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April 2013 Archives

U.S. Supreme Court hears complex adoption case

North Carolina residents may be familiar with a potentially landmark case originating in Oklahoma that is currently being weighed by the U.S. Supreme Court. The case began in 2009, when a military man who had been with his pregnant fiancee for over a decade found out she was breaking up with him via text message. The news surprised him as he was looking forward to being a father and starting a family. Then, she asked him to turn over custody rights to their child. When the baby was four months old, the new dad was getting ready to deploy overseas, so he consented, presuming that she was to retain custody. However, upon signing away his rights, he was informed by the woman's lawyer that she decided to give the baby up for adoption. While he secured his own lawyer and appealed immediately, his parents had to handle his legal matters after he shipped overseas.

How long does it take to get a divorce?

When someone living in North Carolina is considering filing for divorce, they may be wondering how long the actual legal process will take. There is no set length of time for a divorce, but it is often impacted by the court system, the involvement of friends and family and the state of the relationship between those getting divorced. Additionally, the more contentious a divorce is, the longer it is likely to be drawn out.Some of the normal processes involved in a litigated divorce include filing for Dissolution of Marriage and waiting for an individual's spouse to be served with the document, filing motions and holding hearings for the motions and discovery, just to name a few. The more filings there are, the more paperwork and time they will take. Additionally, discovery is required when both parties in the divorce will not agree on a set of facts, which also drags out the length of the divorce process.

Lottery winner repays back child support

Like many non-custodial parents in North Carolina and throughout the state, one New Jersey man owed a great deal of unpaid child support. However, a recent $338 million Powerball win enabled him to pay his child support obligation and remove outstanding warrants against him.The man apparently has five children, three of which were with one woman, but it was unclear exactly which child or children were affected by the unpaid child support. A judge advised him to invest in his children with his new winnings, and he has now repaid $30,000 in back child support and was cleared of the warrants at a recent hearing. The actual amount owed was listed at $29,000; there was no explanation given for the extra payment.

If the marriage does not occur, who keeps the ring?

In North Carolina and across the nation, one of the most bitterly-contested issues when an engaged couple decides not to wed is who should keep the engagement ring. An average engagement ring costs approximately $5,000, and it is not uncommon for one of the partners to sue for the return of the ring. Many states classify the ring as a gift that is contingent upon the wedding taking place. If the couple splits before taking vows, the ring is returned, regardless of who was at fault for the break-up. If the couple marries, then files for divorce later, the ring belongs to the wife. There are, however, some exceptions.

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