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Court rules in favor of husband who wants frozen embryos destroyed

Property and children are usually the most contentious issues in a divorce. However, in the case of Drake and Mandy Rooks, who recently got divorced, it’s a bit more complicated than it usually is.

In a case decided on by the Colorado Court of Appeals on Oct. 20, 2016, the appeals court confirmed the earlier decision of a trial court that found favor with the husband in the case of the custody of frozen embryos. When Mandy and Drake divorced, Mandy was awarded custody of their three children and she also sought custody for the six embryos that was deposited in the fertility clinic that helped them conceive their three children—the court clarified that, for unspecified reasons, Mandy would be unable to conceive without the frozen embryos. Drake also wanted custody of the embryos, but instead of making children with them, he wanted them destroyed.

The appeals court stated that no state considered embryos as people: until they become implanted in a uterus, they are considered property.

Turning to other states for guidance, the Colorado appeals court has to consider three approaches: the “balancing of interests” approach, the “contemporaneous mutual consent” approach, and the “contract” approach.

The trial court judge used the balancing of interests approach, ruling that Drake’s interest in not having a child is greater than Mandy’s interest in having a child from the embryos, in the sense that Drake stands much to lose if a child is conceived from the embryos, such as the logical possibility of having to pay for child support.

Our North Carolina family legal attorneys at Marshall & Taylor PLLC in Raleigh specialize in property division, alimony, domestic violence and restraining orders, mediation and arbitration, divorce, and child custody, among other family legal matters. Call our offices today at (919) 833-1040.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt reach temporary custody agreements

Fifty-two-year-old actor and producer Brad Pitt reached a temporary custody agreement with 41-year-old actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie. Pitt had asked a judge to give him joint custody of his six children, namely 15-year-old Maddox, 12-year-old Pax, 11-year-old Zahara, 10-year-old Shiloh, and eight-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox.

A representative for Jolie said last Monday, November 7 that the children will continue to have “therapeutic visits” with Pitt while they continue to live with her, at least until the court decides permanently on the matter.

Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt in September, citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for the dissolution of the marriage. The actress cited the reason for divorce as a move “for the health of the family.” Pitt, in his separate divorce filing, cited irreconcilable differences as a reason, but he did not specify if there was a prenuptial agreement between the two. He also did not indicate how he wanted them to divide their assets.

We at Marshall & Taylor PLLC provide services for our clients in Raleigh and other areas in North Carolina. We can be counted on to lend legal aid to people undergoing challenging family legal matters. Get in touch with a qualified member of our legal team by calling our offices today at (919) 833-1040. Our attorneys are here to help make you feel better during this difficult time.

Child custody agreements and violations of them

Sometimes, remaining on decent terms with your ex-spouse can prove to be a challenge, especially if your ex-spouse is bent on making things difficult for you. However, if the two of you are co-parenting children, you have to set aside your differences and work together for the sake of your children.

Extended contact with both parents is encouraged by North Carolina family law. What the law and courts do not encourage is taking the children away from the other parent without prior permission. A court will never side with the parent who violates the terms of the child custody agreement specified in the court agreement. Even if the parent has noble reasons for doing so, in the eyes of the law he or she will always be wrong. In addition to that, if the ex-couple agrees to an amendment of the terms of the child custody agreement, this amendment should be formalized in written form before being acted on. Otherwise, the resulting action will always be a violation.

Some of the North Carolina domestic cases that we at Marshall & Taylor PLLC most frequently handle involve divorce, child custody, and child support, among others. Get in touch with a qualified member of our legal team by calling our offices today at (919) 833-1040.

North Carolina Court of Appeals affirms ruling to terminate mother’s parental rights

North Carolina Court of Appeals Judge Valerie Zachary released an opinion on Tuesday, September 20 affirming that a mother from Guilford County should have her parental rights terminated. The mother says her parental rights should not be terminated because the Department of Health and Human Services will have difficulty finding someone to adopt her son. Zachary’s decision was made in conjunction with two other members of a three-judge panel, Judges Wanda Bryant and John Tyson.

Guilford County District Court Judge Michelle Fletcher terminated the parental rights of the mother on Nov. 25, 2015 because the parent had yet to bond with the special needs child. Fletcher recognizes that an adoptive parent could take better care of the child.

If you need legal help with a divorce, an adoption application, or a child custody battle in Raleigh or another area of North Carolina, turn to the competent family law attorneys at Marshall & Taylor PLLC. By calling (919) 833-1040 today, we can help you handle your family law issues and discuss your case.

Raleigh police say mom neglected four children

29-year-old Sarai Flores-Lechuga was charged with misdemeanor child abuse after she failed to pick up her kindergartner from the Durant Road Elementary School bus stop after school let out at around 3 p.m. on Tuesday, August 23.

When police began looking into the matter, they realized she also left her other three children without supervision at a house in the 3200 block of Calumet Drive. The children were aged one to eight, and were left alone at the same time the kindergartner was not picked up from school. Police officers were called to the site of the bus stop after the school bus driver informed them of the situation. They were able to confirm that Flores-Lechuga had custody of her children, but they could not get in contact with her on Tuesday. Flores-Lechuga was arrested on Wednesday, August 24 and was able to post bail during the same day.

The partners at Marshall & Taylor PLLC have practiced family law and handled other family law related matters for over 15 years now. If you are undergoing a family law related matter in Raleigh, do not hesitate to get in touch with our attorneys by calling our offices today at (919) 833-1040. Discuss your case with us as soon as you can.

Senators want to stop the dumping of unwanted children

Canary Wharf, London, United Kingdom-based international news agency Reuters recently discovered that there are 271 children from all across the United States whose adoption had been advertised via illegal means who are currently in North Carolina.

According to a U.S. Government Accountability Office reported released in September 2015, seven states have commenced on making rehoming illegal as of July 2015, with some states concentrating their efforts on upgrading post-adoption services to serve as help for families with limited means.

During a meeting of the Senate judiciary I committee at the General Assembly Tuesday, June 28, North Carolina Division of Social Services child welfare section chief Kevin Kelly said, ascribing to the Intensive Family Preservation Service program, that, “We provide, through contracted services, skilled social workers who can go into that family, very intensively work with them to address what is often behavioral health needs of the children, but also dynamics that are happening in the family.”

Our attorneys at Marshall & Taylor PLLC in Raleigh, North Carolina can legally help you through the process of adoption, including foreign adoption. Call our offices today at (919) 833-1040.

North Carolina justices order public reprimand of Durham Judge

Durham County district court Judge James Hill was given a public reprimand on Friday, November 6 by the North Carolina Supreme Court for inappropriate conduct during a child custody hearing in a divorce case on Aug. 7, 2014.

The justices confirmed the findings of the Judicial Standards Commission that Hill violated the judicial conduct code by expressing inappropriate comments, misusing his contempt powers, and “exhibiting a failure to remain patient, dignified, and courteous, to the parties appearing before him” during the court proceedings last year.

According to the commission, Hill told RiShawna and Collin Morrison, the parents in the child custody hearing, that they were “acting like idiots” and threatened to throw them in jail for contempt of court without giving them the chance to appeal.

At Marshall & Taylor PLLC, we understand the need for compassionate and knowledgeable legal representatives when going through a family law process such as divorce or child custody. Our attorneys want you to know that we can offer you excellent advise in order to help you deal with your legal battle. Call our Raleigh offices today at (919) 833-1040 to learn more about our services.

Judge grants Chris Brown joint custody of daughter

Singer Chris Brown and ex Nia Guzman will share custody of their 1-year-old daughter, according to a Houston judge’s recent ruling, Times Live reported on Monday, September 14.

Royalty’s mother had claimed before that her daughter may not be suited to Brown’s lifestyle and parenting methods. Brown, on the other hand, has persistently fought for the custody of his daughter and has said that he is a good father. The judge also dismissed the $15,000 in child support demanded by Guzman. However, she will continue to receive her monthly payment of $2,500 from Brown. Though an incident in July took place in Chris Brown’s home in Los Angeles, his legal counsels argued that Brown is not putting his daughter at risk.

Fighting for the custody of your children is difficult, mostly if you are unfamiliar with your rights as a parent. However, if you want to secure and protect your children in Raleigh, the lawyers of Marshall & Taylor PLLC may represent you. Learn more about your options today by calling (919) 833-1040.

Father of child fights for custody after mother is charged in NC

A man is fighting for child custody after a video showed his ex-wife under the influence of heroin, according to WVNS TV on July 8.

Ashley Laner was charged with child neglect for the abandonment and improper treatment of their son. The video in reference showed Laner staggering near her car after police investigators and neighbors reported that she passed out inside her car from taking heroin.

The father of the child, Nathan Lewis, and his family drove 400 miles to Fayetteville, North Carolina to seek legal custody of Lewis’ 16-month-old son.

The Raleigh legal team at Marshall & Taylor PLLC knows all too well how critical child custody arrangements are, as they affect the lives of you and your child for years to come. Our child custody attorneys are dedicated to arranging child custody agreements that work in the best interest of the child. Call us at (919) 833-1040 today to learn more.

Child custody in North Carolina

If a married couple with children is planning to divorce, there are several child custody arrangements a court may decide on as best for the children.

In a contested divorce, when the separating couple are in disagreement regarding who the children will go to, the same judge that handed the couple’s divorce will get to decide on the matter of custody.

The judge can award either sole custody, meaning only one parent gets to be the custodial caretaker of the children and will be responsible for decision-making regarding the children’s education, health, among other things; or the judge can award joint custody, meaning both parents get to share custody of the children and decision-making for them.

Our attorneys at Marshall & Taylor PLLC in Raleigh handle family legal matters such as divorce, child custody, legal separation, property division, and even domestic violence in the North Carolina area. Learn more about our legal services by calling our offices today at 919-833-1040.