Articles Tagged with Charlotte Family Law Attorneys

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Div12-200x200North Carolina is one of only a small handful of states that allows for the filing of a lawsuit and cause of action against your unfaithful spouse’s lover. The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently upheld the ability in some cases to sue the person who had the affair with your spouse. This is called “alienation of affection,” or interference with a marriage, and “criminal conversation,” or adultery, as the basis.

The court of appeals noted, “They further the state’s desire to protect a married couple’s vow of fidelity and to prevent the personal injury and societal harms that result when that vow is broken.” They added, preventing “personal injuries and societal harms is a substantial government issue.”

The court rejected the argument that the laws are unconstitutional because they violate individual rights to intimate sexual activity and expression with other consenting adults.

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Prenup-200x200Commonly referred to as prenuptial agreements, premarital agreements are made between potential spouses before marriage. These agreements outline certain rights and responsibilities for each spouse, such as the division of property upon death or divorce.

In Chapter 52B of the North Carolina General Statutes, we find the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. This act outlines the framework for premarital agreements in North Carolina.

Under Sections 52B-3 and 52B-4, we find the requirements for premarital agreements in North Carolina. First and foremost, premarital agreements must be written and signed by both spouses. Without a writing signed by both spouses, premarital agreements are not valid. Additionally, even if one spouse does not receive any benefit under the agreement, it is still valid and enforceable.

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FatherSon-200x200There are many reasons why a man might want a child. The joys of fatherhood are plentiful. Children and parents often make memories that last their entire lives. As such, there is no limit to the reasons why a father, or even a mother, might want to make sure that the law recognizes a father-son relationship.

In North Carolina, if a married woman has a child, the state presumes that her husband is the father of the child. However, this is not necessarily so with an unmarried woman. If a child is born out of wedlock, and the woman is unmarried, the child then only has legal connection to her. In that instance, either the father will want the state to recognize the child as his through legitimization, or perhaps, the mother will want the state to recognize the father’s status to the child through a paternity process.

Legitimation 

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ParentPlan-200x200When a marriage comes to an end, child custody is often one of the most hotly contested items throughout the divorce process. But what happens if there are stepparents/children involved? Does the biological parent always end up with his or her children, or does the stepparent ever seek and obtain custody? What about visitation rights of stepparents, or even stepgrandparents?

Study Finds that for Half of Children of Divorced Stepfamilies, a Strong Relationship with the Stepparent Remains Through Adulthood

A recent study found that the bonds created between stepchildren and their stepparents can last a lifetime even after the child’s biological parent and stepparent got divorced. According to one of the paper’s authors, Marilyn Coleman of the Department of Human Development and Family Science, “For a substantial portion of these children’s lives, they’ve been living with a stepparent, who, in many cases, became a parent to them.” When that strong relationship can be shown and proven to the court, there is a much greater chance of that stepparent being given partial custody or visitation rights. Coleman goes on to say that when “the couple breaks up, the family breaks up. . . what happens to these kids?

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Custody2-200x200You have likely heard of joint custody, where you and the child’s other parent share legal responsibility for the child and, usually, the child stays with you part time and the other parent part time. Split custody, on the other hand, is a situation in which your two (or more) children’s living arrangements are split between you and the other spouse. For example, your 10-year-old son may live with you while your seven-year-old daughter lives with the other parent. The court usually frowns upon split custody for a variety of reasons. The average North Carolina family that has children has more than one. In fact, the average is 1.75 for families that do have children, according to the Census. We understand that there are many ways that child custody can go, and split custody may or may not work for you and your children.

Sibling Relationship is Lost

With a split custody arrangement, the sibling relationship between the two children would be lost or severely limited. The children would likely not see each other very often, even if you and the other parent had visitation with the other child on the weekends or if their time together with the same parent overlaps occasionally. The North Carolina court usually believes that it is in both children’s best interest to live together and, if joint custody is an option, to move between the two households as a pair instead of individually. During divorce, or any time of despair or uprooting of normal life and routine, a sibling can be the most beneficial part of a young child’s life. According to The Only Child Project, and reported in the Huffington Post, “Without a sibling to share the burden or ease his pangs, an only child’s experience of divorce is significantly higher than other children.”

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