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In a recent article by Yahoo! and CNN Money entitled “I Married a Secret Spender,” the author explores behavior of spouses or significant others who hide their spending. In some of the cases, the behavior of the “secret spender” is similar to the behavior of secret drinkers. The article explores several case studies.

In the first, the wife tells of her husband who is a secret spender. He buys new clothes and tells his wife that he had them previously. Later, though, the wife find tags for the new clothes in the garbage. This wife says that it is usually clothes but that her husband has brought home jet skis, a motorcycle and even an old Chevy Blazer. She says that they have a garage and a storage unit full of things that the husband has bought. She is concerned because she has young children who she feels might be deterimentally impacted by her husband’s spending habits.

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In the case of Moore v. Onafowora, the trial Court granted Mother sole child custody and determined an appropriate amount of child support to be paid to Mother by Father. Father appealed the child support award and the sole child custody determination. With respect to child support, Father contended that the Court erred by imputing income to him for prospective child support based on past years bank account statements. The North Carolina Court of Appeals determined that the trial Court did not actually imput income to Father. Rather, the North Carolina Court of Appeals determined that the trial Court determined Father’s income from all available sources. So, that part of the appeal was denied.

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jail.jpg In the case of Raprager v. Raprager, Husband and Wife entered into a Consent Order which appears to have temporarily resolved their dispute. It required Husband to make substantial payments to Wife: $2,000 per month in spousal support, $2,000 per month in child support and $1,000 per month toward an equitable distribution distributive award in the amount of $250,000. Not long after the Consent Order, Husband filed a motion to modify child custody, child support and spousal support. Shortly after Husband filed his motion to modify, Wife filed a motion for contempt because Husband was not paying as required under the Consent Order. The Court heard Wife’s motion for contempt and found Husband to be in wilfull contempt of court and ordered him to pay $22,500 in arrears to Wife. The trial Court further ordered that if Husband did not make the payments, he was to be immediately arrested and held in Granville County Jail until he purged himself by paying the amount ordered. The trial Court did not rule on Wife’s motion for attorney’s fees associated with the motion for contempt.

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contract.png In the case of Rolls v. Rolls, the North Carolina Court of Appeals considered an appeal relating to a Separation Agreement and Property Settlement. In this case, Husband and Wife entered into a Separation Agreement where the parties waived equitable distribution and stated that they each had made a complete disclosure of all assets and debts. Wife filed for divorce and Husband counterclaimed, alleged that Wife actually did not fully disclose her assets and debts, and sought equitable distribution. Wife, of course, replied and plead the Separation Agreement as a bar to Husband’s claim for equitable distribution.

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money.jpg In the case of Davis vs. Davis, Husband appealed an order which addressed the family financial matters (child support and post separation support). He challenged the trial Court’s ruling by contending that the Court had made inconsistent findings of fact about his income and that the findings of fact did not support the award. In short, the trial Court found as fact that Husband’s business grossed $11,000 per month, that Husband testified that the business was suffering from financial difficulty, that Husband had the ability to pay Wife $4,130 per month in post separation support, and that Husband’s child support obligation was $1,490 per month.

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Money 2.jpg In the North Carolina case of Simpson vs. Simpson, the Court of Appeals evaluated a dispute over the award of attorney fees. The dispute over attorney fees arose because Father filed a motion to modify child custody. Motion moved to dismiss the motion to modify child custody on the grounds that Father failed to allege a substantial change in circumstances affecting the welfare of the children. Mother’s motion to dismiss was granted and she subsequently sought reimbursement of her attorney fees. In support of her motion for attorney fees, Mother submitted a verified “Motion to Tax Costs,” a “History Bill,” and an affidavit of financial status. The trial Court heard Mother’s Motion to Tax Costs and allowed the parties to submit additional authority after the hearing but refused to allow the parties to submit any further evidence.

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kids.jpgIn the matter of A.S.Y, the North Carolina Court of Appeals evaluated whether a Guardian ad Litem for Mother should have been allowed to withdraw immediately prior to the hearing on whether to terminate Mother’s parental rights. The procedural history of this case is such that Mother requested assistance for herself and her daughter from Orange County Department of Social Services. That day, Orange County DSS assumed custody of the child and placed her in foster care. A Guardian ad Litem was appointed for Mother for the neglect and dependency proceedings.

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Father.jpgIn the matter of D.H.H., the Father of D.H.H. had his parental rights terminated by the trial Court. The trial Court found three grounds on which it based its termination of Father’s parental rights. Father appealed and challenged only the first and second grounds on which his parental rights were terminated. Father did not challenge the third ground on which his parental rights were terminated.

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