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Charlotte Family Law Blog

Big change in alimony is on the horizon

Those in Charlotte who follow the goings-on in Washington politics are probably aware that Congress recently passed a comprehensive tax overhaul.

No matter how one feels about them personally, it is important for North Carolina residents to understand what the consequences of these changes in federal tax law are, particularly if they are in the process of a divorce.

Google Street View may have role in heart balm claims

One might wonder what Google Street View would have to do with a divorce case or other family law matter. In North Carolina, at least, the role of this popular Google feature may be larger than one would think.

This is because North Carolina still recognizes so-called heart balm claims. Although this blog has discussed these types of lawsuits in detail, in general, they are legal claims one spouse can make against their spouses' affair partner or other third parties who disrupt a happy marriage. Sometimes, a jilted spouse can collect thousands or even millions of dollars from an interloper in to their marriage.

Overview of child custody mediation

Particularly with the trend in child custody cases being to encourage parents to cooperate, many judges will encourage or even order parents who are in the midst of a child custody or parenting dispute to try mediation as a way of resolving their disputes.

Many people believe that mediation is an ideal way to resolve child custody problems since it encourages parents to reach agreements and sets them on the road to developing a working relationship down the road. This is in the minds of many a way of helping children better deal with their parents' split.

Child custody, parenting time and domestic violence

As many parents in the Charlotte area are likely to hear these days, it is generally best when children whose parents live in separate homes get to spend a lot of time with each parent.

Ideally, the children's parents will cooperate or at least tolerate each other to the point where the child can still attach to both of their parents. However, this is simply not a good idea in some situations, and the laws of North Carolina recognize this.

North Carolina man awarded $8.8 million after destroyed marriage

In most states, cheating is simply frowned upon. Such an act might get a tap on the wrist or a waving finger. It’s a different story in North Carolina. If a marriage falls apart, sometimes a judge might decide who will pay the price.

Can I get punitive damages for my heart balm claim?

Despite being the subject of periodic criticism and skepticism from various quarters, heart balm claims are alive and well in North Carolina, presumably for good reasons.

Cheating and extramarital affairs, after all, do cause a lot of emotional heartache, and while they cannot restore marriage, heart balm claims can help a spouse feel that their pain has been acknowledged and justice has been served in some way.

May I ask for my alimony order to be changed or ended?

As the result of a formal divorce or a long-term separation, many Charlotte, North Carolina, residents will wind up paying alimony or spousal support to their former partner. Oftentimes, this may be done by agreement, perhaps as part of a package-deal negotiation between the two parties.

Even in the event of an agreement, however, North Carolina law allows someone who is paying alimony to ask the court who awarded it, or signed off on it as the case may be, to change or even eliminate the obligation altogether.

How much proof do I need for a heart balm claim?

As this blog has discussed previously, heart balm claims are still alive and well in North Carolina. To review, in this state, one party to a marriage can sue someone outside the marriage for either having sexual relations with one's spouse or, as is more common, simply acting in such a way that breaks the marriage up.

The latter situation can give rise to an alienation of affection claim. With this type of lawsuit, a person who was enjoying a happy marriage can sue a so-called home wrecker for emotional damages resulting from the third party's interference. Perhaps in part for this very reason, however, Charlotte residents who have been involved in an affair are often mum about their activities.

More on parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome

A previous post on this blog talked about how one half of a former celebrity couple has apparently been alienating the other parent from the children.

As this post mentioned, experts suggest that parents who engage in a pattern of pitting their children against the other parent are doing a great deal of psychological harm to their kids. Parents can pit their children against the other parent in a number of ways, including making negative comments about the other parent or intentionally keeping the other parent from having the time they need to build up a relationship with their children.

The consequences of parental alienation

Parental alienation is a term that has come into popularity thanks to the ongoing custody battle between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Surprisingly, this celebrity couple is fairly representative of the struggles many divorcing couples go through. The one major caveat being assets, of course!

They are like many divorcing couples in that they built a family on the seemingly strong foundation of their relationship. Overtime, life became more complicated and the foundation began to crumble. In the case of Pitt and Jolie, the soured relationship is beginning to impact the children.

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