Skip to main content
Martha N. Milam

Martha Milam’s Answers

45 total

  • I'm currently paying alimony to my wife and our agreement says she can't cohabitate, and she IS. What proof do I need for court

    Per our separation agreement, alimony stops when she cohabitates or remarries. She is currently engaged and he is living with her. Her neighbor says his vehicle is there every night. How many nights do I have to prove he is staying there in ord...

    Martha’s Answer

    You did not say whether your separation agreement was a free standing private contract or if all or some aspcets of the Agreement were incorporated into your Judgment for Absolute Divorce. That is the first thing you must determine as it will effect the steps you will need to follow.

    A 2003 NC Court of Appeals case, Long v. Long, stands for the proposition that in order for a trial court to conclude that one party has engaged in cohabitation, there must be evidence that party engaged in the “voluntary” assumption of those marital rights, duties, and obligations which are usually manifested by married people, and which include bur are not necessarily dependent on sexual relations. To prove cohabitation between your ex-spouse and the fiance, you must produce evidence showing more than just the number of overnights the fiance sleeps over at your ex-spouse's house. This is a fairly complaicated and nuanced type of proof and you really need the help of a skilled family lawyer if you hope to prove your case.

    Before you hire a PI, I suggest you schedule a time to meet with a Family Law Attorney in Guilford County and have him/her advise you about how best to proceed.

    Best regards.

    See question 
  • In NC, if an 18 year old is dependent on his parents, can the parents require that he live at home or stay in college?


    Martha’s Answer

    Once a person turns 18years old, he or she is legally an adult. As a general rule, this means it is up to you to decide where you will live, whether you will attend college and/or to make other important decisions about your life.

    Once and 18year old has graduated from high school, his or her parents no longer have any legal responsibility to provide him or her with any financial support. For an 18 year old high school graduate, this can mean that he could find himself out on the street if he refuses to follow his parents' rules.

    I do not know the context in which your question arises so I am unable to provide you with further information.

    Best regards,

    See question 
  • Father wants 50/50 joint custody but we as parents dont get along or communicate @all, is this in the best interest of thechild?

    Me and father of the child dont communicate at all, even when it comes to the child we cant even have a reasonable conversation without someone getting upset, we tried mediation and it didnt work, I feel like sole custody with visitation right wou...

    Martha’s Answer

    Regardless of whether you and the child's father have joint legal custody or if one of you has sole legal custody, your child still needs to have both parents in his/her life. This means that the 2 of you need to learn how to deal with each other in a civil fashion. My suggestion is that the 2 of you schedule some time with a child psychologist and receive some training on how to effectively communicate with each other.

    With respect to the question of legal custody, even if one of you is awarded "sole" legal custody that person should always confer with the other parent when it comes to making important decisions for the child.

    See question 
  • I have primary custody of our 11 and 12 yr. old do they have to visit their dad if they don't want to statesville nc. Rights?

    I have primary custody of a joint custody with him getting the girls one day doing the week,every other weekend,and every other weekend in the summer. Since,the summer of last year he hasn't gotten them like he suppose to. Months went by without ...

    Martha’s Answer

    If I understand the facts correctly, you and the father of your children are subject to a Court Order which grants the two of you joint legal custody of your children. The Order also grants you primary physical custody and the father specified visitation with the children. Since last summer, the father hasn't exercised his scheduled visitation on a regular basis. Recently, when he did exercise visitation, the father refused to transport the children back to you at the end of the visitation period. Finally, he is demanding to exercise visitation this weekend, even though it isn't his scheduled weekend. When you told him it wasn't his weekend, he threatened to call the cops.

    Firs,t you should locate your Child Custody Order and check to see exactly what it says about the visitation. If by its terms the Custody Order clearly shows that this coming weekend is your weekend, then you do not have to let the Father exercise visitation. Just be sure to have the Court Order on hand so you can show it to law enforcement if a patrol person shows up at your front door.

    Often I hear from custodial parents like you who have problems with the non-residential parent when it comes to him exercising his visitation rights. The Court cannot make the father exercise every scheduled visit, but if he continues to not show up for visits, you can take him back to court and ask the Judge to modify the visitation schedule so that it more closely mirrors the visitation pattern the father has been exercising. If the Court agrees with you, then at least you would have a bit more predictable schedule for your own planning purposes.

    See question 
  • If my parents have joint custody of me, and I am 15 years old turning 16 in 2 days. Can my mom legally kick me out of the house?

    Are there certain conditions my mom has to follow to do so?

    Martha’s Answer

    You say that your parents have joint custody of you. Does that mean that your parents don't live in the same house? Is your Fahter someone withwhom you woudl want to liveo n a full-time basis? if the answer to both of thise questions is "Yes", then I think that you need to tell your father what is going on and ask him to step in and help you. However, if your Father is not able or willing to help you, then I think you should speak with your school's guidance counselor first thing and ask him or her to help you get in touch with your local Department of Social Services.

    See question 
  • In nc how old does a person have to be to decide where they want to live?

    a teenager that i know is 14 and wants to know how old she needs to be to decide where she wants to live when mother and father are divorced but have joint custody.

    Martha’s Answer

    The first thing that ought to happen is for the 14 year old to sit down with her Mom and Dad and talk to the 2 of them about where she would prefer to live and why. It is quite possible that the 3 of them can come up with an arrangement that they will all 3 find suitable.

    In North Carolina until a child turns 18 years old, or is otherwise emancipated, she is not legally entitled to make the choice of whether she will live with her mother or father. Typically, that decision will be made by the parents mutually if they have joint legal custody. If there has been a substantial change of circumstances warranting a change in the child's custody and if the parents are not able to come to an agreed upon resolution, then one of the parents may choose to file a motion with the Court and ask the trial Judge has to make the decison. The child is not permitted to file the motion herself.

    At if a modification trial takes place, a child of 14 may be permitted to testify. if the child testifies, the Judge will take the child's preferences into account, but the child's preferences are not binding on the Court. Ultimately, the Judge will make his/her decision based upon what he/she deems to be in the child's best interest rahter than what the child desires.

    See question 
  • Does shared custedy of a child have to have a primary and secoundary parent or can it be half and half

    if one is the primary do they have more say over the child

    Martha’s Answer

    Physical custody or parenting time can be whatever the parents agree upon if they are setting the schedule by means of a Parenting Agreement or as a part of a Separation Agreement.

    If parents are not able to agree, then they have to appear in Court and present evidence to a District court Judge. Following the custody trial, the Judge will enter a Child Custody Order. In such Court Orders, the terms "primary " and "secondary' generally are used to refer to the amount of time the child spends in the physical custody of each parent when the child is not spending an equal amount of time in each parent's physical custody. When a Judge is asked to take evidence and then enter a Court Order for Child Custody, the Judge will take into account the needs of the child and each parent's ability to meet the child's needs. The schedule can be "half and half" if the Judge decides that such a scheudle is in the best interests of the child in question.

    See question 
  • Husband and wife has sepration agreement, wife has not fullfilled agreement

    Seperation agreement was signed by both husband and wife and was filed at the register of deeds in the county we live. Wife was to get her property out of house and Wife agreed to signs papers set for a quick claims deed to relinquish the property...

    Martha’s Answer

    First you should send a letter to your wife and inti ask her to fulfill her obligations under the Seaparation by a certain date. Be sure to date your letter and to be very specific about what actions your wife needs to take. Also, don't forget to make a photcopy of the letter so you will have it for your file.

    If your wife ignores your request, then you will have to sue her to enforce the terms of the Separation Agreement. Whie it is possible for you to represent yourself, I think it would be a better idea for you to retain a lawyer to represent you if you have to file a lawsuit against your wife.

    See question 
  • If you are starting a business witha partner that is recently divorced, can that ex-spouse try to get anything from new business

    Wanting to start a new business with recently divorced person. Can ex-spouse come after new business?

    Martha’s Answer

    If your new partner and his former spouse have not settled their property issues and if your partner uses marital funds in your new business venture, then your new partner's former spouse may have claims aganst your new business venture to the extent of the so-called marital funds contributed to the business by your new partner.

    See question 
  • How do i go about getting child support from my ex who lives out of state?

    how do i go about getting child support from my ex who lives out of state?

    Martha’s Answer

    If you are short on funds, as well may be the case if your ex-spouse is providing you with no child support, you can obtain assistance from the Child Support Office at Wake County's Department of Social Services. Once you have become a child support client of DSS they will assit you in collecting child support from your ex-spouse even though he or she lives somewhere other than NC. You need to be able to give the DSS folks as much of the following information as possible: your ex-spouse's full name and any aliases he or she may use, his/her date of birth, his or her last known address and his or her social security number. If you already have a child support order from the other state, bring that with you when you go to DSS as that will also provide your case worker with much needed information.

    Good luck.

    See question