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Jeffrey E. Marshall
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Jeffrey Marshall’s Answers

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  • I filed for divorce in one county and my husband filed for separation in another county what will happen

    we live in north carolina he moved out of the home in april of 2012 i filed for divorce in April 2013 in cumberland county and he filed for separation in March 2013 in wake county what happens

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    You wrote that you filed for divorce in Cumberland County and he filed for separation in Wake County. I am going to assume that he filed for divorce as well because there is no such thing as filing for separation. The next assumption I have to make is that you filed in Cumberland because you live there and he filed in Wake because he lives there. If that is the case the person who filed first (you) typically wins. I recommend that you file a responsive answer to his complaint for divorce and specifically make mention of the fact that you filed a similar action prior to his in a different county.

    You should proceed with your filing diligently and timely. If the only claims filed were absolute divorce and there are no pending actions or issues that have been unresolved it should be a simple process for you from this point forward. If there are pending issues or unresolved issues I recommend that you hire an attorney to advise you on your rights and the fact that you may lose rights if the divorce is granted without those rights being preserved.

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  • I have been married for a little over a year...I got pregnant at 20 and was married to him a month after our son was here

    It has been the biggest mistake of my life. My anxiety and depression has been really bad...and I have been moved from medication to medication. I feel like it needed to be over when it began. In the state of NC is that grounds for an annulment be...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Your questions appears to be asking what the difference is between an annulment and a divorce and whether you qualify for an annulment in the State of North Carolina. I'll do my best to answer both questions.

    Annulment. North Carolina General Statutes Section 50-4 it titled "What marriages may be declared void on application of either party." This is the annulment statute (law). In summary it reads that either party to a marriage contracted contrary to the prohibitions contained in the "Marriage Chapter", or declared void by the Marriage Chapter may apply to the District Court to decare such marriage void from the beginning.

    The Marriage Chapter which is contained in North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 51 has the requirement for a valid marriag listed. In summary, this chapter states that 1) marriages between persons of the same gender are not vaid; 2) all person over the age of 18 may lawfully marry with exceptions specifically written for person over 16 years of age and under 18 years of age; 3) all marriages between person nearer of kin than first cousins, or between double first cousins, or between a male person under 16 years of age and any female, or between a female person under 16 years of age and any male or between any persons either of whom has a husband or wife living at the time of marriage, or between persons either of whom are impotent, or between persons eitehr of whom is at the time incapable of contracting from want of will or understanding shall be void. This means that they are not valid from the start. Also, no marriage followed by cohabitation and the birth of issue shall be declared void after the death of either of the parties for any of the causes stated in this section except for bigamy.

    Divorce. For a divorce to be granted the most common reason is the separation of the two spouses for more than one year. Divorce can also be obtained if it is proven that one spouse is incurably insane and there are very specific requirements for this provision. Therefore, most divorces are granted based on the separation of the spouses for one year.

    If you believe that you potentially have grounds to obtain an annulment I would suggest that you consult with an attorney who specializes in family law related matters to further discuss your rights. It is only after thoroughly examing the facts of your particular situation that you will be able to fully understand your legal rights and which option is the one that you should proceed under.

    I hope this helps to clarify your situation. Please note that this is not intended as legal advice nor as a solicitation to provide legal advice. This is merely a summary of the complicated question that you have asked and my suggestion is that you speak to a qualified attorney in your area for a more complete and fact specific answer to your question.

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  • If I was married in Guilford County, Lived in Forest Couny and later moved to SC. I live in SC and need to file for divorce.

    Can I file for divorce in SC or will AI have to file in NC?

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    If you have satisfied the residencey requirements for the South Carolina then you may file for divorce in South Carolina. For example, in North Carolina either you or your spouse must be a citizen and resident of the North Carolina for 6 months prior to the time you file. If you satisfy South Carolina's residency requirement then you may file there. I would check with an attorney from South Carolina to find out what the residency requirements are.

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  • Can a baby be taken at birth because of moderate alcohol use during pregnancy?

    Our son was born in October of 2009. I drank wine during my last trimester, but I was upfront with my doctor about my alcohol consumption. Our baby was and is healthy- normal pregnancy, birthweight, etc. The day after my son was born, a social se...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    The issue at had is related to what is best for the child. A court is always looking to answer the question of "What is in the child's best interests?" I think you are narrowing the issues by essentially asking if there is a bright line test for determining whether your child may be taken away. If a court finds that you are not acting in the child's best interests then they will act accordingly. I think it would make the most sense to avoid alcohol if you aren't sure whether you should or not and you should certainly not be drinking "moderately" if you are pregnant. You could also ask your doctor for his or her opinion on this issue and follow that advice. If the Department of Social Services is informed that you are drinking alcohol and that the drinking may be inappropriate then they are certainly going to investigate the issue.

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