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Domestic Relations

Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Custody – Insufficient Findings – Civil Practice – Continuance Motion (access required)

Jerkins v. Warren In support of its award of primary physical custody to the plaintiff-father and liberal visitation to the defendant-mother, the trial court found merely that both parties “are fit and proper persons for the roles assigned herein” and that “this order is in the best interest of the minor child.” These findings do not allow us to determine whether the trial court property awarded primary physical custody of the parties’ child to the father.

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Domestic Relations – Alimony – Dependency – Future Income – Disability Benefits – Couple’s Pharmacy (access required)

Taylor v. Taylor In its order denying alimony to a disabled husband, the trial court found that the husband had been able to maintain his standard of living despite his disability. However, the trial court also found that the husband’s private-insurance disability benefits would cease when he turned 65; moreover, the source of some of the husband’s income – the couple’s pharmacy – was distributed to the wife in the court’s equitable distribution order. The trial court should have made findings as to whether the husband would continue to be able to maintain his standard of living.

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Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Support – Paternity – Civil Practice – Standing – Personal Jurisdiction (access required)

State ex rel. Davis v. McCommons A mother was receiving public assistance from Union County Child Support Enforcement for the support and maintenance of her minor child. Therefore, the State of North Carolina – through Union County Child Support Enforcement – had standing to institute proceedings against defendant as the responsible parent under G.S. Art. 9, Chap. 110.

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Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Sole Custody – Anger Issues – Involvement in Children’s Lives – Parents’ Ages (access required)

Gentry v. Gentry Where neither party asked for joint custody, and where the trial court found the parties’ animosity toward each other and their anger issues made shared custody inadvisable, the trial court did not err when it awarded sole custody to one parent rather than awarding joint custody to both.

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Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Custody Modification – Changed Circumstances – Starting School – Visitation Curtailed (access required)

Dickason v. Hayes Even if acrimony and conflict between the parties were not new when the plaintiff-father moved for a custody modification, the defendant-mother did not challenge the trial court’s finding that she failed to work with the father to adjust his visitation to accommodate their child’s school schedule.

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Domestic Relations – Equitable Distribution – Valuation – Stipulation – Husband’s Business – Good Will (access required)

Lane v. Lane Even though the plaintiff-wife now contends that there was a second mortgage on the marital residence that was used to buy an automobile, the parties stipulated in the pretrial order that the fair market value of this vehicle was $6,800 and that it was to be distributed to the wife, but the parties specifically did not stipulate as to whether there was a lien on the vehicle. Where the parties entered into an unequivocal stipulation that the mortgage on the residence was “now paid and no liens on residence,” the wife is bound by her stipulation and cannot disavow it on appeal.

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Domestic Relations – Parent & Child — Support – Modification – Substantial Change of Circumstances (access required)

Johnston County ex rel. Bugge v. Bugge. Although a defendant who requested child support modification was entitled to the presumption of a substantial change in circumstances, the presumption was rebutted by evidence that he intentionally left his job, thereby voluntarily depressing his income.

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