Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What does a “No-Fault’ divorce mean in NC?”
You work hard and have achieved your desired level of success. It is understandable that you would want to protect your assets. For many, the decision to enter into a prenuptial agreement is not an easy one. In addition to shielding what you have from spousal acquisition, you have to consider the feelings of your significant other. How will he or she react? Will your soon-to-be spouse be offended at the suggestion? Discussing the matter frankly and openly has the potential to cause unwanted turmoil in your relationship.
Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: ” Is there some property that the judge cannot divide?”
Prenuptial agreements are more than a plot point in a movie, a line in a song, or the butt of jokes about those marrying above or below their financial status. Prenuptial agreements, often just called “prenups,” are a useful tool that couples preparing for marriage should seriously consider. However, some perceive prenups in a negative light and believe the myths about them permeating pop culture. It is important to gather all of the facts before believing everything you hear about prenups.
Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What children’s expenses are not covered by child support?”
A Duke University researcher who set out to test whether the adage that unmarried parents are most receptive to the idea of getting married in the “magic moment” right after a child’s birth was true found out the post-birth magic lasts longer than a moment.
Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” Are overtime, bonuses, and commissions included in calculating child support?”
If you love your business as much as your spouse—or if you do not want to deal with the business complications that may arise when you divorce—you should convince your spouse to enter into a prenuptial agreement.
Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “When do you get alimony?”
Real Housewife of Atlanta Kandi Burruss says that she learned a very valuable lesson about the importance of properly planning prior to marriage thanks to watching the dissolution of another reality TV star’s happy home. Burruss says that Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny Frankel’s acrimonious split from her ex Jason Hoppy sent a chilling message about the danger of not doing enough planning before getting hitched.
Some have complained about recent episodes of the Atlanta show where Burruss and her fiancé are seen arguing about the provisions in a prenuptial agreement. Burruss has insisted that her fiancé sign the agreement prior to marriage and has taken a lot of flak from viewers who see this as a cold decision.
Burruss says that watching how nasty a divorce can be convinced her of the importance of having a clear prenuptial agreement. She says that should her marriage with her fiancé Todd Tucker fall apart, he would never want to endure the kind of lengthy and hostile fighting that Frankel has engaged in with her ex. By having a prenuptial agreement that clearly spells out what will happen in the event of a divorce, Burruss says much of the mess can be avoided.
One particular provision of the prenuptial agreement received the biggest criticism from viewers. That section concerned a clause that required her fiancé to vacate the marital home within 30 days of either party filing for divorce. Tucker was seen on the show criticizing what he felt like was overly harsh language, saying that he didn’t feel like he should be thrown out on the curb in the event of a split.
Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “Does adultery affect who gets custody?”
An internet dating company that exists to facilitate affairs claims that Huntersville, North Carolina is among the most unfaithful neighborhoods in the country. The news release came from AshelyMadison.com, which compared data from its nearly 21 million members.
According to AshleyMadison, more than 65,000 of its millions of members come from the Charlotte metropolitan area. Out of this group, more than 9.1 percent are from Huntersville, representing a sizable share of the overall members relative to its share of the metro area’s population. Ballantyne makes up 8.9 percent of local members while uptown is home to 8.8 percent. These three areas are followed by Myers Park, Indian Trail, Dilworth and SouthPark.
According to the founder and CEO of AshleyMadison, income and education are among the most common attributes of areas that are big users of the service. The CEO says that cheating is typically easier for those with more discretionary income, which is why the majority of those cities at the top of his lists are affluent areas.
Charlotte Divorce Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Does adultery affect my divorce case?”
At least one North Carolina judge has had enough of so-called “heart balm” lawsuits. In a case from Forsyth County, Superior Court Judge John O. Craig wrote that North Carolina’s alienation-of-affections cause of action is unconstitutional because it infringes on people’s rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitutions.
Alienation-of-affections actions are brought by one spouse against the lover of another spouse. Because of the affair, the theory goes, the aggrieved spouse has been deprived of the affections associated with one’s marriage and can recover damages from the third-party paramour for that loss.
Recoveries in heart-balm cases can be significant. In 2011, a Wake County judge awarded a jilted spouse over $30 million in a heart-balm case. That followed a pair of multi-million-dollar awards in 2010 in cases in Pitt and Guilford Counties.
The alienation-of-affections ruling by Judge Craig is only the latest in a decades-long struggle by lawyers, legislators and judges in North Carolina to overturn what critics describe as an archaic cause of action.
The state Court of Appeals abolished the alienation-of-affections action and its lesser-known counterpart – criminal conversation – in 1984 in Cannon v. Miller. The ruling was overturned by the state Supreme Court in 1985. Since then, state legislators have offered a multitude of bills that would outlaw the actions, without success.
Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “Does adultery affect who gets custody?”
For a long time now people have assumed that courts are generally unfair to fathers during custody fights. This belief has held not only among men, but women too accept to a certain degree that family law courts prefer giving custody to mothers over fathers. Though there has been plenty of justification for this belief, new numbers reveal that over the past several decades this trend has changed, rather abruptly, and men are far more likely to get a fair shake today then they were several years back.
Experts say that the family law world has undergone a somewhat quiet revolution with regard to men and their custody rights. Slowly, the percentage of men being awarded shared custody has increased from a scant number to a much more substantial share. This shift has as much to do with an increased desire among fathers to play a role in the lives of their children as it does a shift in the way that judges perceive men and women’s roles in raising kids and the importance of having both parties actively involved in parenting.
The trend towards more equitable custody decisions began in the 1970s when family law courts consciously decided to break away from the notion of the male as the financial breadwinner and the woman as a dependent caretaker. Instead, the courts adopted the radical notion that husbands and wives were interdependent, meaning they shared both financial and parenting responsibilities.
Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “What does a “No-Fault’ divorce mean in NC?”
In a bizarre case out of Maryland, a family court judge was forced to tackle the somewhat embarrassing question of what to do when two parties engaged in some rather adult conversations by text. The issue was that the two adults in question were in the process of divorcing one another, and the court had to decide whether their “sexting” was a problem that could derail the divorce.
The issue arose because under Maryland law to secure a no fault divorce a couple must have voluntarily separated from one another for 12 months prior to the filing of the application for divorce. This separation must include the parties living separate and apart without “cohabitating,” a phrase that has been interpreted to prohibit sexual relations between the parties.
The trouble began when Mr. Bergaris filed for divorce from his wife, claiming no fault. Mrs. Bergaris was evidently not interested in divorce and opposed the motion by arguing that during the previous 12 months she and her husband had exchanged numerous sexually explicit telephone communications and text messages. Mrs. Bergaris claimed that these messages meant that the grounds for divorce were invalid and that the request for a divorce should be denied.
Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “Do I need an attorney to get a Divorce in North Carolina?”
In a tragic case out of New York, one man recently lost a case where he tried to continue a divorce against his former wife who had recently taken her own life. The judge dismissed the matter, saying that prior case law has made clear that once a person dies the divorce case must also come to an end.
The case began back in 2012 when naval reservist Aleida Bordas filed for divorce from her husband of 13 years, David Bordas. Aleida claimed that the marriage was irretrievably broken and that she wanted out of the relationship as a result. The case slowly made its way through the court system until April of last year, when Aleida took her own life.
The suicide took many by surprise and resulted in the winding down of her divorce case, that is, until David realized that Aleida had made some important financial changes just before her death. David argued that these changes were made contrary to the standing order in place in the case that prevented either party from altering the financial status quo. As a result, David asked a judge to keep the divorce case open and undo the changes his former wife had made.