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Domestic Relations

Domestic Relations – Child Support – Arrearages – UIFSA – Full Faith & Credit (access required)

State o/b/o Benford v. Bryant. The trial court did not have the legal authority to reduce the amount of arrearage that accrued under a Michigan child support judgment under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. The court must give full faith and credit to support payments accrued and vested under the Mich. judgment.

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Domestic Relations – Separation Agreement – Rescission – Ratification – Acceptance of Benefits – Appeals – Interlocutory – Substantial Right (access required)

Honeycutt v. Honeycutt. Even though the plaintiff-wife claims the parties' separation agreement is unfair and was unfairly pushed upon her by the defendant-husband, since the wife accepted and retains benefits under the separation agreement, she has ratified the agreement and cannot have it rescinded. We affirm the trial court's grant of partial summary judgment for the husband as to the wife's rescission claim.

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Domestic Relations – Child Custody – Modification of Existing Order – Substantial Change in Circumstances – Prejudicial Error (access required)

Keaton v. Keaton. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-16-1069, 19 pp.) (Robert N. Hunter Jr., J.) Appealed from Rowan County Superior Court (Charlie Brown, J.) N.C. App. Unpub. Click here for the full text of the opinion. Holding: The trial court’s findings ...

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Domestic Relations – Alimony – Bonus Income – Family-Owned Company – Income Suppression Finding Unnecessary – Corporate Income – Attorney’s Fees (access required)

Webb v. Webb. Where the defendant-husband's family controls his salary and bonuses, the trial court was not required to find that the husband was suppressing his income when the court ordered the husband to pay half of any bonus he received (up to a stated ceiling) to the plaintiff-wife in alimony. In the alimony order, the trial court miscalculated the income generated by an apartment complex. We affirm in part and remand in part for consideration as to whether this affects the amount of alimony awarded to the wife.

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Domestic Relations – Child Custody – G.S. § 50-13.7(a) – Change in Circumstances – Modification (access required)

Patten v. Werner. The trial court did not abuse its discretion by finding that the effects of substantial changes in circumstances on a minor child were self-evident, justifying a modification of a prior child custody order. We affirm the trial court's order modifying the prior custody order so as to grant primary physical custody to the defendant-father and secondary physical custody and liberal visitation to the plaintiff-mother.

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