Greenwood Law

Divorce and spousal support

Spousal support, also referred to as alimony, is one of the many issues divorcing couples in North Carolina may have to address, but it often is not until the proceedings are well underway. Generally, a plan has be to in place for how debts and assets are to be divided before determining how much spousal support has to be paid, or if it should be paid at all.

State law governs how much spousal support either party may receive. The calculation depends on a spouse's previous lifestyle, the payer's ability to meet the obligation, the health and ages of both parties, the length of the marriage, and the recipient's needs.

H-4 visa recipients fret over proposed rule change

In 2015, the Obama administration modified the immigration rules to allow the spouses of H-1B visa holders who are applying for permanent residence to work in the United States. The move proved to be a popular one as 91,000 H-4 visa holders in North Carolina and around the country later filed applications. However, President Trump has been a harsh critic of H-1B visas, which allow employers to hire skilled foreign workers, and he has vowed to scrutinize all aspects of the program.

Trump's position and rhetoric worried H-4 visa holders during the election campaign, and their fears were realized in February when the Department of Homeland Security proposed scrapping the Obama-era rule. The proposal is currently being reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. If adopted, the DHS proposal would most affect women from China and India where immigration waiting lists are among the longest in the world.

Study reveals alarming rise in youth arrests

Young people in North Carolina and around the country are much more likely to find themselves on the wrong side of the law than older Americans, and arrests early in life often lead to less success in later years. These were the conclusions reached by researchers from the RAND Corporation after studying data gathered over a 26-year period. The study, which was published by the journal Crime and Delinquency, was based on information from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics.

The data revealed that Americans between 26 and 35 are 3.6 times more likely to have been taken into custody by police than individuals older than 66. The lead author of the study put this down largely to more aggressive law enforcement and the criminalization of American youth. Rising arrest and incarceration rates were observed in all demographic groups with particularly sharp increases among white men and women.

How H-1B visa holder spouses may keep employment rights

The spouses of H-1B visa holders in North Carolina may be facing the loss of their work permits. A proposal that has been sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget would end the practice of allowing spouses to get employment authorization documents.

The H-1B visa grants employment status to specialized workers, many of whom are from India and in the tech industry. These workers and their spouses might also be waiting for green cards. This wait can take years. One possible solution to the H-1B visa dilemma for some workers could actually result in speeding up the visa processing and extending the amount of time on existing visas for some employees.

Understanding what happens to you as you consume alcohol

Spending some time with your friends and family provides you with good times, laughs and memories. As part of those gatherings, you may decide to have an alcoholic beverage or two. However, whether you drive for a living or just don't want to risk getting a DUI, you want to make sure that you don't get on the road when you shouldn't.

Understanding how alcohol affects your body may help you stop drinking before it's too late and know how long you need to wait before you can safely get on the road.

Tips for defusing conflict during divorce

For some couples in North Carolina, the emotional impact of divorce can be so great that the process becomes contentious. However, there are steps people can take to defuse it and proceed civilly.

First, people should recognize that what was a problem in the marriage is likely to become a problem in the divorce as well. This means that whatever the couple argued about during the marriage is likely to become a point of conflict during the divorce. Couples can use this knowledge to anticipate and defuse conflicts. This is true not just for big issues but for such things as body language. Spouses who know each other well can often tell when the other is upset before anyone else does and take action.

Young immigrants face 'grave harm' in detention centers

North Carolina residents may be aware that the living conditions of over 10,000 immigrant children being held in federal custody at the U.S.-Mexico border have become the source of multiple lawsuits in recent weeks. According to these cases, the bad conditions in which these children are confined are used as a way to punish immigrant families in order to deter them from entering the country. The lawsuits further claim the goal of the federal government is to deter immigration in general.

Federal law requires that these children are to be held in the 'least restrictive setting available," but attorneys for the kids and their families argue that is not the case. One of the major issues is the prosecution of potential sponsors of the children, who are also not in the country legally. According to the lawyers involved in the suit, hundreds of family members have appeared at Department of Health and Human Services facilities to take custody of a child only to be arrested themselves by ICE.

Financial reasons to give a divorce a second thought

Some North Carolina couples reach a point where they want to consider ending a marriage that's no longer working for them. Taking this step isn't unheard of. After all, about half of all first marriages end in divorce. The stats are even more alarming for subsequent trips down the aisle. Barring instances of spousal abuse or violence, it's generally advised that couples consider the possible financial challenges that legally splitting may present.

First, there are legal fees. Even when a separating spouse works with an affordable family law attorney, costs could still add up if a couple ends up bickering about every detail. Plus, there may be additional fees involved with hiring a real estate agent, a financial planner and other professionals. Some exes also have added expenses for counseling if there are serious emotional issues associated with the end of a marriage.

Getting an Expunction in North Carolina: Clearing My Record

Frequently in our practice we come across a common misconception-background checks only show convictions, not charges. This could not be further from the truth. Each and every time you are charged with a crime, it is reflected on your record. This is true from a simple traffic infraction to a felony. It does not matter that the charges were dismissed or the charged individual was found to be not guilty.

Understanding arson laws in North Carolina

When people in North Carolina face arson charges after a fire, they may not be aware of the different types of allegations that may be involved. Under state law, arson is considered a more serious form of property crime than vandalism or similar offenses. If people were present at the time of the fire, additional charges could also be added. However, even if no one else was present, the likelihood of injury to passers-by or emergency response personnel may be cited to justify higher sentencing requests.

There are two different degrees of arson in North Carolina law. First-degree arson applies to intentional burning of a home, mobile home or trailer while the structure was occupied. On the other hand, second-degree arson involves burning an unoccupied structure. While first-degree arson is a class D felony, second-degree arson is considered a Class G felony. There are also separate Class H felony charges for people accused of burning schools, churches, religious buildings or government structures.

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Greenwood Law
One Salem Tower
119 Brookstown Avenue, Suite 300
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Phone: 336-794-6138
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