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Domestic Relations

Domestic Relations – DVPO – Emotional Distress – Driving by Ex’s House – Working from Home (access required)

Mace v. LaPrade Plaintiff presented sufficient evidence that defendant's past violence, his ongoing statements to the parties' son about plaintiff's dating life, and his practice of driving by her home made her apprehensive about her security safety and caused her substantial emotional distress. In fact, plaintiff's emotional distress reached a level where she sought professional counseling for this distress.

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Domestic Relations – Civil Practice – Contempt – Interim Attorney’s Fee Award – Psychological Evaluation (access required)

Church v. Church Plaintiff's motion to set aside an interim attorney's fee order did not list any of the grounds for reconsideration set out in N.C. R. Civ. P. 59; therefore, the motion did not stay the time for filing an appeal. Plaintiff's notice of appeal from the interim attorney's fee order - filed several months later - was untimely.

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Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Termination of Parental Rights – Right to Counsel – Waiver – Competence (access required)

In re P.D.R. The respondent-mother was alleged to have mental issues, was appointed a guardian ad litem, and professed not to understand what was going on. Under these circumstances, the trial court had a duty to inquire into the mother's competence not only to waive counsel, but also to represent herself in the proceedings to terminate her parental rights.

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Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Support – Income Reduction – Sexual Offender Registry – Former Nurse Anesthetitist (access required)

Metz v. Metz A judge committed no abuse of discretion in setting a divorced sex offender's child support obligation at $2,627 per month. The defendant-father argues that his loss of his position as a nurse anesthetist and the forfeiture of his licenses, subsequent difficulty in finding other employment, and resulting loss in income were involuntary and are not the result of bad faith on his part. We cannot agree.

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Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Custody – Intervenor – Best Interests (access required)

Leadman v. Leadman Plaintiff spent little time with his children, allowing the intervenor - the children's maternal grandmother - to act as their primary caregiver. When plaintiff did interact with his children, his driver's license was revoked, yet he drove with the children in the vehicle; moreover, he was violent towards the children's mother in their presence.

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Domestic Relations – Divorce – Civil Practice – 6 Months’ Residence – Military (access required)

Huston v. Huston Even though the plaintiff-husband - a native of Alabama - first tried to get a divorce in Alabama, since the husband has lived in North Carolina for years and intends to remain here, the trial court correctly found that it had jurisdiction over the husband's claim for an absolute divorce. We affirm the divorce judgment.

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Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Custody & Support – Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Pre-Separation – Post-Separation Support (access required)

Baumann-Chacon v. Baumann Even when parents are still living together, the district court has subject matter jurisdiction over one parent's claim for the custody and support of the parties' children. However, the district court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over the plaintiff-wife's claim for post-separation support while the parties were still living together.

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