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Articles Posted in Separation

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

According to a recent report in the International Business Times, divorce rates in Italy have surged over the past year, especially among older Italians. What’s responsible for the recent uptick in divorce? Mass infidelity? Social Upheaval? Bad food? Nope. The reason is a legal change in the separation time required before a petition for divorce can be signed off on by a judge.

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?”

Then-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and her family were thrust into the media spotlight in 2008 when Arizona Senator and then-presidential candidate John McCain named Palin as his running mate in the political race against (then Senator, now President) Barack Obama and running-mate Joseph Biden.

Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” Is there some property that the judge cannot divide?”

The split between New York media executive Noah Szubski from the daughter of “Wild Wild West” star Robert Conrad is heating up, with Szubski and Chelsea Conrad waging a courtroom battle over Cash.

Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “I’m considering separating from my spouse; what actions should I refrain from doing?”


A bill in Massachusetts currently making its way through the legislature is aimed at reducing the instances of funny business between individuals who are in the process of divorcing. Specifically, the legislation would prohibit all sexual contact for divorcing spouses who live at home with their children until the divorce proceedings are finalized.


No Sperm Sign Charlotte Divorce Attorney North Carolina Separation LawyerEven more ridiculous is that the bill says that for a parent to have sex he or she would first have to get a judge to sign an order approving the deed, something that many have said is downright preposterous.


The legislation specifically says that in any divorce or separation where there are children involved, the party remaining in the marital residence “shall not conduct a dating or sexual relationship within the home until a divorce is final and all financial and custody issues are resolved…” The only exception contained in the legislation is for cases where a judge has granted express permission.


The bill was originally introduced by State Senator Richard Ross back in early 2013 and failed to garner the support necessary to pass. This time, Ross says he thinks there is a chance the bill might earn enough support to get signed into law. Though Ross is the official sponsor of the bill, he curiously says he does not personally support it.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “What does uncontested divorce mean?”

The Georgia Court of Appeals recently affirmed a ruling by a county superior court that ordered Christopher Kelley to pay his former fiancée nearly $50,000 for failing to marry the woman. You read that right; Kelley has been ordered to pay tens of thousands of dollars to Melissa Cooper for failing to follow through with his promise of marriage.

ring on finger Charlotte Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law Attorney.jpgAccording to court documents, Kelley proposed to Cooper back in 2004, giving her an engagement ring worth more than $10,000. Cooper moved into a new home with Kelley and soon had a child with him. Cooper says Kelley then asked her to quit her job and stay home with the child; something Kelley contends was a mutual decision.

Cooper claims that several years after the proposal she learned that Kelley had been in a long-term relationship with another woman. Cooper confronted Kelley who admitted the affair, but said that he would stop seeing the other woman and again promised to marry Cooper. However, several years later Cooper says she found out Kelley had met someone new and this time was not willing to break things off. Instead, Kelley told Cooper to pack up and leave home, saying he now wanted to live with his new girlfriend.

Not one to take such matters lying down, Cooper hired a lawyer and sued Kelley, claiming that Kelley committed fraud and breached their contract to marry. Kelley fought back, claiming that though he did give Cooper a ring, he never actually used the words, “Will you marry me?” Kelley argued that he never initiated any conversations regarding marriage and was content to live together as boyfriend and girlfriend.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “When do you get alimony?”

The following is a continuation of the last post we did concerning a list of signs that your spouse is secretly unhappy, a list that appeared in an article by Amy Shearn over at Yahoo.com. Obsessive shopping, deathly silence over the dinner table and a abnormally close work friend are three of the indictors we discussed previously. Let’s dive into a few more.

Warning Sign Charlotte North Carolina Family Law Divorce Child Custody Support Attorney Lawyer.jpgAs we mentioned, when you run out of things to say that might be a sign of unhappiness. It is also true that no longer having an interest in listening can also indicate serious relationship dissatisfaction. When someone tries to cut discussions or arguments short by simply saying, “We’ve already been over this” it might be a sign that the person has checked out of your relationship and no longer wants to put in the effort to fix things. Rather than hear out your concerns and try and solve problems, people who are at this stage are simply over fighting and may be looking for an exit. Healthy relationships involve discussion and occasionally even disagreements; if your partner is no longer willing to put in that work it might be a sign of serious trouble.

Another indicator of unhappiness according to Shearn is when a spouse appears to be purposely irritating, nagging or pestering or other obnoxious habits that come out of nowhere may be a sign that your partner feels unappreciated and simply wants some attention. In this case the good news is that your partner has not yet given up and walked away, but if he or she continues to feel ignored it’s only a matter of time. Though they may be on your last nerve, take the cry for attention seriously and try to be a bit more nurturing; a little bit of acknowledgement can go a long way.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “What does uncontested divorce mean?”

A recent article on Yahoo.com delved into several important signs that your significant other might be secretly unhappy with your relationship. The tips are certainly not sure things, but are instead some examples of behavior that might indicate your spouse has checked out of the relationship and may soon be interested in checking out of the marriage. The author of the piece recommended that readers be aware of the following signs and take action to improve things if it seems like any of the following ring true.

Danger Ahead Charlotte North Carolina Family Law Divorce Child Custody Support Attorney Lawyer.jpgFirst things first, is your spouse shopping like crazy? Though some people simply enjoy a good trip to the mall, purchases out of the ordinary can reflect unhappiness at home. One psychology professor mentioned in the article noted that studies have shown that both men and women who attach more value to their possessions tend to be less secure in their personal relationships. While shopping by itself is OK, keep an eye out to see if the shopping seems like an attempt to fill a deeper void.

The author of the Yahoo piece notes another sign that there may be trouble in paradise, something she dubs “dining dead.” Zombies are definitely something we all want to avoid, especially in the context of a marriage. Though it can be nice to spend some quiet time together and not feel the urge to fill every pause with conversation, if the pauses start to become the rule rather than the exception then it may be time to worry. Silence over the dinner table can be great in small doses, but if you find yourself at a loss for conversation with your spouse frequently then you need to start asking questions about why you no longer have anything to say to one another. If the silence appears to be one-sided, it may mean you have an unhappy partner who is unwilling to rock the boat.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “How long does getting a divorce take?”

A recent article discussed how studies have shown that there are four behaviors that experts agree are most often responsible for the destruction of a marriage. In fact, the results show that by watching just 15 minutes of interaction, an expert can predict with a 90 percent accuracy whether a couple will still be together in five years.

Number 4 Charlotte North Carolina Family Law Divorce Child Support Lawyer Attorney.pngThe ability to predict a split is not due to fortune telling, but instead because researchers have found a list of four behaviors that are clearly linked to destructive relationships. The first one is accusation. Researchers refer to this as the kiss of death for most marriages and it happens when one or both spouses have a tendency to assign blame towards their partner, especially without knowing the full story. Experts say to avoid the problem and have a happy marriage, it’s important to try and give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. Assume the best, rather than the worst. Also, work on rephrasing accusations as questions, which are much less confrontational.

Next is escalation and this happens when one or both partners attempt to deflect blame by escalating arguments. Rather than respond to a complaint with another complaint, try and stay calm. Remember that it’s better to be in love than it is to be right. Try and be understanding and move towards resolution of a problem rather than fight to get one over on your spouse.

The third destructive relationship behavior is invalidation. When one person invalidates their partner it means they discredit or weaken them in some way, either by constantly belittling them or focusing on negative aspects of their personality rather than recognizing all the positives. This problem is very similar to bullying and happens when one or both parties feel the need to put the other in their place, constantly highlighting flaws or mistakes. Though this might work for a short time in getting your way, eventually the bullied spouse will tire of the treatment and call it quits, often shocking the other spouse who did not see the split coming.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “How long does getting a divorce take?”

This post is a continuation of our last article walking through some important questions that couples should ask themselves before settling on divorce. The following are some more tough issues to consider while weighing the decision of seeking a separation or choosing to divorce.

The next issue raised in the Yahoo article is to ask yourself how a separation might affect your children. While you might like to have a trial period to think over the marriage, it’s important to consider how your children will view the news. Some kids might be given false hope about their parents reconciling while others might get the wrong message about what kinds of behavior is acceptable in a relationship.
Question Man Charlotte North Carolina Drivorce Separation Child Custody Alimony Lawyer Attorney.jpg
Experts also recommend considering whether you or your spouse will require health insurance. Though the issue may seem boring and practical, practicality has its place in such matters. If one party has extensive pre-existing medical conditions or lacks insurance of their own, a trial separation might be the best way to ease into a new life apart, giving each party time to make arrangements. A full divorce would pull the rug out from under the sick party and a separation might be the best way to handle the transition.

Another practical matter that should be considered is whether one party is accumulating significant assets. If you are the spouse making a lot of money or are owed a big bonus in the not so distant future, you might be inclined to push for divorce to create a cut-off point and separate your finances. If, on the other hand, your spouse is due for a big raise or bonus, it likely makes financial sense to consider a separation and ensure you are entitled to a share of those assets.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “Can any attorney help me with my family law needs in North Carolina?”

If you are unhappy in your marriage and are contemplating calling it quits, chances are things have been bad for a while. No one wants to rush into something as serious and final as divorce. Ending a marriage is one of the most difficult decisions most people will ever face, which is why it is crucial to feel confident that you have made the right choice.

For some people divorce is clearly the best option. If the fighting has gotten out of hand with no hope of easing tensions and the stress has started to negatively impact your children, divorce is likely the right move. In other cases, the distance that a separation brings might be all that you need to get your marriage back on a sound footing. Yahoo put together a list of some of the following questions to ask before making the decision to divorce. Question Mark Charlotte North Carolina Divorce Family Law Alimony Child Support Lawyer Attorney.jpg

First, are you both ready to leave or is the unhappiness with only one party? This question is important because in cases where only one spouse is unhappy, a separation can often be a good idea. For one thing, a separation allows the unhappy spouse to have some space and really think through their decision. For another, it gives the other party time to come to grips with the idea of divorcing. If both parties want out, and are sure of it, then that might be a reason to consider divorcing since you are both already on the same page.

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