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Custody Issues When Your Child Has ADHD

In Child Custody, Parenting by Elizabeth Stephenson

ADHD and Children The Center for Disease Control has estimated that 11 percent of children above the age of 4 have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also referred to as ADHD. ADHD is a lifelong biological condition that takes on several forms. A person with ADHD will manifest the condition in some combination of: (1) an inability to concentrate; (2) impulse control issues; and/or (3) hyperactivity. According to the organization Understood, ADHD can affect a child’s social skills, self-control, and learning skills. Further, children with an ADHD diagnosis have also been known to also have learning disabilities, problems with social communication, auditory processing issues, behavior disorders, and emotional regulation issues. Co-Parenting a Child with ADHD Post Separation Children with ADHD can have an incredibly wide range of needs, …

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“National Pet Peeve Week” Actually Exists

In Relationships by Sarah Hink

A pet peeve is defined as “something that a particular person finds especially annoying.” Even the most tolerant and well-adjusted people in the world have them. Some people have a pet peeve about bizarre and unnecessary national holidays. These people are out of luck during the second week of October, which is “National Pet Peeve Week”! All kidding aside, Pet Peeve week is a good time to take stock of things in your life that you find annoying, especially when it comes to your relationship with your partner. This is because while individual pet peeves may be annoying, the totality of things that annoy you may be indicative of something more significant. As you do this, be mindful of the following. Nobody is perfect and flaws are realistic. So your …

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What is Service of Process and Why is It So Important?

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

If you have ever been involved in a lawsuit, or spoken with a lawyer about a legal claim, you have probably heard the term “service of process” thrown around. It is actually a critical element to every lawsuit and not something that an attorney can take shortcuts with. It is therefore important that we explain the concept of service of process and why it is actually a big deal. What is Service of Process? Service of process is the official act of delivering legal pleadings to a person. In North Carolina, service of process is governed by North Carolina General Statutes, Rule 4, which requires: The issuance of a “summons” within five days of the filing of a complaint. The complaint and summons must be delivered to a “proper person” …

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The Impact of Domestic Violence on Children

In Domestic Violence, Parenting by Sarah Hink

Domestic violence is a very real and significant problem. Unfortunately, children are victims of domestic violence too, even if they are not physically harmed. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence estimates that “1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence.” For children, exposure to domestic violence can be life altering, and not in a positive trajectory. Domestic Violence is Terrifying for Children Developmentally, children need safety and stability. Domestic violence destroys both of these essentially needs. According to a heartbreaking 2011 Department of Justice research study, in response to witnessing domestic violence, “[a]lmost one-half of the youth surveyed reported yelling to try to stop the violence or trying to get away from the violence”, “49.9 percent …

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“Balancing” Your Work and Your Family

In Lifestyle, Relationships by Elizabeth Stephenson

For a good part of our lives, many of us focus on our educations, attempting to get the best grades we can so that we can get good jobs. Once we find employment in our fields, we work incredibly hard to build careers and to be our best professional selves. However, life does not stand still while we hone our crafts and establish our professional reputations. Relationships happen, marriages happen, and children happen. In addition, separations, divorces, and child custody disputes happen. So as life and work happen concurrently—and not often harmoniously—this begs the question: Is it possible to “balance” your commitments to your work and your family? The answer is: maybe, with some serious planning and a commitment to following those plans. Time Management. Schedule time at the beginning …

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

In Domestic Violence by Sarah Hink

“1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetime.” — The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Domestic Violence Awareness Month October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The origins of this month date back to October 1981, when the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence created a “Day of Unity” to advocate against violence toward women and children. By 1987, this day of awareness expanded into a month and by 1989 was recognized by Congress as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. At New Direction Family Law, we have seen the terrible impact that domestic violence can have on its victims, the physical and emotional trauma, the struggle to stay or get away, the emotional detriment on …

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Creating a Post-Divorce Checklist

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

From start to finish, the divorce process can be a long journey. That’s why when a divorce decree is entered, it is an incredible relief and an opportunity to move in your new direction. While you can certainly celebrate, it is important to understand that there is work to be done following your divorce. For your benefit, we have created a checklist of some essential post-divorce actions. Follow your property division order. Work closely with your divorce lawyer to make sure that all marital property is divided and transferred in accordance with your order. Make sure that all joint accounts are cancelled — Although this has likely already happened during the separation or divorce proceedings, double check every account you have, to make sure that you are the sole account …

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Termination of Parental Rights

In Child Custody, Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Termination of parental rights is the ultimate action that can be taken against a parent. It means the permanent severance of the legal relationship between a parent and child, including legal and physical custody of the child and access to the child. A termination petition may be filed by a child’s other parent or by people who want to adopt a child. However, it is much more common for a termination petition to be filed by a social services agency or foster care agency in association with a child protection case that originated from abuse or neglect of a child. Termination of parental rights is a matter that attorneys and courts take very seriously. It is treated as an absolute last resort. The North Carolina General Statutes specifically allow for …

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Preserving and Protecting Property During a Divorce

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

When married couples separate in a manner that isn’t amicable, the emotions and tension underlying the separation often rears its head when it comes to settling the issue of property division. In fact, this time has a great potential for volatility and poor decision-making, in which some spouses choose to conceal, steal, destroy, or dispose of property in order to punish the other spouse. This is why if you decide to separate, your first decision should be to call an experienced family law attorney. At New Direction Family Law, we understand the unpredictable nature of separations and divorce and seek to quickly and effectively protect our clients’ interests. Seeking Injunctive Relief When a married person separates, they are entitled to file an equitable distribution claim to seek action from the …

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The Impacts of Reconciliation

In Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

The decision to separate with the intention to divorce is an intensely difficult and personal one. A long-term relationship is incredibly hard to end: you are voluntarily choosing to change your entire life and leaving behind a long history with your partner. This is especially true when there are children involved. Overall, the situation is a fluid one, and it isn’t unusual for couples to try to work things out instead of divorcing. Legally, this is referred to as reconciliation. What Constitutes a Reconciliation? Absolute divorce in North Carolina requires a separation period of one year, during which the couple must live “separate and apart.” This means that they must be residing in separate residences. Reconciliation is the voluntary process of reviving a marital relationship, ending the separation. Courts look …