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Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Do I need an attorney to get a Divorce in North Carolina?”


The television network TLC has foisted the phenomenon of same-sex attracted husbands who married straight wives into the fore of the American public’s consciousness with its new program “My Husband Is Not Gay.”

Church of Jesus Christ Mecklenburg Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Child Custody AttorneyAs reported in the Salt Lake City Tribune, however, new statistics compiled by John Dehlin, Bill Bradshaw and Renee Galliher should be “sobering” to couples participating in the show. Dehlin is a doctoral student at Utah State University. Galliher—also of Utah State—assisted Dehlin in compiling the statistics. Bradshaw is a retired Brigham Young University professor.

They studied 1,612 “self-selected LGBT/same-sex attracted Mormons and former Mormons,” some single, some in committed same-sex relationships, and some of whom had entered into heterosexual marriages.

The researchers found that between 51-percent and 69-percent of “mixed-orientation Mormon marriages” ended in divorce. That is compared to the approximately 25-percent overall divorce rate among couples associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—also known as the Mormon church.

LGBT is an acronym that stands for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered.”

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


The Montana Supreme Court has sent a divorce case back to a trial court in Great Falls, Montana, to consider two post-trial motions brought by an ex-wife sick with breast cancer.

Supreme Court Mecklenburg Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law AttorneyThe ex-wife—Gail Patton—filed for divorce in March 2011. In September 2013, the District Court in Great Falls determined that the entire martial estate of Gail and her ex-husband Bill was just over one-million dollars.

Gail was awarded $99,296, but the net amount she received from Bill—after attorney’s fees—was $27,000.

The Pattons married in 1998. After their marriage, Gail’s health declined, and her left shoulder atrophied, leaving her with limited mobility. In addition, she suffered from debilitating knee and back pain and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. To make matters worse, in May 2013 Gail was diagnosed with breast cancer.

After her diagnosis, Gail filed two motions, arguing that the less-than-ten-percent share she received of the marital estate should be increased to account for her medical bills. The District Court refused to rule on Gail’s motions, and in October 2013, the court adopted the recommendations of a standing master—a judicial official tasked with finding facts in cases and making recommendations to the court—awarding Gail a net total of $27,000.

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Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” I’m considering separating from my spouse; what actions should I refrain from doing?”


Author and psychotherapist Abby Rodman says that couples contemplating, embroiled in, or nearing the finish line of a divorce need to embrace the wisdom of the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus: “Change is constant.” Change is constant, and if you are going through a divorce, you should embrace change, because change is certain, says Rodman.

uncomfortable people Charlotte NC Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law AttorneyRodman encourages couples to prepare for the worst. Preparing for the worst does not mean couples have to expect the worst, and in the long run the changes spawned by a divorce may lead to a better life than parties to a marriage are leading now. Painting too rosy a picture of post-divorce life, in one’s mind, however, may lead to unfulfilled expectations.

If divorce is a part of one’s life, Rodman says, it does not have to define one’s life. In reality, Rodman says, the rest of a person’s life goes on while a divorce is proceeding. If a person brings the rest of one’s life to a halt while a divorce is pending, Rodman says, one may miss out on new and important opportunities—doors that open into one’s new, post-marriage life.

The end of a marriage means the end of matrimonial bonds, and it also may bring to an end many other past times or traditions shared with a spouse. One may feel inclined to cast off and cast away the implements of one’s former life, tangible and intangible, but Rodman encourages those going through the divorce process not to “throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

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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?”


Mediation is supposed to provide the opposing parties in a claim the opportunity to resolve their differences amicably. The actions of a New York divorce mediator, however, have led to far-less-than amicable results, according to federal prosecutors.

People standing around Mecklenburg Divorce Attorney Charlotte Child Custody LawyerOn Wednesday, a New York-based divorce mediator pled guilty to charges stemming from his attempts to strong-arm men into giving their wives a “get.”

The man—White Plains, New York-based Martin Mordechai Wolmark—pled guilty on Wednesday in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey, to engaging in a conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce to commit extortion, according to United States Attorney Paul J. Fishman.

Wolmark and Rabbi Mendel Epstein—described by USA Today as “a prominent ultra-Orthodox divorce mediator from Brooklyn—were accused of leading “a gang of eight thugs” who tortured men into giving their wives a “get.”

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Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can any attorney help me with my family law needs in North Carolina?”


Remorse is, perhaps, the most difficult of human emotions. Anyone who has passed through the crucible of divorce may know what it means to contend with remorse, or to contend with “what could have been.”

Old couple Charlotte Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law AttorneySadly, many divorces leave a trail of broken hearts. These include the hearts of children, who are often unwitting, innocent victims of a broken marriage.

Adult children of divorced or divorcing parents are not immune to these feelings. To an adult child whose parents have been married for decades, the concept of divorce—at least applied to one’s own parents—may seem foreign. What’s more, because adult children tend to move away from their parents’ home, they may miss signs of marital trouble displayed behind closed doors.

Ellen Huerta, who writes about romantic breakups on her website Mend, recalls that since her parents’ marriage had survived her own childhood and young adulthood, she just assumed it would last forever—or until death did them part.

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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?”


About one-half of American marriages end in divorce.

Department of commerce Charlotte Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Child custody AttorneyMarriage counselors have been preaching that prevailing wisdom to couples for decades. People who have been through a messy divorce may point to the statistic with a disillusioned “I told you so” attitude. Divorce attorneys and other professionals who often deal with the most contentious divorces may feel even more disillusionment.

Researchers, however, can put their feelings aside and study the raw data. As consumers, as human beings and as professionals working in family law matters, we rely on the data and upon the work of researchers studying the data for a portrait of what marriage and divorce look like in the United States.

For a variety of reasons, our ability to rely on accurate data may be disappearing.

For years, researchers in the family-law field have relied on statistics compiled by the United States Government in its American Community Survey. It is the ground zero, so to speak, for researchers interested in marriage and divorce trends across different age groups, ethnicities and cultures within the United States.

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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?”


The Huffington Post has identified what it describes as “a narrow group of smart, rational and reasonable individuals” who will join the flood of people all over the country starting the New Year by ending their marital relationships. It is, after all, the busiest time of year for divorce lawyers; however, these “smart, rational and reasonable” individuals will not be joining the flood of phone calls to divorce lawyers’ offices.

Document Review Charlotte Family Law Attorney North Carolina Divorce LawyerDiane L. Danois, J.D., says smart people don’t need divorce lawyers. First, she argues, much of family law is form-based, and most of the forms are available online at no cost. Even samples of Separation Agreements, Property Agreements and Custody Agreements can be found online and tailored—by “smart, rational and reasonable” individuals—to fit an individual couple’s needs.

As for property division, Danois says, financial affidavits guide couples through the steps of disclosing and labeling assets and liabilities. Smart people can figure out what martial property is, presumably. The assumption Ms. Danois appears to make, however, is that parties to marital relationships all have sharing, cooperative attitudes. Many people end up in my office, however, because of their spouses’ uncooperative and—at times—abusive and controlling attitudes. They need advocates to stand up for them because they feel intimidated by a spouse and by the legal system.

Of course, uncooperative, controlling, manipulative spouses would likely not fit under Ms. Danois’ definition of “smart, rational and reasonable” individuals, so perhaps the couples in need of divorce lawyers—by asserting the opposite of the premise—are those which feature at least one spouse who is uncooperative, or not “smart.”

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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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