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Wilmington Legal Issues Blog

What is an annulment?

While most people have heard annulments, very fewer understand what exactly they entail. Although annulments end a marriage like divorces, there are actually quite a few differences between them. offers the following information on annulments, including how to tell if it’s the right option for you.

How annulment and divorce differ

Is parallel parenting a good option for me?

Divorce is rarely easy, especially when children are involved. For recently divorced North Carolina couples, coming together on behalf of kids can be all but impossible. In this case, parallel parenting may be a good option to ensure kids receive the attention they deserve while keeping conflict to a minimum. offers the following advice on this trusted technique.

What is parallel parenting?

Social media can hurt your college kid's criminal defense

Your son or daughter, your pride and joy, left the nest and went off at college. Like most young adults, he or she is probably checking and posting to social media sites throughout the day. Some of his or her posts might be questionable in nature since everyone makes mistakes from time to time. When a mistake lands him or her in a North Carolina jail, those social media postings could end up hurting his or her criminal defense.

College kids who are facing criminal charges have a lot to lose. They are young and still have their whole lives ahead of them. They may have to rethink their plans, though, if they are convicted, have to spend time in jail and are kicked out of school. They do not need anything out there for the world to see that can help the court view them in a negative light. Social media responsibility is necessary, but is something many people fail to practice.

How can I plan for a new school year after a divorce?

With a new school year already here, many recently divorced parents in North Carolina are struggling with their changed family dynamic. They’re also concerned about the impact a divorce can have on their children, which often compounds the stress associated with a beginning a new year at school. In this case, Forbes offers the following tips, which can help parents as well as students handle a new school year after divorce.

Talk to your kids about goals

North Carolina has guidelines for addressing child support

Going through divorce is understandably a difficult process both emotionally and financially. This is particularly true if you and your spouse share minor children.

When it comes to your children, child support remains a major area of conflict and confusion for many divorcing couples. Here is glimpse at how the state of North Carolina handles child support cases during the dissolution of a marriage.

Moving with your kids following your divorce

Emerging from your divorce proceedings in Wilmington with custody of your children is likely to come as a great relief. Yet earning it can take its toll, so much so that you think the best way for you and your kids to get over it is to move. Many have come to us here at The Law Office of L. Bryan Smith, P.C. with this desire wanting to know if it is a possibility. We can tell you that it is, but earning the right to do so may not be easy. 

Many states have enacted laws that deal specifically with the issue of parental relocation; North Carolina, however, is not one of them. This issue is instead typically dealt with on a case-by-case basis. For a long time, it was generally assumed that if you and your ex-spouse had an actual custody order in place, moving away with your kids was not an option. Yet a 1992 state appellate court ruling began to change that. In the case of Ramirez-Barker v. Barker, 107 N.C.App, the court established five criteria to be evaluated when considering allowing a custodial parent to relocate. These are: 

  • How likely the move would be to improve your kids' quality of life 
  • Your motives for wanting to move
  • The likelihood of you continuing to comply with the terms of your visitation order once you were no longer subject to the jurisdiction of North Carolina courts
  • Your ex-spouse's motives for opposing the move
  • The chances of an amended visitation schedule allowing your children to still maintain a strong relationship with your ex-spouse

How can I make my divorce less stressful?

While there is no such thing as a truly stress-free divorce, couples in North Carolina can work to make the transition as smooth as possible. The goal is to maintain a healthy outlook and strive to act civilly when it comes to things like property division and child custody. Because it can be tough to maintain a positive outlook when faced with a break up of your marriage, the American Psychological Associate recommends the following advice.

Rely on Friends & Family for Support

Drinking in college can have dire consequences

If you were to ask 100 North Carolina college graduates what they found most challenging during their campus years, many would likely say the academics or keeping good study habits. On the other hand, some might recall facing their greatest challenges in their social lives at college. In fact, there are those who say they regret quite a few choices they made, in particular, those involving alcohol.

It's no secret that binge drinking is popular on many college campuses. Having to call home and tell your parents that school administrators are suspending you or that you're in jail because of an alcohol-related incident may be enough to deter you from drinking in college. If you do run into trouble, know that you're definitely not the first one nor will you be the last; however, you may be able to mitigate your circumstances if you tap into the right resources.

Getting ready for a new chapter in your life

The problem with criminal accusations is often that they often stay around on our clients' records much longer than necessary. At the Law Office of L. Bryan Smith, P.C., we often find that this history has prevented clients from getting what they want out of life. 

For example, suppose you were applying for a position of responsibility with a large company. Any medium-to-large organization would be likely to perform extensive research on any potential risks to operational efficiency. Since onboarding new employees represents an investment of money and time, and since trusting someone poses a fiduciary risk, corporations you apply to would probably perform a background check at least. 

Did an arrest violate your Fourth Amendment rights?

Outside of students preparing for a high school civics test, knowledge of each Constitutional Amendment and its applications is not something that many people have at the ready. This is understandable. After all, how many people in North Carolina work with Constitutional law on a daily basis? 

Unfortunately, some police officers use this to their advantage. An untold number of unjust arrests happen every day, and it is possible that yours might be one of them. 

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