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Seeking Help for Suicidal Thoughts

In Health by Elizabeth Stephenson

By now, you have probably heard the story of Michelle Carter, a teenager from Massachusetts who was accused of convincing her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, to follow through with his threats of suicide. When her case went to trial, the evidence revealed that her boyfriend had informed her of his plan to kill himself by filling his truck with toxic gas. Instead of seeking outside help or trying to prevent his suicide, Carter wrote Roy numerous messages encouraging him to kill himself. Even worse, Carter texted Roy to “get back in” the truck when he had second thoughts and had exited his truck. Carter was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Suicide is a real and prevalent problem that causes devastating losses for families, friends, and communities. What Michelle Carter did was …

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Grandparent Visitation in North Carolina

In Child Custody by Elizabeth Stephenson

Grandparents love their children. This is an inherent, indisputable human fact. They want to experience their childhoods, visit them, hold them, and guide them. Unfortunately, we often see that the parents of these grandchildren have widely differing opinions about what sort of contact and influence the grandparents can have. This is usually due to poor relationships, lingering resentment of adult children toward their parents, conflicting views on parenting, or parents and in-laws who just cannot get along. Unfortunately for grandparents in North Carolina, when denied access to their grandchildren, they have limited legal options. Grandparent Rights During a Custody Dispute Generally, grandparents cannot file lawsuits to seek visitation or access to a child while the child is part of an intact family. This means that if fit parents cut off …

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Animal Cruelty in a Relationship

In Domestic Violence, Relationships by Elizabeth Stephenson

Our pets can be every bit a part of our family as anyone else. We love them, arrange our lives and travel around them, and spend ill-advised amounts of money spoiling them. Remember that $75 dog jacket? We also want our furry family members to be safe, and we regularly attend to their physical and medical needs. But what happens when you observe or suspect that your significant other has abused the family pet? There is no clear-cut answer to this question, but the reality is that difficult choices and conversations are going to have to happen. Animal Cruelty is Wrong If you have directly witnessed your significant other harm a family pet, or if your animal is behaving in an unusually fearful way toward that person, it is important …