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Charlotte Legal Blog

Political divorce filings are soaring after Trump's election

A report suggests that couples in North Carolina and around the country have found it difficult to put their political differences aside after Donald Trump's election. Family law attorneys have reported a surge in politically motivated divorce filings since Trump prevailed in November, and Wakefield Research decided to poll Americans to find out how living under the Trump administration has influenced their relationships.

One in 10 of the 1,000 people polled by the Virginia-based firm said that they had ended relationships because of political differences, and 22 percent reported that they personally knew couples who had either separated or were having relationship difficulties because of politics in general and Trump in particular. The study reveals that the political divide seems to run particularly deep among millennials. The research firm says that 22 percent of the younger respondents said that they had terminated relationships over partisan disagreements.

How to handle another parent's substance abuse

Charlotte divorced parents might wonder what they should do if they learn their former spouse is abusing drugs or alcohol. Courts generally learn about a parent's substance abuse in one of three ways. It may come up in a custody hearing, it might be reported to social services, or it might be reported directly to the court.

If a parent raises the issue during a custody hearing, a judge will look into the allegations. Because the judge is trying to assess what arrangement is in the best interests of the child, a number of factors may be taken into account including any past substance abuse.

Study says ignition interlock devices save lives

Charlotte-area drivers who are convicted of drunk driving only have a mandatory requirement to put an ignition interlock device on their vehicle if they have a blood alcohol content at or above 0.15. However, according to a study that appeared in the "American Journal of Preventive Medicine", in states that have mandatory ignition interlock device laws for people with drunk driving convictions at lower blood alcohol levels, lives are saved.

The study found that in states that have a mandatory ignition interlock device law with a first conviction, fatal crashes in which at least one driver was under the influence of alcohol were reduced by 7 percent. It is estimated that since 1993, when states first passed laws about a mandatory device, around 1,250 lives have been saved. There were around 10,000 deaths from alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents in 2014, and this made up around one-third of all motor vehicle-related fatalities in that year.

Report shows how government hacking may be challenged

North Carolina residents may have heard that federal agents are more and more spying on computer users, remotely and secretly, so that they can obtain evidence. However, a report that was released on March 30 offers ways in which this surveillance activity can be challenged.

Attorneys are fighting to keep the evidence that is obtained from being used in court cases. A change to federal criminal procedures has resulted in federal agents only needing a single warrant to remotely search thousands of computers, and they do not need to identify whose information they are capturing or where they are. The report, issued by the ACLU and two other groups, is meant to arm attorneys with the information they need to defend their clients. It also gives details about how criminal defense attorneys can identify government malware in their cases, and then summarizes the most effective and important constitutional and procedural arguments they can employ if a law enforcement official used hacking to gather evidence.

What to do in a child custody hearing

Parents in North Carolina who are going through a divorce might want to consider whether they can compromise on joint custody instead of each of them fighting for full custody. However, if they cannot agree, then the decision might be made by a judge following a custody hearing. If this happens, the parent should prepare for the hearing by researching custody law.

The judge will make a child custody ruling after determining what is in the child's best interests. A number of elements might influence this, and a parent should be willing to compromise with the other parent. They should also dress neatly and behave appropriately during the custody hearing. A parent can bring documentation that helps their case.

Shared parenting means shared photographs for these parents

A child of divorce herself, Victoria B. had very few photographs of her childhood at all, let alone pictures that included both of her parents. After her own divorce, she was determined not to let that happen to her son Bruce.

So, when she was scheduling a family photography session a couple of years ago, she decided to give her ex-husband a call. He agreed to participate, and he came along again last year. They believe it sends the message that, while they may not be together anymore, they are still "loving their son together."

What you need to know about DWI in North Carolina

North Carolina changed its drunk driving laws in 1983, passing the Safe Roads Act that unified all of our drunk driving laws and set new standards. One of the changes with this new law is that drunk driving charges are referred to as driving while intoxicated (DWI). There are four different blood alcohol concentration limits in place, depending on the individual accused of drunk driving.

For all people in the state of North Carolina, the BAC limit is 0.08. However, there are also specific circumstances where the BAC limit is different. For example, commercial drivers have a BAC limit of 0.04 placed on them. Drivers under 21 can't have any alcohol in their system. And if you have a prior DWI, then your BAC limit is 0.04.

Awarded alimony? Then prepare to keep track of the payments

Alimony, also known as spousal support, can be a critical element to any divorce. However, it is not guaranteed to be involved in any given divorce. Each state handles alimony differently, but in most cases, a complex formula or a judge's ruling (based on many different factors such as the length of the marriage, the health of the spouses and the professional prospects of the spouses) will determine if alimony should be used or not.

In North Carolina, alimony can be awarded if certain requirements are met, but if a determination of "absolute divorce" is filed before claiming alimony, then it is not possible for you to receive alimony. This is just one of many legal quirks that surround the prospect of alimony, so it is imperative for you to consult with an attorney prior to filing for divorce.

High school teacher facing drug charges

North Carolina parents may be interested in the case of a Wakefield High School teacher who has been charged with drug trafficking. The 22-year-old teacher, who resides in Knightdale, was apprehended on July 10 and booked into Wake County Jail. She is facing multiple drug charges. The woman's mother, stepfather and sister were also taken into custody and booked on drug charges.

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301 South McDowell Street, Suite 130
Charlotte, NC 28204

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