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Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “How can an attorney help me with my Divorce or Separation in North Carolina?”


Heather Brassner’s marriage ended five years ago, but she was only able to get a Florida judge to sign off on her divorce this past Wednesday.

Brides Wedding Charlotte Divorce Attorney Mecklenburg Child Custody LawyerIn so doing, Brassner, her now ex-wife Megan Lade and Broward County Circuit Judge Dale Cohen made history. The Brassner-Lade divorce marks the Sunshine State’s first same-sex divorce.

Brassner’s attorney, Nancy Brodzki, called Judge Cohen’s ruling historic, telling the Associated Press that while this is Florida’s first same-sex divorce, it will not be the last. As the Washington Post reported Monday, Columbia University statistics professor Andrew Gelman analyzed statistics comparing same-sex and traditional marriages and concluded that “the dissolution rate of same-sex marriages seems comparable to, not lower than, the divorce rate of traditional marriages.” Previous analyses had provided that the same-sex divorce rate was lower than the traditional marriage divorce rate.

Any way you slice the numbers, according to Gelman, results in lots of divorces—same-sex and traditional.

Brodzki may expecting more same-sex divorce business in Florida, but before she takes any more clients over the divorce finish line, she may have to fight Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi in court.

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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?”


Holidays are all about tradition, and as Heather Gray writes for Yahoo Parenting, divorced dads can get the feeling over the holidays that “traditions don’t really exist” for them anymore.

Dad with children Charlotte Family Law Attorney North Carolina Divorce LawyerIf what a divorced dad has in mind for a happy, fulfilling holiday doesn’t square up with reality, the first step towards making a happy holiday a reality is becoming clear about exactly what a divorced dad wants. One may not—due to opposition from an ex-wife, due to legal agreements or other circumstances—be able to get everything one wants, but it is important to begin with a clear picture of what one believes happiness must include.

The worst that can happen is an ex will say no. The ex has Christmas with the kids. It’s in the custody order, that’s it.

But that’s not it, and if relations are generally amicable between a divorced dad and his ex, perhaps there is room for compromise. Maybe there is something a divorced dad can offer in return for holiday time with children. Perhaps on an upcoming weekend the children can remain with their mother instead of spending the weekend with their father, as is their custom.

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


New York real-estate investor Robert Rothenberg has threatened to sue his 35-year-old former lover—the Israeli singer and actress Ayelet Argaman—accusing Argaman of swindling him out of lavish gifts made in contemplation of marriage. Really, Rothenberg says, Argaman was leading him on and using him for his money.

Trump tower Charlotte heart-balm Lawyer North Carolina Divorce AttorneyArgaman—who has appeared in minor roles in television series including The Sopranos and Law & Order—said she and Rothenberg began dating in September 2013. Rothenberg—20 years Argaman’s senior—lavished his young lover with $1.3 million in gifts, including a $100,000 per-month stipend for expenses.

Rothenberg forwarded Argaman emails from Rabbis praising him for being a “charitable religious man.” He also promised he would use his connections to get Argaman’s album produced. Argaman disclosed messages detailing Rothenberg’s efforts at wooing her. While he acknowledged that Argaman probable wanted “a younger version of himself,” he posited that “God works in ways we don’t understand” and that Argaman’s “softness, depth and soul” intrigued him.

Rothenberg stepped up the wooing this past spring, purchasing a $1.4 million one-bedroom apartment in Trump Palace on Manhattan’s Upper East Side for Argaman. He later signed an agreement granting Argaman a 60-percent share in the holding company that owns the apartment. Under the agreement, Argaman would have the option to buy out Rothenberg’s 40-percent share if their relationship did not last until May 2015.

It didn’t, and now Rothenberg wants the apartment back.

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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?”


An organization of 6,500 divorce lawyers, mediators and therapists in England has released the results of a survey showing the effects of divorce on children, and the results have staggered even industry insiders who have long bemoaned the negative effects family separations have on young members.

Crying Child Charlotte Mecklenburg Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Child Custody AttorneyThe group’s director, Jo Edwards, told Yahoo Parenting that children suffer most when parents engage in angry fighting in front of them. Edwards said the effects of confrontations can be seen almost immediately, with poor test scores, the onset of eating disorders, and behavioral problems. In the long term, divorces can affect students’ performance on standardized tests, can cause children to experiment with drugs, and can affect the ability of children to develop healthy, rewarding relationships and friendships.

Edwards said that the key for parents who are going through a divorce is to not engage in conflict in the presence of children. Almost a third of children surveyed confirmed that one parent tried to turn the child against the other parent, in order to gain a leg up in the divorce proceedings. A quarter of children respondents told surveyors that one or both of their parents had tried to involve them in their marital disputes. Another quarter of respondents did not even know one or both of their parents had new romantic partners until they found out on social media.

The United Kingdom-based organization that conducted the survey—named Resolution—styles itself as promoting non-confrontational divorces and other family conflicts. The non-confrontational approach, the group believes, is a key to ensuring a divorce does not leave children with long-lasting scars.

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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?”


Twenty-five year marriage? Try a twenty-five year divorce.

USSE Charlotte Mecklenburg Divorce Attorney North Carolina Family Alimony LawyerWall Street billionaire Steve Cohen is fending off claims from his Manhattan book editor ex-wife, Patricia, who sued the former SAC Capital Advisors, LP honcho in 2009, alleging he misled her about a supposedly failing real estate deal and cheated her out of $2.75 million.

The Cohens married in 1979, but the stress of Mr. Cohen’s Wall Street job put the marriage on the rocks. The couple divorced in 1990, when—according to Bloomberg News—Mr. Cohen was “barely worth eight figures.”

He is worth much more now. Since Mrs. Cohen filed her suit in 2009, Mr. Cohen’s net worth has doubled to an estimated $11.1 billion.

Aside from his ex-wife, Mr. Cohen and his company—now called Point72 Asset Management LP—have spent six years fending off insider-trading charges and corruption investigations. In 2013, Manhattan United States Attorney Preet Bharara called Cohen’s company a “magnet for market cheaters.”

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Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “How long does getting a divorce take?”


Going through divorce, a Seattle-based divorce coach says, is like having a bomb go off in your life. After divorce, you have to pick up the pieces, but you don’t have to do it alone.

Cousel Session Charlotte Mecklenburg Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law AttorneyBetsey Gutting used to assist parties through the often rancorous ups and downs of divorce proceedings. As an attorney, it was her job to advocate one party’s side. She realized, however, that almost everyone involved in divorce could use support. She learned this firsthand when her 22-year marriage ended.

So Gutting turned her energy to helping others, establishing and leading divorce support groups, which meet in the homes of divorce recovery coaches, in church basements or wherever support groups can find a safe, supportive atmosphere.

Gutting describes the recovery coach’s role as helping divorce survivors reenter the world, so to speak, as a newly-single people, establishing independent financial security, making new friends, and when the time is right beginning to date again. She recently published a book offering tips to the recently divorced titled The Magic of Saying Yes: Answering Your Heart’s True Calling.

Elvis gave sage advice when he cautioned that only fools rush in, and Gutting offers a similar directive, telling the recently divorced to listen to themselves and to establish safe boundaries. The last thing a recovering divorcee needs is discouragement on top of bereavement.

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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?”


Experts have been studying—and lamenting—the effects of divorce on children for decades.

Sad Child Charlotte Mecklenburg Divorce Attorney North Carolina Family Law LawyerNow a Los Angeles-based psychologist is warning parents—particularly those whose children are experiencing or have recently experienced a traumatic event such as a parental divorce—to keep a sharp eye out for behavioral changes in children that may warrant enrollment in therapy.

Psychologist Jeanette Raymond told Yahoo that children are not always keen to share their emotions with their parents, particularly when their parents may be seen as the cause of upset emotions.

Parents, on the other hand, seem to be just as keen on discerning their children’s emotional condition. The bottom line from Ms. Raymond is “Your gut instinct about your child is usually right.” If you suspect your child is not taking a divorce or parental split well, you may need to consider therapeutic treatment for your child.

Not every child is the same, and the circumstances that inform each child’s emotional well-being vary dramatically depending on a child’s age and surroundings, however Raymond identified a number of warning signs for parents to watch out for when going through a divorce.

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Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “How will the judge divide our property?”


A billion is not enough for the ex-wife of an Oklahoma oil magnate ordered last week to payout what is believed to be one of the largest divorce judgments ever recorded in the United States.

Harold Hamm Charlotte Mecklenburg Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family AttorneyThe case underlines how messy divorces can disrupt the businesses of parties to divorce actions, especially those who have not prepared for divorce through the execution of prenuptial agreements.

Sue Ann Hamm, ex-wife of oil magnate Harold Hamm, said she is appealing a divorce judgment entered last week on the grounds that it grossly undervalued the amount of marital wealth to which she was entitled.

Oklahoma Special Judge Howard Haralson ordered Mr. Hamm to pay his ex-wife $995.5 million in an 80-page order entered last Monday. The order followed a nine-week trial that ended in October. Under the terms of the order, Mrs. Hamm was due to receive a third of the sum—or $322.7 million—by the end of the year. She also was to keep additional assets that include a California ranch and a home in Oklahoma whose value are estimated to be in the tens of millions.

By the standards of Forbes Magazine, which ranks America’s wealthiest men and women, Judge Haralson’s award would make Mrs. Hamm one of the richest women in the United States.

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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?”


Battles between advocates for same-sex marriage and defenders of traditional marriage have been dominating headlines for years. As other-than-traditional forms of marriage gain acceptance and recognition, less-than-traditional modes of splitting up are gaining traction as well.

Beach Walk Charlotte Mecklenburg Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law AttorneyActress Gwyneth Paltrow and rock ‘n’ roll singer Chris Martin popularized the term “conscious uncoupling” when the pair split up earlier this year. While the pair appear to remain married by legal standards, they are living apart and dating other people, though they continue to cooperate on raising their children and, presumably, on matters related to property they share.

That is about how Clark and Valerie Tate are approaching their conscious uncoupling. They have not divorced, and they still live together in the same house, albeit in separate bedrooms. They maintain joint assets—or marital property—but they are each allowed to date other people.

When the sparks of intimacy began to fade in their marriage, the Tates knew they did not want to upset the structure of their family unit, which then as now revolved around their son. Clark Tate, who had been married twice before marrying Valerie, said he was familiar with the divorce process and did not want to go down that road again.

So, Valerie said, the couple began talking about the idea of dating other people. Clark said he was shocked by the idea initially, but over time he grew interested in the prospect of an amicable split.

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