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Averett Family Law https://averettfamilylaw.com Contact Us: 919.903.9442 Fri, 11 Oct 2019 19:16:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3 Melissa Averett Certified as Member of The Lawyers of Distinction https://averettfamilylaw.com/melissa-averett-certified-as-member-of-the-lawyers-of-distinction/ https://averettfamilylaw.com/melissa-averett-certified-as-member-of-the-lawyers-of-distinction/#respond Fri, 11 Oct 2019 15:17:26 +0000 https://averettfamilylaw.com/?p=47473 The Lawyers of Distinction is pleased to announce that Melissa Averett of Chapel Hill, NC, has been certified as a member.  The Lawyers of Distinction is recognized as the fastest growing community of distinguished lawyers in the United States.   Lawyers of Distinction shall not offer membership to more than 10% of attorneys in any given…

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The Lawyers of Distinction is pleased to announce that Melissa Averett of Chapel Hill, NC, has been certified as a member.  The Lawyers of Distinction is recognized as the fastest growing community of distinguished lawyers in the United States.   Lawyers of Distinction shall not offer membership to more than 10% of attorneys in any given state. Members are accepted based upon objective evaluation of an attorney’s qualifications, license, reputation, experience, and disciplinary history.  Please see www.lawyersofdistinction.com for further details concerning membership qualification. 

Melissa Averett, principal of Averett Family Law in North Carolina, USA, has been a Board-Certified Family Law Specialist since 2009, was awarded SuperLawyer for 2018, 2019 and again for 2020, as well as Top 30 Matrimonial Lawyers in North Carolina in 2018. She is the Chair of the Domestic Violence Committee of the North Carolina State Bar and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Family Law Council of the NC State Bar. She has presented on a variety of family law topics at Continuing Legal Education classes and conferences locally and internationally. She and her team can be contacted at Averett Family Law, 919-903-9442 or melissa@averettlaw.com, or through their website at averettfamilylaw.com.

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Lawyers of Distinction uses it own independent criteria, including both objective and subjective factors in determining if an attorney can be recognized as a Lawyer of Distinction in the United States in their respective field. This designation is based upon the proprietary analysis of the Lawyers of Distinction organization alone, and is not intended to be endorsed by any of the 50 United States Bar Associations or The District of Columbia Bar Association.

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Chapel Hill Attorney Speaks at Family Law Conference in Malta https://averettfamilylaw.com/chapel-hill-attorney-speaks-at-family-law-conference-in-malta/ https://averettfamilylaw.com/chapel-hill-attorney-speaks-at-family-law-conference-in-malta/#respond Tue, 27 Aug 2019 08:41:20 +0000 https://averettfamilylaw.com/?p=47400 Attorney Melissa Averett of Averett Family Law attended the June Australian and Maltese International Family Law Conference in Sliema, Malta, where she presented a session on Trauma-Informed Legal Representation. The three-day international family law conference was attended by attorneys from the United States, Australia, and Malta. “I was honored to be invited to present at…

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Attorney Melissa Averett of Averett Family Law attended the June Australian and Maltese International Family Law Conference in Sliema, Malta, where she presented a session on Trauma-Informed Legal Representation. The three-day international family law conference was attended by attorneys from the United States, Australia, and Malta.

“I was honored to be invited to present at the conference in Malta with speakers like Dr. Robert Simon and Minister Dr. Michael Falzon,” says Averett. “International family law has so many facets, and attending these global events opens up an entirely new perspective to the practice of family law. I look forward to collaborating with my international colleagues at future events.” In addition to her regular practice, Averett is on the NC Bar Executive Committee of the Family Law Council and chairs the Domestic Violence Issues Committee. Averett also speaks on family law issues locally and internationally.

The Australian and Maltese International Family Law Conference was opened by Minister Dr. Michael Falzon, LLS, MP, of the Ministry for the Family, Children’s Rights, and Social Solidarity, and Maltese Parliament. In addition to Melissa Averett’s session, Robert A. Simon, Ph.D., also spoke at the event. Dr. Simon is a national leader in expert Forensic Psychology Consulting with an exclusive focus on child custody and family law related issues, especially in high conflict divorce. A question and answer panel included The Hon. Madam Justice Abigail Lofaro, President of the Family Section of the Civil Court, and The Hon. Mr. Justice Anthony Vella, Civil Court, Family Section, Courts of Malta. More on the event can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/JamBoutiqueConferences/

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Can My Ex Take Our Child Out of the Country Without My Permission? https://averettfamilylaw.com/can-my-ex-take-our-child-out-of-the-country-without-my-permission/ https://averettfamilylaw.com/can-my-ex-take-our-child-out-of-the-country-without-my-permission/#respond Tue, 20 Aug 2019 20:26:56 +0000 https://averettfamilylaw.com/?p=47397 Do you have a custody order or parenting agreement? What does it say about travel? How old is the child and which country is the child going to? Does the child have a passport? You should go to the U.S. Department of State website and search for the country you plan to visit. On the…

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Do you have a custody order or parenting agreement? What does it say about travel? How old is the child and which country is the child going to? Does the child have a passport?

You should go to the U.S. Department of State website and search for the country you plan to visit. On the country’s page you can find out what that country requires for a minor child to enter the country. Different countries have different laws. For example, Canada, requires that each child traveling with only on parent or guardian have a passport, birth certificate, a custody order from the court (if there is one) and recommends a letter of authorization signed by the parent who is not traveling.

For a child under 16 to get a passport, both parents have to give permission. You can block your ex-spouse from getting a passport for your child by filing a request with the U.S. Department of State through the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP). If you file a request with CPIAP the State Department will notify you when they receive a passport application for your child. They will follow up to confirm that you give your permission for your child to get a passport.

If there is no custody order in place about international travel, you may also file an action asking the court to prohibit international travel or require the traveling parent to deposit a bond with the court to insure the return of the child, if you have evidence that the traveling parent does not intend to come back to the U.S.

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New Process Document Explains DVPO Cases Involving Minors https://averettfamilylaw.com/new-process-document-explains-dvpo-cases-involving-minors/ https://averettfamilylaw.com/new-process-document-explains-dvpo-cases-involving-minors/#respond Tue, 02 Jul 2019 18:40:57 +0000 https://averettfamilylaw.com/?p=47287 Helping clerks and attorneys understand the process may avoid delays in protection orders Chapel Hill, NC – Each year, a number of cases for domestic violence protection orders (sometimes called DVPO or 50B orders) go before North Carolina judges. In some of these situations, a minor is the one at risk. Local attorney Melissa Averett…

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Helping clerks and attorneys understand the process may avoid delays in protection orders

Chapel Hill, NC – Each year, a number of cases for domestic violence protection orders (sometimes called DVPO or 50B orders) go before North Carolina judges. In some of these situations, a minor is the one at risk. Local attorney Melissa Averett of Averett Family Law has drafted a handout for clerks and attorneys in North Carolina that explains when a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is needed when seeking a DVPO.

“Sadly, domestic violence is still a challenge in North Carolina and across the globe,” says Averett. “In cases where the person in need of protection is a minor, the situation can get more complex. The custodial parent is often able to file for protection on behalf of the child, but there are cases where a Guardian ad Litem must be appointed to represent the minor child. It is critical attorneys involved in these cases understand the process so the order may be requested without unnecessary delays that might put the minor child at further risk.” Download the handout.

Averett Family Law (www.averettfamilylaw.com) is a small but comprehensive family law firm founded by Melissa Averett in 1998. The firm represents clients in cases involving separation, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and post separation support, protective orders and related family law issues, as well as estate planning and probate law. Attorney Averett is a North Carolina Certified Family Law Specialist. Averett Family Law serves clients in Chatham, Orange, Durham and Wake counties in North Carolina. The firm may be reached at (919) 903-9442.

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Marital Property vs. Separate Property https://averettfamilylaw.com/marital-property-vs-separate-property/ https://averettfamilylaw.com/marital-property-vs-separate-property/#comments Mon, 10 Jun 2019 18:26:48 +0000 https://averettfamilylaw.com/?p=47076 Marital property is the property that was purchased with marital funds and generally must be divided between you and your spouse in a divorce. North Carolina is a “source of funds” state. That means the court cares more about where the money came from to buy the property than how the property is titled. For…

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Marital property is the property that was purchased with marital funds and generally must be divided between you and your spouse in a divorce. North Carolina is a “source of funds” state. That means the court cares more about where the money came from to buy the property than how the property is titled. For example, if during the marriage, you bought a car, and it’s titled in your name, that does not mean it’s your separate property. If you bought it, or made payments on it, with money you earned during the marriage, then it’s a marital asset and gets added to the list of items to be divided between the two of you. Benefits that you earned during the marriage but have not received yet, such as bonuses, commissions, pensions, or stock options are also marital property.

Separate property is property that does not belong to both you and your spouse. For example, if you inherited the item, it’s probably your separate property and you get to keep it. If you can prove that you bought an item with funds you inherited, you probably can keep it. There are exceptions to this rule, for example, if you mixed inherited funds with marital funds to the point that you can’t trace the inherited funds, so talk to an attorney to be sure.

If you owned the item before you got married and did not use any funds earned during the marriage to make improvements, or pay down a loan on the item, it’s probably your separate property and you get to keep it. Again, there are exceptions to this rule, for example, if you deliberately titled the inherited item in the name of your spouse, so you have to talk to a family law attorney to be sure.

Some assets can be both marital and separate. For example, if you owned a house prior to marriage, and then improved it and paid down the mortgage during the marriage, then the asset is both marital and separate. The value of the house as of the date of marriage is your separate asset. The increase in value during the marriage due to funds earned during the marriage being spent on the house is a marital asset that gets divided between the two of you.

Another example of an asset that is often both marital and separate is a retirement account.   For example, if you started a retirement account before you got married, contributed to it before the marriage and during the marriage, then it’s both separate and martial. To determine how much is marital, we would use a fraction, with the top number being the number of months that you were married and contributing to the plan, and the bottom number being the total number of months you had the plan. The resulting fraction is the marital portion, which is called the coverture fraction. So if you had the retirement account for, say 15 years (180 months), and you were married for 8.5 of those years (102 months), the marital portion is 102/180 or 78%. So 78% of your retirement account is marital and gets divided between the two of you, and 22% is your separate asset.

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What is an Inventory Affidavit? https://averettfamilylaw.com/what-is-an-inventory-affidavit/ https://averettfamilylaw.com/what-is-an-inventory-affidavit/#respond Mon, 10 Jun 2019 18:21:42 +0000 https://averettfamilylaw.com/?p=47074 When you and your spouse prepare to divide up marital property as part of your divorce, you need to begin by compiling a list of all of your property and assets, as well as all the debts you both owe together and separately. That list is called an inventory affidavit. This list will be used…

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When you and your spouse prepare to divide up marital property as part of your divorce, you need to begin by compiling a list of all of your property and assets, as well as all the debts you both owe together and separately. That list is called an inventory affidavit. This list will be used in the equitable distribution phase of your divorce.

An inventory affidavit is a form or a spreadsheet with all the information about your property and debts. The affidavit will list of all the assets and debts, with a value as of the date of separation, and any changes in value since the date of separation. The values you place on assets will be the amount a third-party would be willing to pay today for the item. It doesn’t matter how much the item originally cost, or how much it would cost you to replace it. Debts should be listed with the value as of the most recent statement date.

Each item will need to be marked a marital item or a separate item. Marital items are those you purchased with marital funds, while separate items are those you brought to the marriage or inherited (for example). Some items may be listed as both; this may include a piece of property you owned prior to the marriage but where marital funds were used to construct a house.

Next to each item, indicate whether you keep the item or your spouse keeps the item. Your goal is to evenly (or equitably) divide all the assets and debts.  If the total value of what you are keeping is bigger than the total value of what your ex is keeping, you need to pay your ex half the difference to get to a 50/50 distribution. If his total is bigger, he needs to pay you half the difference.

Some assets may be harder to value than others. Retirement accounts, for example, often fluctuate in value daily. In addition, there are penalties assessed if a retirement account is closed out early. Those penalties will cause the value to decline. Not everyone keeps detailed financial records, so if there are questions about how items should be distributed, it can be helpful to speak with a divorce attorney.

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2018 Averett Family Law visits Hoi An, Vietnam https://averettfamilylaw.com/vietnam/ Mon, 24 Sep 2018 01:16:47 +0000 http://averettfamilylaw.com/?p=3181 Members of the Melbourne Family Law bar invited Melissa Averett of Averett Family Law to present again this year at their annual conference which was held in Hoi An, Vietnam. Averett was joined by Mark Hanna, of Mark Hanna Lawyers from Sydney, Australia. The presentation, titled Every Sperm is Sacred, explored the complex legal and…

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Members of the Melbourne Family Law bar invited Melissa Averett of Averett Family Law to present again this year at their annual conference which was held in Hoi An, Vietnam. Averett was joined by Mark Hanna, of Mark Hanna Lawyers from Sydney, Australia. The presentation, titled Every Sperm is Sacred, explored the complex legal and ethical issues surrounding commercial surrogacy in Australia and the U.S. and the need for regulation to protect the children, the surrogates and the intended parents.

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N.C. Annual Family Law Conference in Charleston SC (May 2018) https://averettfamilylaw.com/n-c-annual-family-law-conference-in-charleston-sc-may-2018/ Sun, 12 Aug 2018 18:27:24 +0000 http://averettfamilylaw.com/?p=3167 In May, at the 2018 N.C.  Annual Family Law meeting, Melissa Averett of Averett Family Law and Alicia Jurney of Smith Debnam Law gave a presentation on using tort and common law claims in family law cases. Each topic was humorously punctuated with a snippet from an appropriate song such as “I’ve Got You Under…

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In May, at the 2018 N.C.  Annual Family Law meeting, Melissa Averett of Averett Family Law and Alicia Jurney of Smith Debnam Law gave a presentation on using tort and common law claims in family law cases. Each topic was humorously punctuated with a snippet from an appropriate song such as “I’ve Got You Under my Skin” by Frank Sinatra for Negligent Transmission of a sexually transmitted disease, and “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood for trespass to chattels. In the words of Alicia Jurney, the 250 family law attorneys who attended the conference are likely to remember “what we learned today from The Circle Jerks.”

 

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Melissa Averett Recognized by the 2018 Super Lawyers https://averettfamilylaw.com/melissa-averett-recognized-by-the-2018-super-lawyers/ Mon, 12 Mar 2018 01:17:35 +0000 http://averettfamilylaw.com/?p=3154 Attorney Melissa Averett of Averett Family Law has been selected to the 2018 North Carolina Super Lawyers list. Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are chosen by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this award.   Melissa Averett     “It is an honor to be…

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Attorney Melissa Averett of Averett Family Law has been selected to the 2018 North Carolina Super Lawyers list. Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are chosen by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this award.

 

“It is an honor to be chosen for inclusion this year by Super Lawyers for my work in family law,” says Averett. “This particular recognition means a lot, since it is based on independent research and review by other attorneys. Family law is always evolving and becoming more challenging every year, so I am humbled that I was nominated by my peers.” In addition to her regular practice, Averett is on the NC Bar Executive Committee of the Family Law Council and chairs the Domestic Violence Issues Committee. Averett also speaks on family law issues locally and internationally, most recently addressing the 2017 Annual Family Law meeting of the Victoria, Australia Bar. She is scheduled to speak at the Annual Family Law meeting of the NC Family Law Bar in May, 2018.

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.

The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country. Super Lawyers Magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in the practice of law. For more information about Super Lawyers, visit SuperLawyers.com.

Averett Family Law is a small but comprehensive family law firm founded by Melissa Averett in 1998. The firm represents clients in cases involving separation, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and post separation support, protective orders and related family law issues, as well as estate planning and probate law. Attorney Averett is the only Certified Family Law Specialist with an office in Chatham County, however, Averett Family Law serves clients in Chatham, Orange, Durham and Wake counties in North Carolina.

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Local attorney speaks at the 2017 Annual Family Law meeting of the Victoria, Australia Bar https://averettfamilylaw.com/local-attorney-addresses-international-group-vietnam/ Wed, 25 Oct 2017 14:55:49 +0000 http://averettfamilylaw.com/?p=3134 Attorney Melissa Averett of Averett Family Law recently traveled to Vietnam to address members of the Victoria, Australia, Bar Association at their 2017 Annual Family Law meeting. Her session on October 2 was on Spousal Support Guidelines in the U.S and How to Create Your Own. “I was thrilled to be invited to present to…

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Attorney Melissa Averett of Averett Family Law recently traveled to Vietnam to address members of the Victoria, Australia, Bar Association at their 2017 Annual Family Law meeting. Her session on October 2 was on Spousal Support Guidelines in the U.S and How to Create Your Own.

“I was thrilled to be invited to present to the Victoria Bar,” says Averett. “Spousal support calculations can be a huge point of contention in any family law case. I chaired a committee in 2015 that worked to develop the first spousal support formula for use in Orange and Chatham County, North Carolina. A member of the Victoria Bar reached out to me, expressing interest in hearing more about how we derived the calculation and how they might develop their own formula. The session I presented was interactive and allowed for discussion to give the attending barristers and solicitors direction toward creating a formula that will work in their courts.” The 2017 Annual Family Law meeting of the Victoria, Australia Bar was held from September 29 through October 2, 2017 at the Almanity Hotel in Hoi An, Vietnam.

Averett Family Law  is a small but comprehensive family law firm founded by Melissa Averett in 1998. The firm represents clients in cases involving separation, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and post separation support, protective orders and related family law issues, as well as estate planning and probate law. Attorney Averett is the only Certified Family Law Specialist with an office in Chatham County, however, Averett Family Law serves clients in Chatham, Orange, Durham and Wake counties in North Carolina. The firm may be reached at (919) 903-9442.

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