Articles Posted in Child Custody

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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?”

 

It’s a common refrain among those in unhappy marriages: staying together for the sake of the kids is the right thing to do. Though it’s noble that parents are willing to sacrifice for the sake of their children, it has become clear that the sacrifice is not only not necessary, but apparently not useful. A recent study by Swedish researchers indicates that children who are the products of divorced parents turn out just as well as those with married parents. In this case, the conventional wisdom that smiling through a bad marriage is good for the kids appears not to be true.

 

The recent study looked at a whopping 150,000 Swedish school kids, tracking those whose parents are married and those whose parents divorced, in an attempt to learn something from the comparison. The researchers from Stockholm University say they believed that parents who had divorced would have children who were more likely to suffer from mental health problems than those children whose parents stayed together. It turns out, the researchers were wrong.

 

Instead, the study uncovered that there were only negligible differences in the mental health of children who were the product of divorce and those whose parents were either married or cohabitating. That being said, there is one thing that must occur for the children to turn out as well as they do: the divorced parents must co-parent, meaning that they spend time living with each parent.

 

The studies discovered that children living with each parent had measurably better mental health than those who lived with just one parent. The researchers were quick to note that this could be for a variety of reasons. One is that the parents were emotionally supportive, providing the necessary love and attention that comes with co-parenting. Another might be that the parents have better resources and thus are able to create better environments for the children to grow up in.

 

Previous studies conducted in the U.S. have reached similar results, that it isn’t the issue of divorce that is the determining factor for how children turn out, but how the kids are raised. One study indicated that those who spend time with both parents, in joint custody arrangements, have similar behavioral and school success as those with married parents. The difference that was shown was in those cases where parents divorced and one parent ended up playing a greatly diminished role in the child’s life.

 

Children who have meaningful contact with both parents, who aren’t placed in the middle of a warring family, turn out better than those who don’t. All too often, parents believe that this means they must remain together even if it’s clear the marriage will never work. The good news is that you don’t have to endure a painful marriage for your child to succeed. It’s possible to create a stable family for children even if that means the parents are living in two different houses. Simply work together for the sake of your children, cooperating and co-parenting; your kids will thank you later.

 

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.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3402583/Couples-stay-sake-children-not-doing-best-thing-youngsters-mental-health.html

 

 

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How to determine jurisdiction in a multistate custody dispute

Rights of Stepparents in Custody Disputes

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Matt Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What are my custody rights if the other parent moves?”

 

The country today is a very different place than it was several decades ago. People are far more mobile, thanks to improved transportation and technology. As a result, jobs move frequently and relocations, which might have only been across town, can now involve moving thousands of miles across the country. If that happens and a custody dispute occurs between parents spread across two different states, how do you decide which state hears the case? To find out more about resolving jurisdictional disputes, keep reading.

 

For sale by owner Charlotte Divorce Attorney Mecklenburg child custody LawyerFirst things first, jurisdiction refers to a court’s ability to properly hear and decide a matter. When parents are located in two states, the first question that must be answered is which state has jurisdiction to decide the case. In North Carolina, and every other state in the U.S., the issue is governed by the UCCJEA, also known as the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.

 

What’s the UCCJEA and how did it come to be? The UCCJEA is what’s known as a uniform law, meaning it was designed specifically to be adopted by multiple states, an attempt to harmonize differences when it comes to determining jurisdiction in child custody cases. The UCCJEA was adopted (with some minor modifications) by all 50 states and the District of Columbia and is meant to avoid conflicting answers to how jurisdiction is decided.

 

So what are the situations in which North Carolina would have jurisdiction in a custody dispute case? First, North Carolina would have jurisdiction if it is found to be the home state of the child. We’ll explain more about how a “home state” is defined in a minute. Second, North Carolina would have jurisdiction if a court of another state is not found to be the home state and it is found to be in the child’s best interest because the child and one or both parents has a substantial connection with North Carolina and evidence relevant to the case is present in North Carolina. Third, North Carolina would have jurisdiction if another state that would have jurisdiction has declined to exercise the jurisdiction. Finally, North Carolina would have jurisdiction if no other state would have jurisdiction under the UCCJEA.

 

Let’s get back to the first basis for jurisdiction, home state, which is how most of these jurisdictional issues are decided. It’s often the case that that under the UCCJEA, a child’s home state is the one that has jurisdiction to make initial custody determinations. The home state is defined as the state in which a child lived with a parent for at least six consecutive months prior to beginning the child custody case. This only applies provided that at least one parent remains as a resident of the state.

 

This home state definition can prove very important in some custody cases. A good example would be if a couple, A and B, decide to divorce and A takes their two young children from North Carolina to Florida. A then files a child custody dispute in Florida, arguing that Florida has jurisdiction as the children’s home state. This is not accurate, as B remains in North Carolina and the children resided in North Carolina for at least six consecutive months prior to the case being filed. North Carolina would be deemed the home state and therefore should have jurisdiction.

 

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.ncleg.net/gascripts/Statutes/StatutesTOC.pl?Chapter=0050A

 

 

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Rights of Stepparents in Custody Disputes

State seizes “free range” children from parents, charges parents with crimes

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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?”

 

When we think of custody disputes we normally think of fights between divorcing parents, sometimes grandparents. Though these do represent the vast majority of cases, as blended families are increasingly common, it is not unusual for a custody case to involve stepparents. These cases can be emotional given the close family ties and complex given the legal requirements. Keep reading to find out more about stepparent rights in a custody dispute.

 

Toy family Charlotte Divorce Lawyer Mecklenburg custody attorneyParent or non-parental third party?
Custody disputes are divided into two big categories: those involving parents and those involving non-parental third parties. Which group do stepparents fall into? Though the reality is that many stepparents are as close as family, from a legal standpoint, stepparents are classified as non-parental third parties, meaning their rights are automatically less than those of parents.

 

Can stepparents sue?

 

Stepparents, like grandparents, other relatives and even family friends, have the right to sue a custodial parent for partial custody or visitation. For this to happen, the stepparent will have usually lived with and developed a very close relationship with the minor child, assuming a role of caretaker and co-parent. If the biological parent refuses to grant the stepparents’ request for custody, the stepparent can file a lawsuit asking a judge to decide the matter.

 

Custody or visitation?

 

Though stepparents are allowed to sue for custody of minor children, the reality is that judges are overwhelmingly likely to reject such a claim, unless the biological parents are deemed unfit and would pose a danger to the child.
What is far more likely is that a stepparent could sue and obtain visitation with a minor child. This can happen if the court determines that it would be in the child’s best interest for the stepparent to have visitation. Judges considering the matter will weigh the degree of participation in the life of the child, including the length of time the stepparent cared for the child, the depth of emotional attachment between the stepparent and child, the degree of financial assistance provided by the stepparent and the harm that the child would suffer if visitation were denied.

 

Stepparent visitation becoming more common

 

Times have changed quickly in the country given that only a few decades ago it would’ve been difficult if not impossible for a stepparent to make a successful claim for custody or visitation of a stepchild. Today some 23 states have passed laws that allow stepparent visitation. Other states grant broad rights to third parties, including stepparents, to sue for visitation. In fact, only four states outright prohibit stepparents from trying to gain visitation or custody over a stepchild.

 

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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Another State Considers Measure To Change Custody

Legislators seek to end state’s presumption that women are better for child custody

 

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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

 

 

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Blake and Miranda’s Divorce Records Sealed by Judge, Special Treatment Alleged

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

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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

 

 

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“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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Cohabitating North Carolina Couples Not More at Risk for Divorce

Reality Television Star Says Everyone Needs A Prenup :: Separation and Divorce Lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina

 

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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 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

 

 

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Three-parent babies could alter humanity, child custody

Legislators seek to end state’s presumption that women are better for child custody

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Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can I get the judge to order my spouse to pay my attorney’s fees in a property division case?”

 

A Texas man who accused a judge of conspiring with the Baylor University medical system and the doctor who testified in his divorce and child custody case is claiming his free-speech rights protect statements he made online and in telephone calls to the judge.

Computer programming Mecklenburg Divorce Lawyer Charlotte Family AttorneyLast summer, the man—Michael G. Peters—was ordered by 418th state District Court Judge Tracy Gilbert to sell his property and split the proceeds of the sale with his wife. Gilbert also awarded custody of the couple’s son to Peters’ wife.

That outraged Peters, who posted a video on YouTube on which he aired his grievances against the judge and others. That video drew the attention of law-enforcement authorities, who began monitoring Peters’ online activity.

After posting the video, Peters posted a comment on a Yahoo news story praising the ambush-killing of two Las Vegas, Nevada police officers. Prosecutors allege that Peters said he wished he could have seen the officers’ blood running from “their stinking bodies.”

On June 14—four days after the orders were entered in Peters’ divorce and custody cases—Peters called Gilbert’s home at 6:53 a.m. After Gilbert’s wife told Peters the judge was not at home, Peters asked Gilbert’s wife why the judge cut a deal with those conspiring against Peters.

Prosecutors allege that Peters called the judge’s home again about a month later. Judge Gilbert answered and told Peters not to call again, but Peters phoned twice more that day, leaving messages warning that he was “Out of sight but not out of mind. Remember that, (expletive). See you soon.”

Prosecutors charged Peters with third-degree retaliation for allegedly harming or threatening to harm Judge Gilbert. Texas law makes it illegal for a person to intentionally or knowingly harm or threaten harm to another by an unlawful act in retaliation for or on account of the service or status of another as a public servant, witness, prospective witness, or informant.

If convicted, Peters faces from two to ten years in prison.

Peters’ attorney, Tony Duckworth, acknowledged that some of Peters’ language was harsh, but that Peters’ criticism focused on what he perceived as a corrupt judicial system in Montgomery County. “That’s not a threat against Judge Gilbert,” Duckworth said. “That’s being a good citizen and expressing the free speech right to bring it to the attention of other citizens.”

Duckworth said Peters had a duty to expose corruption. He said Peters never threatened Judge Gilbert with any physical harm, but instead wanted to file a lawsuit.

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 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.yourhoustonnews.com/courier/news/retaliation-trial-underway-against-man-accused-of-threatening-montgomery-county/article_a171aa1e-eb27-54a1-93ac-51605fd4c1fb.html

http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/txstatutes/PE/8/36/36.06

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.12.htm

 

 

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

 

 

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Judge accused of beating his wife finds himself on the other side of the bench

Judge Throws Out Claim To Reopen Divorce Settlement

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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?”

 

The State of Massachusetts is considering a change to its custody laws that would end “an imbalance in the courts that favors mothers over fathers,” according to the Salem News.

Father with Child Charlotte Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Child Custody AttorneyThe legislation is being pushed by the Boston-based National Parents Organization and would require judges in most custody cases to consider joint-custody arrangements. Backers of the bill say the societal norms and traditional roles of men and women in child-rearing have changed, and it is time for custody laws to catch up.

North Carolina’s custody laws eliminated the so-called maternal presumption in 1975. A number of other states followed the Old North State’s lead in the ensuing years, but census statistics show—at least in practice—that mothers are awarded sole physical custody of children far more often in contested divorce cases.

Figures from the 2010 census show that eighty-percent of “custodial parents” are women. Ned Holstein, the founder of the National Parents Organization, told the Salem News the figure may be the result of the manner in which courts have traditionally viewed fathers and their roles in children’s lives. Aside from child-support, alimony and weekend visits, courts have often required little of men in divorces.

Many divorced fathers would like to play a more active role in their children’s lives and think a maternal preference—whether formal or informal—is unfair. Furthermore, Holstein explained, weighting one side of the scale with a preference “encourages bitter custody battles.” Instead of beginning with the presumption that custody will be shared, the presumption is that one side’s right to custody is superior, and the battle ends up being over who “gets sole custody of the kids [and] a boatload of child support and alimony payments.”

Critics of the proposed change say “custody laws must be flexible and always put the interests of children first,” the Salem News reports. They say the focus should be on the best interests of the child, not on the leverage dynamics between parents in contested custody cases.

Massachusetts is not the only state considering a change in its custody laws. The Salem News reports that as many as seventeen states are considering proposals that would mandate consideration of joint custody in most cases or which would change the guidelines for judges considering joint-custody arrangements.

North Carolina’s custody laws are premised upon “the interest and welfare of the child” and explicitly bar any presumption in favor of one parent. “Between the mother and father,” the law provides, “no presumption shall apply as to who will better promote the interest and welfare of the child.”

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 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.salemnews.com/opinion/our-view-child-custody-bill-requires-thoughtful-consideration/article_bac7778b-a6d8-5f6a-8ceb-b536870cd937.html

http://www.masslegalservices.org/system/files/library/JtCiustodySummary%20Memo-5.pdf

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_50/GS_50-13.2.html

 

 

Image Credit

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

 

 

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Published on:

Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What can I do to gain custody of my child in North Carolina?”

 

Custody battles of the future may involve battles between litigants that are—in all our legal history—utterly foreign. That is because, for the first time in recorded history, scientists are on the verge of creating three-parent babies.

Mitochondria Charlotte Family Law Attorney Mecklenburg Divorce LawyerOnce that formerly inconceivable reality comes to term, if one (plus one, plus one) wills it, the normal progress and processes of life will follow, and those will inevitably include family units splitting up and launching battles for custody of a child or children.

Except then it will be three (or more) parents fighting for custody, instead of two. That means—potentially—three lawyers or more… ugh.

So far, scientific experimentation with three-parent babies has been limited to animals. Last week, however, the British House of Commons voted to allow the licensing of facilities in the United Kingdom that may allow genetic modification of human embryos.

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Published on:

Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What can I do to gain custody of my child in North Carolina?”

 

In North Carolina, the ultimate arbiter of custody is the District Court judge. The District Court judge is vested, by statute, with the authority to determine who should have custody of a child and the terms under which custody shall be exercised.

Child on school bus Mecklenburg Divorce Lawyer Family Law Law firmOf course, the decisions of a District Court judge are subject to appeal, but when parties do appeal a District Court decision and one of the state courts of appeal decides to entertain the appeal, those courts frequently uphold the decisions of District Courts, and if they do not, many times they simply clarify the manner in which a judge should have considered the case and send it right back to the District Court to consider the case anew.

A party’s presentation regarding custody is made in District Court, and the person a party needs to convince is the District Court judge. Many parties believe a good way of convincing a District Court judge that they should have custody of a child is to have the child testify before the court. After all, who better knows what is in one’s best interest than oneself?

The problem with that ideas is that minor children are considered “infants” or “incompetents” under North Carolina law. Minor children do not have the capacity, for instance, to enter into contracts. A court will not take a proposal to allow a minor child to testify lightly. A judge will likely conduct a hearing to consider whether testimony would be appropriate in a particular case, and if so, what measures or protections may be afforded to the child while testifying.

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