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Feb 17, 2023

COLLABORATIVE EFFORT: Ashley-Nicole Russell’s work has led to a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals

As a child, watching helplessly as the fabric of her family unraveled with each bang of the gavel, Ashley-Nicole Russell decided that she would change the way divorce was handled in America.   Present day, Russell has over a decade of experience as a family law attorney based in Greenville, N.C.  She has never again set […]

Oct 22, 2019

New resource launched for pro se divorces

The North Carolina Judicial Branch has published its first statewide “self-help packet” for couples who want a simple divorce. The new divorce packet is accessible online and provides guidance for people who want a divorce without claims for equitable distribution or custody.  The North Carolina Equal Justice Commission created the packet and the North Carolina […]

Mar 20, 2019

Dealing with timeshares in a divorce

Attorneys working in matrimonial law have to deal with the equitable distribution of various properties, both real and personal. Sometimes working out the distribution is not too involved, but sometimes there can be a hitch in determining which party gets a particular asset. One of those hitches can occur when there is a marital timeshare […]

Nov 8, 2018

For Baby Boomers, divorce is booming, too

This is the third in a series of articles looking at how the aging of America’s population is affecting the practice of law. Divorce rates in the United States have been on a steady decline for decades, but one group of Americans is heading decidedly in the opposite direction. A report published by the Pew […]

Aug 16, 2018

529 savings plan money is marital property

    The ground rules for how trial courts should handle disputes over 529 Savings Plans in equitable distribution divorce proceedings were established in a North Carolina Court of Appeals opinion handed down Aug. 7. In a matter of first impression, the appeals court unanimously decided that funds put aside in a tax-favorable 529 account […]

Jan 29, 2018

A race to divorce? New federal tax law creates complications for some couples

The massive new tax law passed by Congress contains a potentially nasty surprise for divorcing couples that could set off a race to get separation agreements finalized by the end of the year. Under current law, alimony payments count as a tax deduction for the ex-spouse making the payment. That deduction will go away for […]

Nov 30, 2017

Outside the family: Attorneys see more openings for collaborative law

Divorces can be bruising—not least of all for the attorneys involved. Frustration with the scorched-earth mentalities that often engulf them helped spur the development of collaborative law, a process in which lawyers seek to sap some of the emotional venom by helping the estranged spouses directly negotiate a mutually acceptable resolution, without involving any neutral […]

Oct 12, 2017

Contingency fee earned after divorce not divisible

A contingency fee that an attorney earned from a case that settled after he had separated from his wife was neither deferred compensation nor divisible property, and thus not subject to equitable distribution in the attorney’s divorce, the North Carolina Court of Appeals has ruled. The court unanimously held in a first-impression ruling on Oct. […]

Apr 18, 2017

Domestic Relations – Divorce & Equitable Distribution – Subject Matter Jurisdiction – In-Kind Distribution – Classification & Valuation

Miller v. Miller (Lawyers Weekly No. 011-115-17, 40 pp.) (Donna Stroud, J.) Appealed from Chatham County District Court (Lunsford Long, J.) N.C. App. Holding: Although the wife filed her complaint for a divorce from bed and board – which included an equitable distribution claim – before the parties were separated, both parties pursued an equitable […]

Jun 29, 2016

How to help business owners prepare for divorce

Here’s a typical scenario: A spouse who owns a business walks into a family law attorney’s office looking for legal assistance for a divorce. The atmosphere is charged with emotion – mostly anger – and the discussion inevitably works its way to the issue of finances. This leads to the big (sometimes a multimillion dollar) […]

May 9, 2016

Child support order includes private school tuition

How important is private school to maintaining the accustomed standard of living that children of wealthy parents enjoy? According to a recent decision by the North Carolina Court of Appeals, it’s pretty darn important. In an absolute divorce case that the court described as one of first impression, the Court of Appeals upheld a lower […]

Nov 24, 2015

Civil Practice – Rule 60(b) Motion – Domestic Relations – Divorce & Separation Agreement – Pro Se Defendant

Dixon v. Dixon (Lawyers Weekly No. 15-16-1065, 8 pp.) (Linda Stephens, J.) Appealed from Rowan County District Court (Beth Dixon, J.) N.C. App. Unpub. Holding: The pro se defendant acknowledges that the basis for his motion under N.C. R. Civ P. 60(b) was that he did not realize he needed to be present at the […]

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