THE COURT OF APPEALS GOT IT WRONG – AGAIN!

The North Carolina Court of Appeals has struggled with its interpretation of the divisible property statute since its enactment in 1995.  This statute, codified at G.S. Section 50-20(b)(4), provides for the division of certain assets and debts that were acquired after the date of separation.  The first issue they have incorrectly decided on a number of occasions was the implementation of Section 50-20(b)(4)(d) which currently provides that “divisible property” includes “all passive increases and passive decreases in marital debt and financing charges and interest related to marital debt.”  The error the Court of Appeals repeatedly made was to distribute assets … Continue reading

Grandparent Custody… When your child is unable to care for their child.

In North Carolina, biological parents maintain superior rights to custody of their children which is a fundamental right protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution.  However, there may be circumstances that exists in which a parent loses those superior rights and a grandparent is able to intervene and request custody of their grandchild.  Before a grandparent can be considered as a custodian for their grandchild, the grandparent must be granted standing by the Court to pursue custody.  In order to be granted standing to pursue custody, the grandparent must show by clear, cogent and convincing evidence that the … Continue reading

Taliercio Elected National Officer for Parliamentary Lawyers

Black, Slaughter & Black attorney Michael Taliercio has been elected 2018 national Treasurer of the American College of Parliamentary Lawyers (ACPL). Taliercio is a Professional Registered Parliamentarian with the National Association of Parliamentarians and a Fellow in the ACPL, which recognizes attorneys who have distinguished themselves in the practice of parliamentary law, including lawyers who advise conventions, condominium and homeowner associations, governmental bodies, and nonprofits.

Best Lawyers Recognition

Two attorneys at Black, Slaughter & Black have been named to the 2018 edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers. Best Lawyers recognition is based on peer reviews and client recommendations. Barbara Morgenstern been recognized by Best Lawyers in the practice of Family Law as well as Family Law Mediation. Barbara has also been named a “Legal Elite” by Business North Carolina magazine and a North Carolina Super Lawyer for Family Law. She is a Certified Specialist in family law by the NC State Bar, a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Past President of the NC Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial … Continue reading

O. Henry Magazine Profile of Theodora Vaporis

Partner Theodora Vaporis, who heads the firm’s Estates Department, was profiled in the August 2017 edition of O. Henry Magazine. Theodora helps clients with all issues related to wills and trusts, including estate planning, powers of attorney, guardianship, estate administration / probate, and estate litigation.  

WE ARE GETTING A DIVORCE – HOW DO I GET MY FAIR SHARE OF MY SPOUSE’S RETIREMENT BENEFITS?

One of the largest assets in many marriages is the retirement plan of the spouse who was employed outside of the home during the marriage.  Each spouse is presumptively entitled to one-half the net marital estate under North Carolina equitable distribution law, which typically involves distributing a portion of the retirement plan to the non-employee spouse. Retirement plans are divided by a court order which instructs the Plan Administrator to transfer a portion of the retirement plan to the non-employee spouse.  An order is required because the retirement plan is listed under the social security number of the employee spouse, … Continue reading

The Effect of Reconciliation on Claims Arising From First Marriage

Our North Carolina family law specialist, Ashley D. Bennington, represented a husband in an appeal before the North Carolina Court of Appeals where the question was whether the wife could refile her claims for equitable distribution and alimony arising from the first marriage of the parties.  The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision and ruled in favor of our client determining that the wife’s claims were time barred.  A copy of the opinion of the Court of Appeals can be found here:  https://appellate.nccourts.org/opinions/?c=2&pdf=35539.  In the instant case, the parties were separated and divorced in the years 2005 and … Continue reading

TEN COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT FAMILY LAW

After practicing family law for 31 years, I have noticed that many of my clients have common misconceptions about family law.  Some of the most frequent questions the family lawyers at Black, Slaughter & Black, P.A. receive are: If my wife and I are sleeping in separate bedrooms, does that count for the one-year separation required for absolute divorce?     Parties must be physically separated and have separate addresses to count as “separation” for purposes of the one-year requirement for absolute divorce. Does my wife have to account for how my child support payments are used?    Child support is … Continue reading

Firm Recognition

The readers of YES! Weekly magazine have selected the firm as a “Best Lawyer/Law Firm.” It’s nice to be recognized! For more information on Black, Slaughter & Black, PA, and our practice areas, please visit www.lawfirmcarolinas.com

Grandparent Rights? Requesting Visitation with Your Grandchild

People often call our offices at Black, Slaughter & Black, P.A. asking about grandparent rights.  In North Carolina, grandparents do not have unlimited access to their grandchildren and there is no formal acknowledgement of grandparent rights.  For instance, if the mother and father of your grandchild are married and decide at some point that they do not want you or certain other  grandparents to spend time with or otherwise have access to a child, the grandparents are left with limited legal options to seek access to their grandchild. Absent a showing of unfitness or acts inconsistent with a parent’s constitutionally … Continue reading

Legally, Do I Need Something in Writing To Be Separated From My Spouse?

This is probably one of the frequent questions we as family law attorneys at Black, Slaughter & Black, P.A. hear when meeting with clients for initial consultations. Movies and televisions shows have led viewers to believe that before you are separated from your spouse, you must have an agreement in place or some other document signed by both spouses declaring that you are separated. While this may be the case in some states, in North Carolina no document or other writing is required in order for spouses to be considered separated.  Spouses are considered separated under North Carolina law when … Continue reading

The Top 10 Reasons to Arbitrate Your Family Law Case

I am stealing one of David Letterman’s acts to tell you why you might want to arbitrate your family law case.  North Carolina is behind the rest of the country in many areas of the law but not in the area of family law arbitration.  In fact, we were the first state to enact the Family Law Arbitration Act (FLAA), G.S. §§ 50-41 et seq., largely due to the efforts of Raleigh attorney, Lynn Burleson, and Wake Forest University Law Professor George Walker.  Other states have subsequently adopted our statutes. What is arbitration?  Arbitration is a proceeding where a private … Continue reading

I think I made a mistake getting married …Getting an Annulment in North Carolina

Unfortunately there are times following a marriage that parties realize that their marriage is not going to work. When this happens within a relatively short time following the marriage, we are often asked by clients, “Can’t I just get an annulment?” In North Carolina, annulments are only granted based on limited circumstances set forth by statute. Those circumstances include: · When the parties are first cousins or closer in relation; · When one of the parties was under the age of 16 at the time of the marriage, unless there is a court order in place, the female party is … Continue reading

Slaughter Elected 2014 President of CCAL

For Immediate Release From the Community Associations Institute 12/12/2013  – Falls Church , VA Jim Slaughter, a partner in the North Carolina law firm of Black, Slaughter , has been elected president of CAI’s prestigious College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL).  He will assume office January 1, just prior to CAI’s 35th Annual Community Association Law Seminar in Las Vegas. “Serving as president is a great honor given the respect I have for CCAL and its members,” said Slaughter.  “In addition to being premiere community association lawyers, our members generously share their knowledge and expertise through articles, books and programs … Continue reading