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Winston-Salem Family Law Blog

What happens when unmarried co-parents break up?

It's not so unusual these days for couples to be together for a long time and have children, but never marry. This isn't just something that celebrities do. People in all parts of the country and from all walks of life choose not to tie the knot for any number of reasons.

However, what happens when unmarried couples with children decide to end their relationship? In many ways, working out child custody, support agreements and parenting plans is no different than it would be if the couple had been married.

You could be prosecuted for a loved one's overdose death

As law enforcement professionals work to combat the opioid epidemic that's gripping large parts the country, people who provide drugs to someone who overdoses or are even around while the person took the drugs are increasingly being prosecuted for homicide and similar crimes. This includes not just dealers, but friends and family members.

One prosecutor in another state notes that the situation may be complicated. He says, "People agree…there's nobody forcing someone to take the controlled substance. But somebody might agree to take it from their friend or their boyfriend or girlfriend and they end up dying because of it. We feel that constitutes a crime of possibly murder in the third degree, but at least manslaughter in the second degree."

Avoiding negligence claims in the trucking industry

If you own a trucking company, you know how difficult it is these days to get qualified, experienced drivers. Many companies are relaxing their rules and hiring younger and/or older drivers than they did in the past. They may not be able to meet the demand for their services without hiring drivers who don't have pristine driving records or don't have many hours behind the wheel of large commercial trucks.

If one of your drivers is responsible for a crash, you could easily find yourself on the wrong side on a lawsuit. Since truck crashes often cause serious injuries and fatalities, in addition to serious property damage, you could be sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, particularly if there's a "negligent hiring" component to the suit. In fact, two-thirds of negligent hiring claims, when taken to trial, result in damage awards of over $600,000.

Is your loved one facing charges due to a heroin addiction?

While you may have known from a young age that you should avoid illegal substances, you may have a close family member who did not heed the warnings. As a result, you have watched him or her struggle with addiction and wonder how you could potentially help. Sometimes, you may have feared that he or she was too far gone for help.

Substances like heroin can have major effects on a person's physical and mental well-being. Because of these impacts, individuals with a substance abuse problem commonly act out of their normal character, which could often lead to serious health and legal issues.

What's involved in a custody evaluation?

Most divorcing parents go into child custody negotiations hoping to work out a custody and visitation schedule together, along with their attorneys, that they can both be satisfied with and that -- most importantly -- is best for their kids.

However, that's not always possible. Residual anger, distrust and differences in parenting styles can leave parents at an impasse. They have to ask a judge to decide on the optimal custody arrangement for the kids. Often this involves a child custody evaluation.

Protecting kids when your co-parent abuses drugs or alcohol

Substance abuse, from alcoholism to opioid dependency, affects millions of families across the country. Often, substance abuse contributes to the dissolution of marriages. Sometimes, people who are going through divorce begin to rely on alcohol and/or drugs to cope with the stress or fall deeper into a dependency they already have.

When those suffering from substance abuse have kids, it's only natural for the other parent to worry about their kids' safety -- particularly if the couple is no longer together and the alcoholic or drug-dependent parent sometimes cares for the kids on his/her own.

Dealing with a passive-aggressive co-parent

If you're divorcing a spouse who often engages in passive-aggressive behavior rather than handle disagreements openly and the two of you will be sharing custody of your children, you may see that behavior continue in your co-parenting relationship.

Too often, people learn to deal with a passive-aggressive spouse by responding in kind. However, that's not going to help your children as you all adjust to your new family dynamic. By learning how to identify passive-aggressive behavior in your co-parent and in yourself, you can help keep parenting disagreements from escalating.

What is a 'Good Samaritan 911' law?

Deaths from drug overdoses are at epidemic levels. In fact, unintentional drug overdoses kill more people between 25 and 64 years old than any type of accident -- including vehicle crashes. Here in North Carolina, overdose fatalities related to opioids were over 2 percent above the national average in 2016. Both the number of heroin-related deaths and those caused by synthetic opioids rose significantly between 2010 and 2016.

Many of these overdose deaths could be prevented if the victim had received timely medical intervention. However, people who are present when an overdose occurs are often afraid to call 911 for fear that they and/or the person who overdosed will be arrested. This fear is the reason most commonly given for not calling 911 to try to save a family member, friend or acquaintance who has overdosed.

Don't let your divorce ruin your summer

Like most North Carolina parents, you're likely gearing up for summertime with your kids. Part of you might be wondering where time has gone because the school year seemed to fly by so quickly. The other part might be a bit more stressed than usual, especially if this happens to be the first summer break since your divorce. You have a court order in place, and your kids have so far been adjusting well to their new lifestyle. 

Your ex tends to be combative, however, and you really don't want post-divorce problems messing up your summer vacation. Thinking ahead, knowing your rights and keeping contact information for your support resources with you at all times can help you overcome most problems as they arise. There are several other practical steps you can take to keep summertime post-divorce stress levels to a minimum. 

North Carolina craft brewers sue over distribution law

Craft beers have become all the rage in recent years. Many beer drinkers are switching from the famous beers that have been around since their parents' and grandparents' days to those produced by craft breweries, which are small, independent companies. According to the Brewers Association, craft beers made up 12 percent of the U.S. beer market in 2016.

A number of states, including North Carolina, have caps on the amount of beer a craft brewery can produce annually before it has to hand over the distribution rights to another company. Those caps vary by state. Here in North Carolina, breweries are required to turn over control of pricing and sales to wholesalers if they sell at least 25,000 barrels annually.

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Scott Law Group, PLLC
210 N. Main Street
Suite 322
Kernersville, NC 27284

Toll Free: 800-566-2907
Phone: 336-310-8569
Fax: 336-993-5030

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