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Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What children’s expenses are covered by child support?”

 

In 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled once and for all that same-sex marriage was legal. But what about state adoption and birth certificate laws that still assume marriage is always between a man and a woman?

Mother and child Charlotte Divorce Lawyer Mecklenburg Adoption AttorneyEven though same-sex marriage became legal in all 50 states last year, gay couples in North Carolina and many other states still face numerous legal hurdles that straight couples do not when it comes to making and preserving a family.

A recently introduced bill in Arizona highlights how far our country still has to go towards true equality. Lawmakers proposed a bill in January 2016 that would strike the language in the state adoption laws that give preferences to married heterosexual couples. This is in a state that currently has almost 20,000 children in foster care and is turning away qualified, loving prospective parents.

The bill is designed to help both the children involved and potential parents. The legislation, introduced in both the Arizona House of Representatives and Senate, argues that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage last year bans laws that give preference to heterosexual couples.

North Carolina state adoption laws are written much like Arizona’s—they presume that parenting takes place between a mother and a father, and they don’t let unmarried couples to adopt.

 

Form of Adoption Legal Status of Petitioner Allowed in North Carolina?
Solo Single Yes
Joint Married Yes
Second-parent adoption Single or Married No
Stepparent adoption Married Yes

 

 

Any single adult can petition to adopt in all fifty states. However, in North Carolina, “joint adoptions,” where both partners petition the court to adopt a child together, is not available unless the partners are married. So if you’re married and want to adopt a non-related child together, you can jointly petition to adopt in North Carolina.

But what if one of you is the biological parent of a child and you want the other to become their second legal parent? Because birth certificates in North Carolina specifically only have spaces for a mother and father, only one of you would have been allowed to put a name on your child’s birth certificate. Second-parent adoption, while around in other states, is not allowed here. So now that you can be married, if you have since done so, how can you obtain full parental rights to protect your family?

Enter Stepparent Adoption. Since the federal marriage ruling last year, something called stepparent adoption became available to same sex-couples in North Carolina. Before gay marriage was legal, this type of adoption was only available to married, and therefore straight, couples. Stepparent adoption is actually the most common type of adoption in the United States, and is same-sex couples are increasingly using it to guarantee the rights and protections of their families.

 

What Do I Need to Qualify for a Stepparent Adoption?

  • To be legally married to the child’s biological parent
  • The consent to adopt from that parent
    • Or the child themselves if they are 12 or older
  • Your marriage certificate

 

Stepparent adoption does not automatically terminate the rights of the child’s second biological parent, but you can petition the court to do so if it is the best interests of the child. If you or your someone you love is thinking about adopting in a same-sex relationship, contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC at (855) 370-2828 today so one of our experienced and dedicated family law attorneys can help you protect the rights of your family 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/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/ByArticle/Chapter_48/Article_4.pdf

http://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_7B/GS_7B-1111.html

http://www.familyequality.org/get_informed/families_for_all/50_states_of_adoption/

 

 

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http://www.freeimages.com/photo/mom-s-love-1572418

 

 

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New York Case Reveals How Far Legal System Has To Come To Reflect Modern Families :: Child Custody Lawyers and Attorneys in Charlotte, N.C.

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Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Who pays for the children’s health insurance and co-pays?”

 

We live in an age where, for many, it has almost become second nature to compose a Facebook post, tweet, text message or email. It can also be tempting to see celebrities announcing details about their separations, divorces and infidelity accusations on social media platforms and want to follow suit. However, for family law attorneys, these digital snapshots into people’s lives can help make or break cases.

Hand holding cords Charlotte Divorce Lawyer Mecklenburg Family AttorneyPicture this: You are in a custody dispute with your spouse, from whom you have been separated for a few months. At your daughter’s soccer practice, however, your spouse brings their new partner. Emotions running high after you drop your daughter off, you fire off an angry, cathartic post. You feel justified because your ex’s actions seem much more damaging. Since you don’t have your daughter that night, you go out with some friends later that evening. They take a few pictures of your gang enjoying the night out and post them to Facebook.

As innocuous as this behavior sounds, in the scenario above, you may have just damaged your case in your fight for custody.

There are many understandable reasons that can prompt someone to take to social media in discussing relationship, property and custody issues. Maybe you want to preempt your partner from doing the same thing. Maybe it is your way of seeking personal support in a public way. Or possibly you are simply so angry that you make put something on social media without having fully considered its potential impact.

Otherwise innocent activity that you don’t think would have any bearing on pending family law matters can drastically affect things. Pictures of a person drinking alcohol, references to casual drug use, pictures with a new significant other, posts about weekend plans, and details about activities people have done with their children that seem harmless but did not have the consent of the other parent, are just a few of the things that have negatively impacted individuals’ divorce, custody and other family law matters.

On the flip side, all this is true of the other party’s accounts in a family law case and their social media presence can be subject to legal scrutiny as well.

 

Either I or my partner has put something on social media that could affect our family law case. What now?

There are federal rules that impose a duty on both sides in civil cases to preserve evidence that a party could reasonably foresee may be relevant to issues in their litigation. This duty applies to all evidence that is in a party’s custody, possession or control. The term “evidence” includes electronically stored information, in any format, in any medium.

This duty to preserve electronic evidence exists from the moment you or your partner filed an action in family law court in your case. However, if one party files a “litigation hold,” and the judge grants it, the other party is then essentially court-ordered to preserve all relevant evidence. This means not deleting past posts, accounts and information. The consequences of failing to preserve evidence include fines and/or criminal sanctions.

If you are, or may become, involved in a family law matter and think that you or the other party may have information on social media relevant to your case, it is important that you seek the help of experienced family-law attorneys to help guide you through this process. 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.americanbar.org/content/newsletter/publications/law_trends_news_practice_area_e_newsletter_home/obligationpreserve.html

http://www.americanbar.org/publications/blt/2014/01/02_dibianca.html

 

 

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http://www.freeimages.com/photo/wires-in-my-hand-1242434

 

 

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Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “How is the amount of child support decided in North Carolina?”

 

We generally assume that the responsibility for supporting children financially falls squarely on the biological parents, either directly or through child support payments. Stepparents are seen as being in the clear, legally speaking, due to their lack of a blood relationship with the child. Though this is generally true, it is not always true, something that a recent case out of Pennsylvania demonstrated. To learn more about stepparents and their obligation to pay child support, keep reading.

 

Empty Wallet Charlotte Family Lawyer Mecklenburg Custody AttorneyThe case in Pennsylvania is known as A.S. v. I.S. (initials are used to protect the parties’ privacy). In the case, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled last month that a stepparent, in this case a stepfather, could be ordered to pay child support after divorcing the children’s mother.

 

The Supreme Court acknowledged that this violated past practice and widely understood rules regarding child support, but argued that an exception should be made in this case. The reason for the exception is that the stepfather in this case was deemed “relentless” in his efforts to obtain parental rights over the stepchildren post-divorce. The father engaged in a lengthy litigation campaign against the mother, first arguing for and eventually winning the right to have equal physical and legal custody over the children. Next, the stepfather filed a lawsuit and ultimately convinced a court to prevent the children’s mother from moving with the kids to California.

 

Given these attempts to assert himself in a way that interfered with the rights of an otherwise fit parent, the stepfather was found to be responsible for paying child support. After all, if the stepfather was so eager to be treated as an actual parent in multiple respects, it would not be fair to the mother or the children to allow him to avoid the financial responsibilities that come with parenthood.

 

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court was quick to point out that this case was an exception, not the rule. The Court specifically denied creating a new category of stepparent obligations, saying that the ruling was limited to similar cases where stepparents have fought to obtain parental rights and can thus be required to take financial responsibility over the children they now have custody of.

 

In North Carolina, such a ruling would be very unusual. The law in North Carolina says that stepparents are generally not responsible for assuming financial responsibility for children that are not the product of their marriage. That being said, there are situations where stepparents might be required to pay.

 

The one clear example of this is if a parent takes a stepchild into his or her home and places him or herself in a position of a parent. Marrying someone with kids and serving as a de facto parent may be enough for a court to order the stepparent to provide financial support for the children during the duration of the marriage. That being said, these stepparents would not have an obligation to continue the support post-divorce, unless there is a formalized agreement requiring the continued support. During a divorce, parties are free to make their own arrangements. If the parents decide amongst themselves that the stepparent will continue to pay support and the agreement is legally formalized, a court may then subsequently enforce the agreement, requiring the stepparent to pay support.

 

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.post-gazette.com/business/legal/2016/01/12/Pennsylvania-Supreme-Court-holds-stepfather-liable-for-child-support/stories/201601120008

 

 

Image Credit:

http://www.freeimages.com/photo/where-s-the-money-gone-1513359

 

 

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Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold being interviewed on the Legal Forum. This was recorded in Charlotte, North Carolina. 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?

 

A recent survey by a company called FindTheHome set out to rank cities according to divorce rates. Specifically, the survey sought to identify the one city in each state with the most divorces, dubbing the city that state’s “capital of divorce.” The ranking was just released and the results indicate that in North Carolina, the capital is located in Thomasville.

 

Number 1 Charlotte Divorce Law Firm Mecklenburg Separation AttorneyThough Thomasville is a small place, with a population just under 30,000, the city has a sizable divorced percentage of nearly 16%. This places North Carolina right in the middle of the pack, at number 25 on the national rankings. To get a sense of perspective, the country’s capital of divorce is Covington, KY, with a divorced percentage of just under 19%. On the opposite end of the spectrum, is Burlington, Vermont. That city has a divorced percentage of only 8.6 percent, dramatically less than Covington and half that of Thomasville, NC.

 

Though many see the rankings as rather unflattering, another article out this week on Yahoo explores some seldom-discussed upsides to divorce. In honor of North Carolina’s divorce capital, let’s spend some time walking through some of the benefits of divorce, something that the residents of Thomasville know all too well.

 

One benefit of divorce is that you get to make the rules in your house. You may have spent years learning to cooperate with your spouse, seldom getting what you want. Now that you’re divorced, the cooperation can largely come to a stop. What goes on in your house is now solely your decision. That means you get to make the rules for how the children behave when they’re under your control. Though co-parenting still requires some alignment regarding the children, the nitty-gritty details no longer have to be agreed to jointly. If you think the kids can stay up a bit later or eat a healthier diet, the choice is now yours alone.

 

Another benefit of divorce is the fun of establishing new traditions. Though the loss of family events can be one of the most difficult aspects of splitting up, a silver lining is that you now get to create new traditions of your own. These can be silly weekend traditions or important new routines for major holidays. The fun is in starting over fresh and thinking of interesting new ways to create meaningful moments with the kids.

 

Another often-unsung benefit of a divorce comes with shared custody. One the one hand, when it is your time with the kids, you get the kids entirely to yourself. This allows for a lot more one-on-one time. Though it can be difficult in a shared custody situation to relinquish control and then spend days without seeing your children again, here too lies another surprising benefit: a bit of peace of a quiet. When you were married the kids were there each and every day. If you’re in a shared custody arrangement, you’ll now need to get used to days without the kids. Though this can be tough, it can also be nice; allowing some time to yourself, time to get chores done and time to relax, leaving yourself refreshed and ready when the kids come home.

 

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://myfox8.com/2016/01/29/triad-city-named-the-divorce-capital-of-north-carolina/

https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/5-upsides-to-being-divorced-and-1353913487745078.html

 

 

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http://www.freeimages.com/photo/number-1-1149714

 

 

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Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What does uncontested divorce mean?”

 

Though it’s best when both sides know that a split is around the corner, it does happen on occasion that one party feels blindsided by the filing of divorce papers. They may have been happy while their partner was miserable, oblivious to the problems that had been lurking in the marriage. It can be hard to be the spouse who was caught unaware and it can take time to process.

 

Top Secret folder Charlotte Divorce Lawyer Equitable Distribution AttorneyEven worse than being caught by surprise with a divorce filing is to be caught by surprise 20 years after a divorce was filed. A woman in New York found herself in the terrible position of discovering, completely by accident, that the man she believed was her husband had secretly filed for divorce more than 20 years before, an attempt to protect his assets should things with his wife go badly.

 

The bizarre case began back in 1994 when the couple met in Boston. It was evidently love at first sight, and the two were married soon after meeting. It was by all accounts a happy marriage, with the couple purchasing property in New York City, Boston and France, spending years shuttling between their multiple homes and growing old together, even having a son along the way. Unbeknownst to the wife, her husband had taken steps to protect his money from the very start of the marriage.

 

It’s now been revealed that only four months after the two were first married, the husband hired a lawyer to secure a divorce in the Dominican Republic. The two never lived in the Dominican Republic, it appears to have been seen as a friendly location to get the divorce finalized. The man hired his lawyer and then another lawyer, supposedly to represent his wife. The basis for the divorce was “incompatibility of temperaments”.

 

Once the divorce was finalized, the husband then used the records to try and have his wife’s name removed from various pieces of property, transferring everything into his name. Decades went by and there was never any indication that anything was wrong, until one day, the woman says she opened a tax bill for their property in New York and noticed her name was not listed. She was curious and hired a lawyer to investigate and the whole secret unraveled before her eyes.
The woman has now filed a claim in a New York court asking that the divorce in the Dominican Republic be nullified. She says that she never knew about the divorce and never knowingly authorized any attorney to act on her behalf in the matter. She says any consent that she supposedly gave would only have happened if she were impaired, drugged or misled. She also claims that the divorce is not even legal in the Dominican Republic, because neither spouse ever appeared in court.

 

The woman argues that the sham divorce was an attempt by her husband to rob her of money that is rightfully hers. Greed, not a genuine marital problem, motivated the secret divorce proceeding and she is now hoping that she can convince a New York judge to undo the divorce. If she succeeds, her husband will then have to file for a real divorce in the U.S., giving the wife the opportunity to demand her share of the marital estate, something that appears to have been denied to her the first time around.

 

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://nypost.com/2016/01/24/husband-secretly-divorced-wife-after-wedding-to-protect-assets/

 

 

Image Credit:

http://www.freeimages.com/photo/top-secret-1239728

 

 

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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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http://www.freeimages.com/photo/holding-hands-1512025

 

 

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Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matt Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question: “What does a “No-Fault’ divorce mean in NC?”

 

Most people think that once a divorce is over, it’s over. After all, you’ve spent substantial time and money trying to undo your ties to another person, why would you continue to have contact once you’re finally free? Sometimes though, things don’t go so smoothly, life’s messy after all, and lengthy relationships can be hard to leave behind. The question becomes, once you start to muddy the water, getting back in touch with an ex after the divorce is already signed and sealed, does that reconciliation undo the terms of the divorce or will the settlement agreement remain in effect? To find out more, keep reading.

 

Balled up paper Charlotte Divorce Attorney Mecklenburg Child Custody LawyerA recent case out of Pennsylvania dealt with exactly this issue. A couple got married back in 1992 and had a number of happy years together. However, things eventually soured and the coupled separated in 2006 and divorced a year later, signing a settlement agreement at the time. Among many of things that the settlement agreement dealt with was that the husband would agree to pay the wife $40,000 in installments. The two also agreed to share half of the cost of their children’s college education.

 

Not long after the divorce was finalized the two reconnected and lived together from 2009 through 2010. The second go at the relationship ultimately failed and the husband moved back out. The problem arose when the husband decided he no longer wanted to abide by the terms of the 2007 divorce settlement agreement. He stopped making installment payments to his wife and claimed he wasn’t legally responsible for half the kids’ college costs.

 

A lawsuit ended up resulting from the dispute and the husband argued that the court should support his decision to ignore the terms of the settlement agreement. According to the husband, the agreement should be deemed abrogated. As the husband’s lawyer pointed out, other states embrace the concept of abrogation. This concept says that those portions of the settlement agreement which have not yet been performed at the time of reconciliation are deemed void. In this case, that would mean the portion of the $40,000 that had not been repaid before 2009 would not need to be paid and the responsibility for college costs would also vanish.

 

The Pennsylvania court disagreed with the husband’s argument. According to the court, the divorce settlement agreements are deemed contracts and are fully enforceable under the law. The Court refused to join other states that embrace the concept of abrogation, saying that the wife had not abandoned her rights under the agreement by briefly reconciling with her ex-husband. The Court pointed out that the agreement did not contain any language that required either party to continually demand performance to preserve the right to enforce the agreement at a later date. As a result, the husband was ordered to continue paying the remainder of the $40,000 to the wife, take responsibility for his half of the kids’ college costs and reimburse his ex-wife for legal expenses.

 

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.jdsupra.com/legalnews/reconciliation-does-not-void-prior-35243/

 

 

Image Credit:

http://www.freeimages.com/photo/paper-ball-1425821

 

 

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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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Family law experts have long said that not enough people consider the potential value of a prenuptial agreement. Too often what family law attorneys hear is that prenuptial agreements are only for rich people or those on second and third marriages that want to ensure children from their first marriage are being looked after. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as prenups can be useful in almost any circumstance. Unfortunately, this same prenuptial skepticism has carried over to many same-sex couples who, for the first time, are now able to marry legally nationwide. The reality is that though prenuptial agreements are beneficial to same-sex couples for all the same reasons as they are to opposite-sex couples, there are other reasons why same-sex couples may benefit even more. To find out more about the benefits of prenuptial agreements for same-sex couples, keep reading.

 

Same-sex icon Charlotte Prenup Attorney Mecklenburg Divorce LawyerNow that same-sex marriage is legal here in North Carolina, couples will be forced to consider the same things that opposite-sex couples have long wrestled with, including whether or not to draft and sign prenuptial agreements. Quickly, let’s discuss some of the advantages to a prenuptial agreement. Prenups can be very useful in making divorces simpler. The reason is that much of the fighting in a divorce concerns the division of assets. By deciding these matters in advance, there becomes much less to fight about during the divorce itself, saving both time and money.

 

Prenups are also useful in that they can clarify the ownership of specific items of property. For example, if you enter your marriage with a treasured family heirloom, artwork or jewelry, for instance, you can insert language in the prenup explaining that the item is separate property and, should a divorce occur, will remain with one spouse or the other. Again, it’s a way to tackle issues in advance when tempers are cool and the parties are behaving rationally.

 

So why might prenups be even more beneficial for same-sex couples? One reason concerns the awarding of alimony and other spousal maintenance. There’s been a big push nationwide in the past several years to curtail the awarding of long-term spousal maintenance, with legislatures and courts moving to limit such payments to only long-term marriages.

 

For same-sex couples, this could prove problematic. If, for example, a couple was together for years, potentially even decades, as committed partners, but unable to marry due to legal restrictions, it’s possible that these years could be ignored by a family court when making decisions involving spousal support. For instance, if a couple were together 20 years, with one spouse quitting work to stay home with the kids or manage the house, then marriage was legalized and a divorce occurred only a year a two later, it’s possible that a judge could view the relationship as only lasting a year or two.

 

This would seriously shortchange the spouse who had stayed home all those years, meaning he or she could be left with no spousal maintenance and no legal recourse. One way to address this is to tackle the issue in a prenuptial agreement, using the document to specifically declare the length of the relationship and preemptively address issues such as support. This avoids the risk associated with leaving such an issue up to a family court, allowing you to take control of your future rather than leaving it to chance.

 

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.jdsupra.com/legalnews/prenuptial-agreement-considerations-for-42697/

 

 

Image Credit:

http://www.freeimages.com/photo/lift-sign-1253896

 

 

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

 

 

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It isn’t uncommon for couples in the midst of a divorce to have second thoughts, wondering whether the decision was actually the right one. The good news is that should you change your mind, you have the ability to backtrack and, up until the moment the divorce is finalized, you can withdraw your petition for divorce. It can be comforting for some people to know that the process, once put into motion, can still be stopped. However, a recent ruling from the New Hampshire Supreme Court demonstrates that there’s a limit to when the divorce can be undone. Keep reading to find out more about the limits judges have when undoing a divorce.

 

Eraser Charlotte Divorce Attorney Mecklenburg Child Custody AttorneyThe case in New Hampshire began last year when a couple, Terrie and Thomas McCarron, decided to divorce after several decades of marriage. Their divorce was finalized late last year and then in March of 2015, the couple decided they had changed their mind. Despite being divorced for several months, paperwork done, orders signed, the two tried to get a family court judge to rescind the divorce order, allowing them to remain married. Unfortunately for the couple, the judge said no.

 

The couple then appealed the decision up to the New Hampshire Supreme Court, arguing that they should be allowed a period of time to request that the divorce be unraveled. The two claimed that because they have reconciled and are now behaving as a couple, the divorce order ought to be deemed invalid. The Supreme Court disagreed, unanimously, deciding that divorce in New Hampshire is meant to be final and any allowance for it to be reversed would have potentially negative consequences, calling into doubt the true finality of the process. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the lower court, making clear that state law grants judges the power to divorce couples, not to undo divorces.

 

Though the idea of undoing a divorce may seem strange to most people, it is actually possible in several states. Courts in Illinois, Nebraska, Mississippi, Arkansas, Maryland and Kentucky permit divorces to be vacated so long as requests are filed within a certain time frame. Other states, like New Hampshire, specifically make clear that such rescission is impossible once the divorce order has been signed.

 

Many people might be wondering why the couple didn’t just remarry, saving the time and energy of the legal fight. Experts say that for financial and business reasons, a divorce and remarriage would be problematic, while rescinding the divorce order would be helpful. Unfortunately for the couple, the courts disagreed and they will now have to go through the formal remarriage process.

 

In North Carolina, you have many opportunities to retract your divorce decree, before it’s been served on your partner, after service and even right up until the very end. Once the divorce decree is signed and the divorce is final, you will not be able to retract or undo the split. If you decide at that point that you would like to remain married, you’ll need to marry again. Only in very limited circumstances, such as a legal mistake or fraud, can the divorce actually be legally undone.

 

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://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CANT_UN_DIVORCE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-12-26-08-51-16

 

 

Image Credit:

http://www.freeimages.com/photo/erased-1506847

 

 

See Our Related Video from our YouTube channel:

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

 

 

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