Family Law Blog

June 7, 2017

Divorce Numbers in Mecklenburg County are Down While Marriages are Up

In recently published data for the year 2015 (the most recent year for which data is available) there were 3,338 divorces in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina which is down significantly from 2013 and 2014 and lowest total in almost 20 years. The 3,338 divorces in 2015 is a sharp reduction from the 4,454 divorces in 2014 and 4,884 in 2013. This data was not part of any long-term study as to the reasons for a reduction in divorce in Mecklenburg County but other studies have shown that the nationwide divorce rate, which peaked in the mid-2000’s, has declined over the last decade. Many postulate that the economy and Great Recession caused many to postpone divorce or to not divorce at all due to financial constraints. Conversely, while the number of divorces dramatically decreased, the number of marriages in Mecklenburg County have increased during the same period with 5,578 in 2013, 6,621 in 2014, and 7,020 in 2015. Recent census data shows Mecklenburg County exceeded 1 million residents in 2014, with many of those people in the 25-54 age demographic most likely to marry which may explain the increased number of marriages. Given the population increases in Mecklenburg County, it is […]
May 10, 2017

Divorce Couple Continues Family Portraits with Son

Divorce is undoubtedly a difficult process for any family, especially those with children, but there are ways to lessen the impact. Whether it’s ensuring civil communication between the parents or presenting a united message to their children, many parents strive to make the a divorce as easy on their children as possible. One couple has made national news for taking this positive attitude to the extreme. A recent CNN article describes the plan by divorced parents Victoria Baldwin and Adam Dyson to continue family portraits with their son, Bruce, despite their divorce several years ago. Victoria and Adam started the family portraits when Victoria was pregnant with Bruce and continued with them after his birth. Following their divorce in the spring of 2015, Victoria realized it was time for the family portrait and she reached out to Adam, who accepted the invitation. Victoria admits that things are not perfect between she and Adam but that it was important for the parents to continue to provide a loving co-parenting relationship for Bruce. In a Facebook post, Victoria stated: “”We are not in love, we don’t always agree, we’re not best friends, sometimes we don’t even like one another…. But you know […]
April 24, 2017

Who Gets the Family Pet After Divorce?

Pets are often an integral part of a family and during a separation and divorce many wonder what happens to those animals. Whether a separating couple has children or not, many people love the family cat or dog and want to retain access to that animal after separation. According to a New York Times article regarding the handling of pets during Divorce, many states’ “[c]ourts have traditionally treated pets as personal property in such cases, but that is starting to shift as some state lawmakers and advocacy groups promote the notion that the legal system should act in the best interests of the animals.” In line with these recent attitudes, “Alaska became the first state to enact pet-custody legislation, which allows a court to consider the animal’s well-being.” This standard is similar to North Carolina Child Custody laws which require a judge to consider the “best interests” of a child when determining an appropriate custody schedule. As the custody rights to a pet have increased during Divorce, disputes regarding pets have also risen. A notorious case in San Diego, California resulted in a fight over a family dog costing over $150,000 and included expert testimony on the best custody arrangement […]
April 6, 2017

Swedish Hotel Provides Refunds for Divorce Couples

Many hotels advertise promotional rates but a Swedish hotel chain now offers an unusual promotion – if you divorce within one year of staying at one of their property, your stay is free. Countryside Hotels, a luxury hotel and inns chain in Sweden, recently started a “Relationship Guarantee” promotion. Any married couple that stays at least two nights at any of the 40 different Countryside properties is eligible for a two night refund if that couple separates and divorces within a year of the stay. Countryside Hotels’ marketing officer Anna Madsen stated the promotion is intended to make people realize “how beneficial it can be to get away for a while and devote time to each other.” The “Relationship Guarantee” is simple – the couple must mention the promotion at booking and share a room for at least two nights. If that couple divorces within a year, they can submit their divorce paperwork to Countryside who will credit two nights for free. Although an intriguing promotion, you probably will not see if followed by North Carolina hotels due to the lengthy period of separation required before filing for divorce. Under North Carolina law, a couple must live separate and apart […]
March 23, 2017

Study Finds Link Between Appearance and Likelihood for Divorce

A new study by Harvard researchers found that the more physically attractive a person is, the more likely they are to be divorced or have shorter romantic relationships. The study titled “Attractiveness and relationships longevity; Beauty is not what it is cracked up to be” was conducted by having women rate men from their high school yearbooks in attractiveness and then cross-referencing those rankings with each man’s relationship status. According to an Independent article regarding the study, the researchers also had the women conduct similar rankings based on IMDB profiles where the same results were found — “men who had been considered more attractive were more likely to be divorced or to have had shorter marriages.” The findings of the study seem to align with previous studies that have assessed perceptions of others’ attractiveness based on the viewer’s dating status. In those previous studies, researchers have found that participants in relationships generally tend to view others less attractive than single participants viewing the same group. However, in stark contrast to this trend, those participants in the previous study that were themselves rated attractive actually were more likely to view others as attractive when the participant was themselves in a relationship. […]