/Chapter_49/Article_2.pdf

 

 

Image Credit

“A smiling baby” by Kenny Louie from Vancouver, Canada – Hah!. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_smiling_baby.jpg#/media/File:A_smiling_baby.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?”

 

If you are in the midst of or recently emerging from a North Carolina divorce, you may have encountered certain decisions in your divorce case that you disagreed with. For instance, a judge may have awarded custody in a way that you found unfair, or given your spouse more money than you think was warranted. Some decisions are more important than others and some may be so critical that you even considered the idea of an appeal. To find out more about how an appeal works in a North Carolina family law case, keep reading.

 

Old Law books Charlotte Divorce Lawyer Mecklenburg Family Law FirmWhat is an appeal?

 

First things first, let’s discuss the nature of an appeal. Many people mistakenly believe that an appeal serves as a do-over, a second opportunity to present your case to a new judge. That is incorrect. An appeal is not a chance to shop around looking for a decision you agree with, it is a chance to review a previous decision for possible mistakes. As a result, appeals courts do not conduct trials, hear from witnesses or take into consideration new evidence. The appeals court assigned to review your request will instead look through the court transcript, motions that were filed, exhibits and any other documents from the initial proceeding to learn as much as possible about the case.

 

What do appeals courts look for?

 

In addition to reviewing the previous history, a court will also hear oral arguments and be on the lookout for any legal error in the judgment of the lower court. The question before the appeals court is not whether they might have come to a different conclusion than the lower court, it is whether the lower court judge made an error of law. This is important; the trial court judge cannot simply have ruled in a way you don’t like, the must have made a mistake.

 

What can be appealed and what can’t?

 

Appeals can only be made on final, permanent orders of a court. What does this mean? It means that you must wait until a family court has decided the issues before it completely before filing your appeal. This means that you cannot appeal the rulings of temporary hearings.

 

How long do you have to decide?

 

When it comes to appeals, time is of the essence. In North Carolina, the Rules of Appellate Procedure dictate how appeals are handled. The Rules say that parties have 30 days from the date of the entry of judgment to file an appeal. That means you need to think fast and reach out to a lawyer quickly if an appeal is something you are seriously considering.

 

What are your odds?

 

First off, it goes without saying that the answer to this depends entirely on the particular facts of your case. You may have been the victim of an egregious mistake on the part of a family court judge, in which case your appeal might be successful. Generally speaking, appeals are hard to win. The reason is that, as we’ve said, appeals courts do not retry the case, they are simply looking for a mistake made by the lower court. It can be hard to point to clear mistakes. Additionally, appeals can take a very long time to wind their way through the court system. In the legal world, time is money and appeals can be quite costly. Though there may be hope that you will ultimately prevail in an appeal, you need to take all these factors into consideration when making your decisions about whether an appeal makes sense.

 

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 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.

 

 

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http://www.freeimages.com/photo/law-order-1240301

 

 

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http://www.youtube.com/user/ArnoldSmithPLLC?feature=watch

 

 

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Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold being interviewed on the Legal Forum. Topics discussed include: How to choose a divorce lawyer? How long does a divorce take? How much does a divorce cost? When can a person get an annulment?

 

Divorce can be a difficult time for most everyone that experiences it. Your marriage is coming to an end, your children will learn what’s happening and personal and financial information that you would rather keep hidden will be exposed to strangers. Given these many drawbacks, it isn’t surprising that most people wonder if there are ways to shield some of this information from the prying eyes of the public. Country superstars Miranda Lambert and her husband Blake Shelton felt much the same way, but unlike most people, were successful in their attempt to have their court records sealed.

 

Blake_Shelton Charlotte Divorce Lawyer Mecklenburg Family Law AttorneyThe two singers announced late last week that they would be divorcing, ending a four-year marriage that many believed was happy. When the story hit the newspapers, enterprising reporters began digging for the court records and were shocked to discover that many of the records in the divorce case were unavailable. The reason was that a family court judge in Oklahoma chose to seal the divorce case, preventing the public from ever discovering the details of their divorce.

 

According to information since revealed by the couple, Shelton filed a petition for divorce on July 6. Only a few weeks later, only July 20, the decree officially dissolving the couple’s marriage was filed. Of all the records involved in the divorce, the only one publicly available is a single entry in an online docket that shows the divorce case listed as B.T.S. vs. M.L.S., the couple’s initials.

 

Generally speaking, it is very difficult for a couple to successfully petition a judge to seal your divorce records. The courts across the U.S. are designed to be free and open, with members of the public given the right to review court records should they so desire. Though families have a reasonable desire to keep sensitive information private, judges are required to engage in a balancing test to ensure that both the public’s right to access court records and the litigants’ interest in privacy are considered.

 

The unofficial standard across the U.S. is that only that information that is truly private and could prove harmful if revealed or that involves especially sensitive or proprietary information will be sealed. Judges must consider whether the public’s interest is served by sealing the documents and the extent of the harm suffered by litigants if it were to be released. Given these hurdles that must be cleared before records can be sealed, it is quite often difficult for ordinary couples to succeed in their quest to keep divorce records private.

 

Beyond the already high burden that most judges are required to consider when deciding to seal records, a recent law passed in Oklahoma (where Lambert and Shelton chose to divorce) requires judges to make public any sealing order. The legislature passed the requirement for those cases where a judge determines that a compelling privacy interest outweighs the public’s right to access the records. Bizarrely, no such sealing order has yet been made public in the Lambert/Shelton divorce.

 

Lawmakers in Oklahoma are now up in arms, accusing the judge of holding celebrities to a different and lower standard. One legislator accused the judge of not following the law, arguing that average citizens would never be able to get their cases sealed and that the same rule should apply to the country singers. Though celebrities are even more likely to be subject to public scrutiny than ordinary couples, the personal details contained in a celebrity divorce are no more invasive or hurtful than those contained in an average person’s records. Given this, it’s only fair that the same kind of protection afforded to famous singers be applied to those without record deals or TV shows.

 

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 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.tennessean.com/story/news/2015/07/27/blake-shelton-miranda-lambert-divorce-records-sealed/30751031/

 

 

Image Credit:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/68/Blake_Shelton%2C_Adam_Levine_The_Voice_VIP_Screening.jpg

 

By Mingle Media TV [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

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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 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 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 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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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 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

 

 

See Our Related Video from our YouTube channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/ArnoldSmithPLLC?feature=watch

 

 

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