June 14 2022
Help! I spent 15 hours in a Divorce Mediation and settled my case, but now my spouse tells me he is
Family Law mediations generally start at around 9 or 9:30 AM and go until there is an impasse or settlement. I have been in mediations that have lasted between 12 and 15 hours.read more
June 09 2022
What goes on in a Family Law Mediation?
Mediation in domestic relations cases is an adversarial process that leverages settlements of complicated financial and child custody issue. I say "leverage" because after a mediation both parties generally feel as if they had no option but to agree to a settlement that was not entirely to their liking.read more
June 07 2022
What is required for a successful family law mediation?
Family law disputes are some of the most legally complicated and emotionally fraught cases in our judicial system. These kind of cases are not for the faint of heart and, sooner or later, both parties, their lawyers and perhaps a related professional or two, will end up in a mediation process.read more
June 05 2022
Does the South Carolina Constitution Protect a Woman's Right to an Abortion?
Roe v Wade was not an abortion decision, it was a decision that recognized that the United States Constitution provides an unenumerated right of privacy to United States citizens.read more
May 18 2022
Can a sperm donor claim parental rights if the recipient/donee and her spouse divorce?
This question was recently addressed by an unpublished NC Appellate Court opinion filed on May 17, 2022 in McLane v Goodwin-McLane and Peackock.read more
May 16 2022
Fixed Fees In Family Law Disputes
The growth of tort litigation that began during the middle of the last century caused the insurance companies consolidate their legal work with individual law firms to defend all claims. In response, law firms created a business model capable of handling the defense of a large volume of tort litigation. A critical financial component of this new, large insurance defense law firm was the billable hour fee arrangement.read more
April 19 2022
Dealing with a narcissist in divorce
The New Oxford American Dictionary defines narcissism as : Excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one's physical appearance. Extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one's own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.read more
April 07 2022
NC Family Court reversed after awarding Wife 80% of Husband's net monthly income.
On April 5 the North Carolina Court of Appeals reversed the trial court in Brady v Brady after finding an award representing 80% of Husband's net income was not reasonable.read more
March 31 2022
Can the Family Court "break" a Trust if there are allegations that it is illusory?
Recently there was a claim made in the Charleston Family Court that an overseas Trust was fraudulent and being used to hide marital assets.read more
March 10 2022
Can personal goodwill attach to proceeds from the sale of a business?
The South Carolina Court of Appeals recently issued a decision from a Beaufort divorce case finding that certain proceeds from the sale of a dental practice did not contain "personal goodwill" which would have passed to the exclusive benefit of Husband/Dentist. Bostic v Bostic.read more
March 09 2022
3 Steps To Prepare For A Client Meeting With Settlyd
I though it would be helpful to share how I am preparing for a Cooperative Family Law settlement conference this morning where the support issues are dominant:read more
March 01 2022
NC Court of Appeals clarifies requirements that create a binding oral stipulation in the Family Cour
Many times legal disputes (including domestic relations) are resolved on the proverbial "courthouse steps" without first reducing the agreement to writing. While this is not a preferred method of settlement, it is sometimes the only way to get a case resolved.read more
February 25 2022
Can the court appoint a third party to monitor and approve modifications to a parenting plan?
Sometimes a parent is behaves so badly, or has significant mental health and/or substance abuse issues, that at the time of trial they are unfit to have visitation with their children. This puts the trial court in a very difficult situation.read more
February 15 2022
North Carolina Protective Orders: What proof is required?
Today, February 15, 2022, Charlotte lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC received a favorable ruling by the North Carolina Court of Appeals in an appeal from the trial court's issuance of a domestic violence protective order in the matter of Walker-Snyder v Snyder.read more
February 14 2022
How to find equity in the equitable distribution of a marital estate.
Equitable means "fair", not "equal", and finding fairness in property division in a divorce is often not as complicated as one may think.read more
February 02 2022
The SC "stepparent adoption" statute provides solutions for single parents.
Most people know that a stepparent can adopt their new spouses children when the facts permit. However the South Carolina adoption statute states that “......... any person may adopt a child to whom he is related by blood or marriage.”read more
January 10 2022
Supreme Court rules adoptions turn on best interest of child, not the parents.
South Carolina Supreme Court discusses "Best Interest of Child" in overturning Court of Appeals adoption ruling.read more
December 21 2021
What constitutes "bad faith" in a North Carolina child support case?
The North Carolina Court of Appeals published the matter of Mendez v Mendez on December 21, 2021 wherein it found (among other issues) that Dad was not acting in bad faith when physical ailments and a plan to attend law school caused reduction in his income.read more
December 13 2021
Holiday's and blended families
The end of the year Holiday Season can be a frantic and discombobulating for the strongest family bonds. Divorce, re-marriage, and step kids only adds to the fun! Here are a few tips my clients have used to alleviate the holiday crazies when two families are in play.read more
December 07 2021
NC Ct of Appeals Rules Mom's new Husband is bad news- gives custody to GPs
On December 7, 2021 the NC Ct of Appeals ruled that Mom's failure to protect her child from her new husband's harsh treatment was grounds to grant the paternal Grandparents request for custody.read more
December 03 2021
Can the "My Lawyer Told Me To Do It" defense prevail in Family Court?
The SC Court of Appeals in Campione v Best recently made a finding of contempt against a former husband for (among other things) failing make certain quarterly payments to his ex wife in violation of the terms of their divorce decree.read more
November 30 2021
Determining the appropriate amount of alimony for your family law case.
For many of us, the North Carolina and South Carolina alimony statutes create more confusion than guidance. These statutes places a high degree of discretion on the Court when making an award of alimony or spousal support. Without a clear, precise, and reasoned demand from one of the parties, a Court can err greatly and leave a family member in a state of financial distress.read more
November 21 2021
How To Account For Special Equity In Divorce Litigation
"A special equity interest is created when one spouse’s direct or indirect contributions increased the value of the other spouse’s non-marital property."read more
November 18 2021
Student Loans Can Constitute Marital Debt as per NC Court of Appeals
North Carolina Court of Appeals recently cleared up a lingering issue in Family Law regarding responsibility for student loans in divorce matters. Purvis v Purvis 2021-NCCOA-616. Filed 16 November 2021.read more
November 16 2021
Can a same sex couple claim to be common law married in South Carolina?
Common law marriage was ended in South Carolina July 24, 2019. This only applies prospectively. In other words, all claims of common law marriage that existed prior to July 24, 2019 are still valid claims.read more
September 07 2021
Fixed fee arrangements can help keep legal fees down for consumers of legal services.
The growth of tort litigation that began during the middle of the last century caused the insurance companies consolidate their legal work with individual law firms to defend all claims against. In response, law firms created a business model capable of handling the defense of a large volume of tort litigation.read more
September 01 2021
The Request For Therapy Records In Divorce Litigation
Therapists and others in the mental health community are often unsure what to do when confronted with a request for a client's therapy records from a divorce lawyer. Here are a few practice pointers based on what I have learned over the years.read more
August 26 2021
What constitutes "income" when making an alimony award?
Alimony is not an exact science in South Carolina. 13 separate factors must be separately analyzed and each one specifically addressed when making an alimony order.read more
August 22 2021
NC Court of Appeals cautions family law lawyers: Be precise in your drafting.
On August 17 the NC Court of Appeals overruled finding of contempt by the trial court in the matter of Walter v Walter due to the drafting of a summer visitation schedule.read more
August 05 2021
Must married couples wait one year before beginning the divorce process?
Married couples must wait one year before an uncontested divorce, but can permanently resolve all issues between them much earlier than this.read more
July 15 2021
Child support extrapolations for shared parenting plans
Settlyd provides you with a method to calculate child support for shared parenting plans when combined income exceeds the Child Support Guidelines.read more
July 11 2021
The Guardian ad Litem in a private family court case: A process unique to family law.
One of the most common questions family law attorneys get from new clients is what is this thing called a "guardian" and do they have to have one involved in their case?read more
July 02 2021
Fixed Fees and Limited Scope Engagement Agreements
The billable hour engagement process is outdated and too exspensive for consumers of legal services.read more
June 14 2021
Maintaining joint ownership of marital property after divorce.
If left to a Judge, no property acquired by the parties during they marriage will be maintained as joint property after the divorce.read more
March 22 2021
How To Create Side by Side "What If" Scenarios in Settlyd.
Settlyd permits us to create side by side settlement options in both the Asset Division Worksheet and the Net Income Worksheet. Both worksheets have 2 columns, and "A" and a "B".read more
March 16 2021
What happens when mediation fails?
The clear policy of our courts is to encourage and facilitate out of court settlements of disputes. In fact, as you have heard me tell you many times, mediation settles 90%+ of all disputes. But disputes do sometimes become deadlocked; trials do happen and "winners" and "losers" are declared.read more
February 25 2021
North Carolina Family Law Financial Data Management Software Launches in Beta
It's just so much easier!read more
February 10 2021
January 25 2021
How to improve our presence in the virtual courtroom
As trial lawyers, our appearance is often just as important as the quality of our legal work- or at least that's what we tell ourselves!read more
January 13 2021
Linking Documents to Settlyd's Asset Division Worksheet
Settlyd provides a way for you to link supporting documents to line items on the Asset Division Worksheetread more
December 15 2020
Multiple Options for Child Support Worksheets
Settlyd was designed by highly experience Family Law lawyers who have been there just like you. That is why we created the Settlyd Child Support Calculator to create and save any number of child support scenarios that may be applicable to your factsread more
October 29 2020
Settlyd practice Tip: Assigning the mortgage separately from the value of the home
Sometimes it is helpful to create a separate line item for the mortgage balance.read more
October 08 2020
Keeping your financials clearly organized and in the cloud will give you an edge in these unsettled
Will courts be open soon, will my office be safe to work in, should I, or must I, shelter in place again, and will I have enough work to pay myself, much less my staff?read more
February 19 2017
Alimony Reform May Impact South Carolina Divorce and Family Law cases
The Alimony Reform bill, HB 3122, in the South Carolina General Assembly significantly revises current alimony code. Everyone impacted by Divorce and Family Law in Charleston should follow it closely.read more
January 31 2017
How Can A Family Law Attorney Resolve Unique Child Support Issues.
Often, calculating a South Carolina Child Support award is straightforward math. But when parenting arrangements do not fall squarely within the South Carolina Child Support Guidelines, a stronger tool is needed by a Divorce and Family Law Attorney.read more
January 25 2017
January 18 2017
Whats the best way to figure alimony in a South Carolina Divorce case?
Alimony in South Carolina is one of the most contested issues in the family court system. The legal process and methodology for determining the amount and duration of alimony are critical to finding resolutions fair to all involved.read more
January 11 2017
Avoiding problems with Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are valid and favored in South Carolina. Proper preparation will ensure that both people are treated fairly should a divorce arise in the future.read more
December 09 2016
How is Child Support In South Carolina Determined?
When parents of children no longer live together, South Carolina law mandates that both parents shall be financially responsible for raising their children.read more
November 27 2016
Equitable Division of Property In South Carolina Divorce
The key to understanding equitable division in a South Carolina Divorce matter is the word “equitable".read more
February 25 2016
Paying Attention to the Fine Print When Filling Out A South Carolina Financial Declaration
When filling out the SC Financial Declaration, many are intimidated after their first glance of the fine, long, and detailed print. However, with focus and a little guidance, an error-free document can easily be achieved.read more
December 11 2015
Supreme Court Adopts Major Change In Valuing “Good Will” in Family Law Litigation
On October 7, 2015, the South Carolina Supreme Court made a major change in the way businesses are valued and divided during Family Court Law litigation.read more