Articles Tagged with Adoption

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What can I do to gain custody of my child in North Carolina?”

Adoption is beautiful. Whether a family is adopting a child from foster care or a stepparent is adopting a child from the blended family, adoption is usually a process filled with happiness and love. However, the process of adopting another individual can also be difficult and confusing, especially for those step-parents who want to adopt a child. With the number of divorces occurring all across the United States, it is not surprising that there are more stepparents than ever who want to adopt the children they have helped in raising.

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “Can I keep my Kids from seeing the other parent?”

When thinking of adoption, most people think about a young child being adopted by a family that is going to take care of him or her for the rest of the child’s life. Not often does someone first imagine an adult is being adopted. Adoption does not have to be of someone under the age of 18. The number of adult adoptions that occur throughout the county each year is not available because that is not a statistic that is tracked nationally. Regardless of the statistics, it can be useful to know the basics of adult adoption.

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What are my custody rights if the other parent moves?”

Though it’s gone smoothly in some places, other courts in more conservative states have had a bumpy road adapting to changed legal realities since the landmark same-sex marriage case decided by the Supreme Court in 2015. A good example of this is in Tennessee, where one same-sex couple has spent months and months fighting to get a divorce, something that has proven harder than many expected.

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What can I do to gain custody of my child in North Carolina?”

The New York Court of Appeals (the state’s highest court) will grapple with a tricky legal question that has become increasingly important in the family law world: what is a parent? The answer to the question will impact hundreds if not thousands of custody disputes involving same-sex parents who for years have waged battle without the kind of legal clarity that exists in cases involving opposite sex partners.

Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What rules are there for Father’s Right in NC?”

A Georgia man who hired a surrogate to carry his child for $33,000 may be getting more than he bargained for.

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?”


Best-selling author Honoree Corder had what she described as “the great pleasure” of interviewing a slew of divorce attorneys for her new book, If Divorce is a Game, These are the Rules. On Friday, she posted an article on the Huffington Post titled “3 Things Your Divorce Lawyer Isn’t Telling You.”

Overwhelmed Charlotte Mecklenburg Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Child Custody AttorneyIf you, the client, will just focus on these three things, Ms. Corder writes, you and everyone involved in your divorce “will have a more positive and effortless divorce experience.” Failing to undertake these actions will, according to Ms. Corder, make life—and your divorce—tough.

Ms. Corder encourages people contemplating or going through a divorce to prioritize paying their divorce attorney the same way they prioritize paying other bills in their lives. Attorneys with whom Ms. Corder spoke said they feel like some clients—often high-maintenance clients who question and challenge nearly everything—fail to pay their legal bills in a timely manner because they compartmentalize their lives.

On the one hand, people live their “real lives” where they have to keep up with real-life bills or else suffer consequences such as having their power or water cut off or being removed from their homes. On the other hand, people live their “divorce life,” a life in which they act irrationally, “demand unreasonable outcomes,” fail to pay their bills and yet expect their attorneys to keep moving their case along.

As Ms. Corder puts it, nice clients who pay their bills have a much easier time in the divorce process.

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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?”


An Australian woman has found love with a man who anonymously donated sperm that the woman used to conceive her young daughter.

Happy Family Charlotte Divorce Attorney Mecklenburg Family LawyerThe woman lost two infant boys to the same rare genetic disorder but found that her third attempt at parenthood was charmed. The woman—42-year-old Aminah Hart—told the Daily Mail that she felt time running out on her chances at motherhood.

Those chances were further diminished by the one-in-four chance that her third child would be afflicted with x-linked myotubular myopathy, a condition that affects muscles used for movement and which almost always afflicts boys.

Hart’s first son, Marlon, died aged four months in 2010 of the disorder. A second son, Louis, survived to just 14 months. Doctors were not able to diagnose the rare genetic condition until after Louis’ death. Hart’s marriage to Marlon’s father ended after the infant’s death, as did her relationship with Louis’ father.

So the third time around, Ms. Hart decided to use an anonymous sperm donor to conceive. She said she was given three cards listing vital statistics of donors. These profiles included the donors’ age, body build, hair color, interests and professional occupations. They did not include a photo.

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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?”


North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage took another blow on Wednesday. United States District Court Judge William L. Osteen, Jr. ruled that the Tar Heel State’s 2012 state constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

Brides Charlotte Divorce Lawyer Mecklenburg Family Law AttorneyJudge Osteen ruled that the state could not prevent same-sex couples from marrying and could not prohibit the recognition of lawful same-sex marriages consummated in other states. Judge Osteen enjoined the state and its officers from enforcing the same-sex marriage ban. Attorney General Roy Cooper already announced this past July that he would not enforce the ban.

Judge Osteen dismissed claims brought by six same-sex couples “concerning the adoption laws of North Carolina.” In their complaint in Fisher-Borne v. Smith, et al., the couples alleged that so-called “second parent adoption is the only way that a family in North Carolina with gay or lesbian parents can ensure that both parents have a legal relationship with the child” and enjoy the benefits and protections “of a legally-recognized parent-child relationship with both parents.”

Plaintiffs Marcie and Chantelle Fisher-Borne of Durham alleged that their children faced potential exclusion from private or public health benefits, veterans’ benefits, disability or social security benefits, life insurance benefits and workers’ compensation benefits. Marcie gave birth to six-year-old Miley, while Chantelle gave birth to two-year-old Elijah. To date, North Carolina law has prohibited Marcie from adopting Elijah and has prevented Chantelle from adopting Miley.

The North Carolina Supreme Court upheld the prohibition on second parent adoptions in 2010 in Boseman v. Jarrell, a case that arose out of a child-custody dispute involving former North Carolina State Senator Julia Boseman and her former partner.

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Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “Do I need an attorney to get a Divorce in North Carolina?”


In a surprising study out of Norway, researchers say they have found a possible link between divorce and childhood obesity. Interestingly, researchers say that the link appears mainly to impact boys, rather than affecting children across the board.


Apple with Ruler Charlotte Family Lawyer North Carolina Divorce AttorneyThe research began by examining health data from school nurses of more than 1,000 children in third grade. More than 20 percent of those children qualified as either overweight or obese. Though weight problems impacted children of all walks of life, scientists were surprised to see how much divorce correlated with increased weight gain.


Specifically, the study found that children whose parents were divorced were 50 percent more likely to be obese than other kids. Among this group, the kids were 90 percent more likely to be abdominally obese, meaning that the majority of their weight was stored in their midsection, a type of obesity that has been linked to numerous health problems.


The children of divorce were not only more likely to be obese than kids whose parents remained married, but also kids whose parents were never married. Researchers say that even when considering other factors, such as wealth and parental education, the divorce-obesity link held true.

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


Carolina Panthers player Greg Hardy has been jailed after police say that he and his girlfriend were involved in a domestic dispute. In this case, both Hardy and his girlfriend claim that the other was the aggressor.


Football closeup Charlotte Family Law Lawyer North Carolina Domestic Violence AttorneyDespite, the he-said, she-said claims, a judge in Mecklenburg County ordered a $15,000 bond for Hardy. The judge similarly issued a protective order requiring Hardy to end all contact with 24-year-old Nicole Holder. Yet another requirement of Hardy’s release from jail was that he agree to attend three AA classes each week.


The last stipulation arose because both Hardy and Holder were intoxicated at the time of the fight. The argument began early in the morning and culminated when police were called around 4 a.m. Holder says that Hardy threw her into a couch that was covered with assault rifles and other weapons. Later, she says Hardy threw her into the tiled area of his tub, resulting in terrible bruises around her head, neck and shoulders. Holder says she was then drug from the tub by her hair while Hardy yelled that he was going to kill her.


Holder then says Hardy left her in the bedroom and began choking her with both hands around her throat. Hardy is then alleged to have told the woman that if she went to the cops or the media and reported what had happened he would kill her.

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