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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 technological innovations and wholesale changes to American culture brought on by the personal computer and high-speed word and document processing have reshaped the American business, legal and financial realms in untold ways.
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.
Diane 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.”
Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “What does a “No-Fault’ divorce mean in NC?”
The ex-wife of the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers has been ordered to repay her husband nearly $2 million in legal fees after unsuccessfully contesting her original divorce settlement. A Superior Court judge in LA issued the ruling earlier this month after McCourt failed to prove that she had been unfairly shortchanged.
Jamie McCourt sued her husband, Frank McCourt, last year after he sold the Dodgers in 2012 for more than $2 billion. The sale occurred soon after his divorce with Jamie was finalized and his ex-wife felt like she had been duped out of hundreds of millions of dollars.
McCourt argued that her husband fully intended to sell the team at the time their 2010 divorce was finalized. Despite these plans, the husband kept the information to himself, something that she says led her and her legal team to agree to a settlement far less than what she believes she was entitled to.
McCourt ultimately received $131 million as part of the settlement, all of it tax-free. In addition to the cash, Jamie walked away with several luxury homes. Despite the seeming windfall, McCourt believes she should have been given nearly $1 billion, almost 10 times the size of her actual settlement.
Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “What does uncontested divorce mean?”
Divorcing without the hassle or expense of attorneys sounds great, right? Much less stress and thousands of dollars in savings, what could be wrong with that? Plenty, at least according to a recent article by CNBC which points out the serious costs associated with DIY divorce.
The article notes that many couples hope to go it alone, believing that handling the matter on their own will save both time and energy. In California, where courts have attempted to make things easier for litigants to handle cases alone, nearly 75 percent of all divorce parties lack lawyers.
While this may sound wonderful, the reality is typically much less rosy. Experts say that in California, the lack of legal advice can lead to incredibly long-lasting divorce cases. What often happens is that people file divorce paperwork on their own, incorrectly believing the process should be quick and simple. The problem is that many don’t know what to do next and the case proceeds to languish for months or even years with minimal action.
The author of the CNBC article pointed out another drawback to DIY divorce: lack of experience can lead to costly and careless mistakes. The case of Marissa York, a realtor from New York, illustrates perfectly how much it can end up costing you to try to handle divorce on your own.