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Enforcing a Custody Order from Another State

In Child Custody by Sarah Hink

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) is a uniform set of laws recognized and adopted by 49 states (including North Carolina). The purpose of these laws and their nationwide adoption are to provide guidance when multiple states are implicated in a child custody dispute, to address parental kidnapping, and to preempt dirty tactics in child custody disputes. These laws create a protocol for recognizing and enforcing existing child custody orders, of determining what court has jurisdiction to hear a custody matter for the first time, and for determining whether temporary orders are appropriate under the circumstances. Registration of Another State’s Custody Order If you have moved to North Carolina with a valid custody order from another state, then it would be wise to speak with a family …

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Keeping Your Children Out of the Middle of a Custody Dispute

In Child Custody by Sarah Hink

You adore your children and so does their other parent. Unfortunately, when the two of you are no longer a couple, there can be a great big divide between what you both believe is best for the children. Whether you split up a week ago or years ago, your children love both their parents and are doing their best to cope. They need you at your best and to be kept out of the middle of your custody dispute. Keeping Your Children Out of the Middle Take responsibility for how you choose to interact with your former partner. Regardless of why your relationship ended and how your spouse chooses to behave, you have control over your own conduct and your reactions. Your children will always remember this time period of …

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False Promises Can Damage Your Parent-Child Relationship

In Child Custody, Parenting by Carly Baker

If you are paying child support, you understand the pain of knowing that your paycheck is significantly less every month than before your child support order existed. But you can tolerate this pain, knowing that you are doing right by your child and providing financial support. Nevertheless, it is natural to wonder how that money is being spent. In fact, the thought has probably occurred to you that maybe it isn’t all going directly toward the benefit of your children. Therefore, you might wonder if you have any control over how child support is spent. Unfortunately, the answer is that you have little to no say about how the parent receiving the support spends it. Simply put, court dockets are already stressed and overwhelmed, and the last thing the courts …

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How Child Emancipation Works

In Child Custody, Parenting by Elizabeth Stephenson

While all parents take pride in supporting their children and fulfilling their parental duties, sometimes circumstances dictate that the these roles end earlier than we expect. While the age of adulthood is traditionally 18 years old, it is possible for a child to legally become an adult before then. Emancipation is the legally recognized mechanism in which a sixteen or seventeen year old minor can become an adult in the eyes of the law. In order to be emancipated and treated like an adult, a minor must demonstrate the ability to provide for himself like an adult, particularly in terms of financial independence. To qualify, a child must be 16 or 17 years old and have resided in North Carolina for at least six months prior to filing their petition …

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Separation and Your Child’s School

In Child Custody by Elizabeth Stephenson

A separation is not only hard for you, but it represents a significant event in the life and development of your children. This is not lost on family courts or on child development experts, who recommend parents create as safe, stable, and amicable a situation for their children as possible. With this in mind, it is critical to address how to create normalcy for your children when it comes to the place they spend the majority of their week—their school. Communicate With Your Child’s School One of the tough aspects of a separation or divorce is that you have no control over the rumor mill. It is not much different for children in school, as they deal with other children who spread information or rumors about each other. When it …

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Raising a Defense Against False Allegations

In Child Custody, Separation & Divorce by Carly Baker

Divorce and child custody disputes are among the most passion-inducing legal issues that civil attorneys face. Sometimes, in the heat of the situation and with a desire to win at all costs, we see people make bad decisions. One of those decisions is to make false allegations against the other party. Whether these allegations involve domestic violence, infidelity, fraud, or child abuse, it can all be incredibly damaging. While North Carolina is an absolute divorce state—which is a no-fault method of divorce—there are several areas in which misconduct can still play a role in the court’s decision-making process: Protective order—a spouse can get a domestic violence protective order against the other spouse, which can restrain the allegedly violent spouse from the home and the children. Divorce from Bed and Board—a …

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Is it Possible to Get Attorney’s Fees For Divorce Proceedings?

In Child Custody, Child Support, Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

It is exceedingly common for a financial imbalance to exist between couples that are divorcing. This can lead to fundamentally unfair situations where the spouse with greater resources can afford to retain an attorney while the other spouse cannot. This can create inequitable outcomes to critical legal issues like child custody, property division, alimony, and child support. To address this imbalance and to offer both sides an opportunity to a just resolution, the legislature has made it possible for a dependent spouse to obtain attorneys fees in certain situations. Post-Separation Support and Alimony — The North Carolina legislature has given the court the discretion to award attorneys fees in alimony and post-separation support suits. This makes logical sense as a spouse who is financially dependent on the other spouse probably …

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Best Interest and a Father’s Rights

In Child Custody by Sarah Hink

Fathers often get a bad rap when it comes to public perceptions of parental responsibility and child custody issues. While there may be historic truth to mothers serving as primary caregivers of children, and there are certainly parents who shirk their responsibility to their children, it does not help that we have become accustomed to caricatures of men on the Maury Povich Show who are actively seeking to deny paternity to children. These men who dance and celebrate when they are declared not the father are a far cry from the many men we see as family law attorneys who are seeking to maximize their parental rights to their children. It is an indisputable fact that times have evolved regarding careers and parenting roles; and with this evolution, there are …

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Managing International Travel With Your Children

In Child Custody, Parenting by Sarah Hink

Traveling can be an exciting opportunity for relaxation and for learning. The joys of experiencing new places, different cultures, and interacting with other people can be eye-opening. For children, it can be breathtaking to sense the greater world with their own eyes, ears, and noses. If you are fortunate enough to have the time and resources to take an international trip with your children, proper planning is the key to maximizing this opportunity. Tips to Traveling Internationally with Children Be mindful of court orders or parenting agreements. Most child custody orders and formal parenting agreements contain provisions requiring approval from the other parent or from the court in order to take a child outside of a specified geographic range. Be sure that you are in full compliance with any such …

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Top Five Reasons to Consult with a Family Law Attorney

In Child Custody, Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

We are often asked if you are required to have an attorney when going through a divorce. The simple answer—no. However, there are several reasons that having a family law attorney is very beneficial. Consider these top five reasons to consult with a family law attorney if you are considering a separation or currently going through a divorce: You may fail to preserve your legal rights on your own. Legal proceedings regarding property, spousal support, child support, and custody are governed by rules of procedure, the rules of evidence, local court rules, and the North Carolina General Statutes. There are strict deadlines and pleading requirements when it comes to these issues. Failure to meet critical deadlines, or filing improper pleadings can irreparably damage your ability to obtain legal relief that …