Recent Case Descriptions

Each case is different and the results of cases reported here cannot be used as a basis for predicting the results in future cases. Each case is judged on its own unique set of facts. The cases reported here do not represent our entire record and the outcome of a particular case cannot be predicted based on past results.

Mueller v. Mueller, 18 CVD 2095 (Wake County District Court, October 15, 2018) - Our client and his wife separated on August 1, 2017. He left the marital home and rented an apartment. In addition to paying for his own rent and personal expenses, our client continued paying the mortgage on the marital home and all household expenses for both his wife and their 3-year-old daughter. His wife permitted him to have overnight time with his daughter only once every two weeks. After working with another attorney for several months, and not improving his custody situation or the drain on his expenses, our client retained Poyner Spruill. We filed suit four days after we were retained. Within just a few weeks, we obtained agreement from our client’s wife’s attorney that his wife would vacate the marital home, allowing him to return, and increasing our client’s custodial time with his daughter to 5 out of every 14 nights. At mediation a few months later, an agreement was reached that granted our client equal custodial time with his daughter on a “2-2-3” schedule. That agreement was entered into the court file as a permanent custody order.

Cole v. Reasoner, 13 CVD 14732 (Wake County District Court, August 16, 2018) - Our client and her ex-husband had a son in February 2008 during their brief marriage. She moved to Virginia when he was only two to secure employment. Her ex-husband moved for and was granted primary custody, with our client only permitted to exercise visitation every other weekend. She moved back to North Carolina when her son was six and tried to reach agreement with her ex-husband to equalize her time with their son. By then he was remarried and he and his new wife refused to voluntarily alter the custody schedule. With the assistance of another lawyer, our client filed a motion to modify custody. That motion was finally resolved in August 2016, just before her son turned eight. The judge ruled against her, leaving her ex-husband (and his wife) with primary custody—our client was permitted visitation only every other weekend during the school year. In late 2017, our client retained Poyner Spruill to, once again, try to modify custody to equalize her custodial time with her son. By this time, her ex-husband and his wife had separated, and the two had their own son. After a two-day trial, the judge ruled in our client’s favor, granting her equal, “week-on/week-off” custody with her now 10-year-old son. That new schedule began just in time for the 2018-2019 school year.

Lowery v. Lowery, 15 CVD 1542 (Alamance County District Court, September 23, 2016) - Our client is the father of two daughters, ages 12 and 11. Since 2011, the children had lived nearly 80% of the time with our client’s ex-wife in Alamance County, spending only every other weekend with our client at his home in Rockingham County. They attended public schools in Alamance County. In August 2015, our client’s ex-wife filed suit seeking to prevent our client from having any custodial time with the children except through supervised visitation. She contended that our client was drinking alcohol to excess during his custodial time and created an unsafe environment for the children. Our client counterclaimed, seeking to equalize the children’s custodial time between his residence and his ex-wife’s residence. The case was tried over four days. At the conclusion of the trial, the trial judge found that it was in the best interest of the children for them to spend equal time with both parents and to attend a specialized private school approximately equidistant between their two homes. The custody order he signed placed the children on a week-on/week-off custody schedule, which commenced in time for the new school year

Kaiser v. Kaiser, 816 S.E.2d 223 (N.C. Ct. App. 2018). This was our appeal following a multi-day child support trial in New Hanover County in which the trial judge, in calculating our client’s income, included $1,750/month her new fiancé’s contributions toward joint household expenses in their rental home as well as over $6,000/month in capital gains, even though those gains were recorded on a prior year’s tax return. We convinced the Court of Appeals to reverse the trial judge’s decision to include these two items as part of our client’s income. The Court of Appeals remanded the case back to the trial judge for further consideration. 

Ovando v. Bowen, 16 CVS 1269 (Wake County Superior Court, August 25, 2016) - Unbeknownst to our client, her husband began a sexual affair with a co-worker, who also purported to be our client’s good friend. The affair continued throughout our client’s pregnancy with her first child. She learned of the affair shortly after giving birth. Ultimately, the affair led to her husband leaving her and seeking a divorce. We sued her husband’s co-worker for alienation of affections and criminal conversation, which are so-called “heart balm torts.” The co-worker admitted to the existence of the affair, as did our client’s husband. Shortly following mediation, the case settled for $350,000.

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