Articles Tagged with Domestic violence

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What is an Absolute Divorce?”

It is something that very few people give much thought to: divorce behind bars. Though it seldom makes it on to most people’s radar, it can present enormous problems. Getting divorced while incarcerated is difficult if not outright impossible in some instances. This can mean that many resign themselves to being trapped in bad marriages or stuck with unresolved custody issues, which can create hopelessness among those already struggling to hold onto dreams of their future.

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What is an Absolute Divorce?”

Many people have skewed views of what happens in a courtroom. Television and movies have done a disservice to our understanding of what really goes in when you’re in front of a judge. We expect fireworks, tears, shocking revelations, audible gasps from the jury and if we don’t get it we’re disappointed. The reality is that in the vast (and I mean vast) majority of cases, you’re simply trying to hold people’s attention. Just as one example, discovery obligations and rules of evidence make it unlikely that surprises will occur, both sides usually see any “surprise” coming long before it’s ever presented in court.

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “How are military divorces different from a regular divorce?”

It’s been a rough few weeks for a relatively obscure member of Mississippi’s legislature. Andy Gipson was, until earlier this month, seldom on the national news radar. That changed as the state legislature has taken steps to try and address severely antiquated laws surrounding the divorce process. Two different legislators put forward two different measures to try and reform the backwards laws and both were killed before making it to the full chamber by Gipson. His actions resulted in a swift response from critics, with reports indicating that Gipson was deluged in phone calls, emails and social media posts by those who disagreed with his tactics.

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

We’ve discussed pets and divorce previously and the issue is almost always handled the same way no matter where you are. Though we might consider our pets part of the family, the fact is that the law does not. In fact, in a divorce, courts across the country have long operated under the assumption that pets are no different than any other piece of property. Rather than subjecting the division of the pets to the same kind of best interest test that children enjoy, pets get allocated between the parties like a couch or some old dishes.

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “How will the judge divide our property?”

The holiday season is upon us, as is the impending traditional uptick in divorce filings that comes after. Given the hot tempers that often accompany both extended amounts of family time and divorce, now may be a helpful time to answer a question frequently posed by family law clients. It often comes in the form of “What can I do to keep my soon-to-be-former spouse from doing X?”

Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “How can an attorney help me with my Divorce or Separation in North Carolina?”


Congressman Alan Grayson’s war on one woman has taken an ugly turn, with Grayson’s attorney slamming his estranged wife as being a “poor housekeeper” for allowing the condition of the Florida Democrat’s 5,300 square-foot home to become “horrible.”

Alan Grayson Charlotte Mecklenburg Divorce Attorney North Carolina Family Law LawyerGrayson, the United States Representative for Florida’s 9th District, has “called out” Republican political opponents for waging a war “against all of the women in this country.” According to Grayson, the gullible, Confederate flag-waving bigots in the Grand Old Party oppose so-called “equal pay” laws and abortion, and that means they are in a war against women.

That imagined war has become all-too-real for Lolita Grayson, Rep. Grayson’s estranged wife. She claims that Rep. Grayson has failed to pay for repairs and upkeep on the Orlando home she shares with the couple’s four children. Mrs. Grayson alleges in court filings that the home’s roof is leaking, and broken windows are allowing rainwater to penetrate the interior of the home, which has led to a significant mold problem.

Rep. Grayson’s attorney calls the accusations false, saying the congressman spends more than $10,000 per month on the home’s mortgage, child support, utilities and household expenses.

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Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can any attorney help me with my family law needs in North Carolina?”


Marriage is for the dogs, or at least that is what one British woman thinks. Amanda Rodgers was so smitten with her dog Sheba that she decided marry it.

Robert Pattinson Charlotte Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law AttorneyRodgers, 47, married Sheba this past March in a ceremony attended by some 200 well-wishers. The woman said she knew Sheba was the one for her when the dog was just two weeks old. “I fell in love with her,” Rodgers said. “I knew that we were meant to be.”

Rodgers told a British television news team that she proposed to Sheba on bended knee. The dog’s wagging tale meant that it accepted her proposal. Their wedding ceremony was sealed with a kiss.

Kissing is as far as Australian Joseph Guiso would go with the 5-year-old yellow Labrador he married “in an elaborate wedding ceremony in a local park” in 2010, according to the New York Daily News. Guiso, a self-described religious man, laughed off critics of his union with the canine and described their relationship as platonic.

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Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What are my custody rights if the other parent moves?”


Researchers from Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown University who used a national sample of nearly 4,000 children from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth have concluded that young children from wealthy families exhibit more behavioral problems following their parents’ divorce than children from poor families.

Happy Family Charlotte Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law AttorneyRebecca Ryan, an assistant professor of psychology at Georgetown, told Time Magazine that her team’s findings show that “family changes affect children’s behavior in higher-income families more than children’s behavior in lower-income families—for better and for worse.” Ryan was the study’s lead author. She conceded that she nor her researchers could pinpoint any reasons behind the spike in behavior problems among young children from wealthier families.

Ryan did speculate that fathers in wealthier families—most often breadwinners—often leave the home, leading to a steep decline in household income. In general, wealthier families see a greater shift in financial circumstances when parents divorce or separate than lower-income families. The changes that accompany that shift such as moving to a new neighborhood or changing schools may lead to instability in children’s lives.

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Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can any attorney help me with my family law needs in North Carolina?”


Edit: The Baltimore Ravens have just released Ray Rice from his contract and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has announced Rice will be suspended indefinitely from the NFL.


American National Football League fans were treated to a slew of close victories and upsets on the opening weekend of the 2015 season. The Monday blues followed too close for the league’s comfort on the heels of season openers.

Ray_Rice Charlotte Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law AttorneyEarlier this year, video footage obtained by Burbank, California-based “Thirty-Mile Zone,” also known as TMZ, showed Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice dragging his then-fiancé Janay Palmer out of an Atlantic City elevator. News reports referenced a video obtained by police that showed Rice hitting Palmer and knocking her unconscious in the elevator.

That second video was obtained by TMZ and released at 1:00 a.m. Monday morning while sports shows around the country were still broadcasting highlights from Sunday’s round of games.

The incident occurred on Feb. 15 at the Revel Hotel and Casino. Evidently Rice and Palmer argued before entering an elevator carriage. New footage from inside the carriage shows Rice striking Palmer in the face. The blow causes Palmer to fall, striking her head against a handrail and apparently falling unconscious to the floor of the carriage.

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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?”


A Cleveland, Ohio judge found himself on the other side of the bench after being arrested Saturday for beating his wife.

Courthouse Charlotte Mecklenburg Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law AttorneyCuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Lance Mason was accused of punching, biting and choking his wife inside a vehicle in Shaker Heights, where Mason is from, according to witnesses. Aisha Mason—Judge Mason’s wife—sustained “serious facial injuries,” including broken facial bones, according to reports. The couple’s children, aged four and six, respectively, were in the vehicle during the beating.

Judge Mason allegedly threw his wife out of their vehicle at the corner of Van Aken Boulevard and Avalon Road. Aisha Mason told emergency dispatchers she feared for the safety of the couples’ children and pleaded with responders to find the children and get them out of harm’s way.

Judge Mason was arrested at his home in Cleveland about twenty minutes after the alleged beating, after his sister called police to report that he was threatening to kill himself with a gun. Judge Mason was charged with felonious assault.

While in custody, Judge Mason admitted to having weapons in his bedroom and attic. Officers searched his home and found some 2,500 rounds of ammunition, a 12-gauge shotgun, a Winchester shotgun, a 50-shell shotgun belt, two semi-automatic rifles, two handguns, a sword, four canisters of smoke grenades and a bulletproof vest.

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