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Barbara M. Szombatfalvy

Barbara Szombatfalvy’s Answers

4 total

  • Soon to be Ex-husband left his children at my home

    My soon to be ex and I agreed in feb 2012 I would watch his two boys (previous marriage) for him until he got on his feet. He now lives in an apartment with his pregnant girlfriend and is refusing to pick up his children from me. I have had them...

    Barbara’s Answer

    Your ex has effectively abandoned his children by both failing to pick them up when asked and failing to pay for their support. In North Carolina when a parent abandons his or her children, there are a couple of things that may follow. First, if the Department of Social Services is called they may take custody of the children and place them in a foster home or with a friend or family member who is willing to take them (and who checks out with DSS: no criminal history, no DSS history, etc.). The Department will then work with the biological parents to determine if the children can be returned to them, and if not the Department may ask the court that the third party caretaker be granted guardianship, or they could move to terminate the rights of the biological parent.

    The other option is that DSS is not called, but the caretaker, in this case you, files a Complaint for custody of the children. Typically it can be difficult for a third party to obtain custody of children, but where there is abandonment by the biologial parents, the Court can find grounds to grant custody to the third party. In the event that the third party is granted custody, he or she can also ask the Court to make an award of child support s that the biological parents are paying for the care of their children.

    It is a good idea for you to consult with a lawyer to further discuss these options. If the children are going to stay with you it is important that you have legal custody so that you can enroll them in school and obtain medical care for them when they need it.

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  • My husband is military. he filed for divorce in florida and i reside in nc. how do i seek legal counsel? we were married 18 yrs

    been seperated for almost 6. We have 4 children. He is pcsing back to ft. bragg in a 2 months. I do not know why he filed there when he could have waited until he returned and we both were in the same state. I just dont know what to do. He does no...

    Barbara’s Answer

    It would be a good idea to make an appointment with a lawyer in your area for a consultation. I am not sure from your question whether he has only filed for divorce or if he has filed any claims for custody or property division. If he has file the other claims, Florida might not be the proper jurisdicition for those claims depending on how long you have lived here and how long the children have lived here. Also, it sounds as if you have your own claims for custody, child support, property division and perhaps spousal support. In North Carolina it is important that you do not allow a divorce to be entered before you have filed claims for spousal support and property division (equitable distribution) because you will lose those claims unless they are filed prior to divorce. If you have already been served with a complaint for divorce you should meet with an attorney immediately so that you can timely respond to the complaint and work to preserve your own claims before the divorce is entered.

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  • Divorce

    What is the process for divorce in North Carolina? I was married 3 month ago.

    Barbara’s Answer

    In North Carolina, the law requires that prior to filing for divorce, the parties have to live separate and apart for one year, with at least one party having the intention not to resume the marital relationship. Once you have met this requirement you may file a complaint for divorce. The divorce complaint should be filed in the county where either you or the other party resides. If you file, you will have to personally serve the other party with a filed copy of the complaint and summons. This is usually done through certified mail, return receipt requested, or by sheriff. You will have to provide proof to the court that the other party has received a copy of the complaint and summons. Once served the other party has 30 days to file an answer to the complaint. After the other party has either answered or failed to answer, you may obtain your divorce judgment by motioning the court. Please be sure if you have any claims for alimony or the division of property (equitable distribution) that these are filed at the same time your divorce is filed and preserved to be addressed at a later time. If the divorce judgment is entered prior to filing these claims, you will have lost the right to file these claims after the divorce. Your inquiry says that you are from the Charlotte area. If you live in Mecklenberg County there is a family court there where you can probably get assistance with filing your divorce.

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  • Home abandonment and adultry

    My wife left home on 05/11/2013 and has not returned but did call and say she was not coming back, also I have proof that she had sex with another man on that night. I need to know if I have grounds to file an adultery and alienation of affection ...

    Barbara’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    You may have grounds to file both a claim for criminal coversation and one for alienation of affections. Third parties other than the paramour can be brought into the suit as well. These claims can be expensive to litigate and may not result in anything other than a judgment that cannot be collected on if the person you are suing does not have any money. It would be worth your time to consult with an attorney to determine if you have a situation where you might be successful with such claims.
    With regard to the house and property, usually everything that was acquired during the marriage is martial property and the presumption is that each person is entitled to half of the property. Ultimately she may have a right to one half of the property but the two of you will either have to agree on the division or one of you will have to file an equitable distribution claim to ask the Court to divide the property. Once she moves out and indicates that she does not plan to return, you can change the locks on the door and trespass her from the property. She should not be able to come and go as she pleases without prior arrangement with you.

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