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Original Program: Making Family Law Great Again: 2018 Essentials of Family Law, November 1-2, 2018

Available format

Successful family lawyers must be knowledgeable about a wide variety of legal issues beyond the “basic” family law claims for equitable distribution, child and spousal support, and child custody.

Family lawyers commonly advise clients about real property issues, electronic privacy, retirement and ERISA, tax problems, and potential criminal liability.

In this program, chock full of useful information on a wide variety of topics, exceptional family lawyers from across North Carolina share how to make practicing family law great — whether for the first time for newer lawyers or again for more experienced lawyers.

Planned by the NCBA Family Law Section

Click on the "In Depth" tab for session and speaker information.

TUITION RATE. Membership discounts automatically apply at checkout.  

Standard: $680
NCBA Member: $565
NCBA Family Law Section Member: $525


Discounts are available for NCBA members who are law professors, judges, or legal services/public interest attorneys. Call CLE at 800.228.3402 for details.

Product Information
Product Date:
November 01, 2018
Chapter 1 | Preparing and Managing a Child Support Case | 45 minutes

This session seeks to assist in analyzing a child support case from the beginning to the end.

Whether you are meeting with a new, potential client or an old client who is revisiting a child support issue, it is essential to ask the following basic questions – who, what, when, where, how decided, how long, and what if – as a general starting and ending point in the dissection of a child support case.

  • Establishment, modification and termination of child support
  • Enforcement issues and strategies
  • Interpreting and applying the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines
  • Determining income and showing "bad faith"
  • Drafting child support orders

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Speaker Information
Anna W Munroe  [ view bio ]
Chapter 2 | Managing a Child Custody Case | 45 minutes

Session topics include:

  • Practice tips
  • Relevant case law
  • Parent coordinators, custodial evaluations and other potential court — ordered steps
  • Drafting child custody orders

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Speaker Information
Justin L Mauney  [ view bio ]
Chapter 3 | Getting By with a Little Help from Our Friends | 66 minutes

Session topics include:

  • Discussion of ABA/Hazelden Foundation study
  • Learn how to identify colleagues at risk
  • How to help colleagues in need

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Speaker Information
Robynn E Moraites  [ view bio ]
Mark A Scruggs   [ view bio ]
Chapter 4 | Tax Issues and Tax Returns: What Divorce Attorneys Need to Know | 47 minutes

Marriage is, in part, an economic partnership.

A separation or divorce case requires a division of that financial partnership with consideration to division of net assets and future financial support. These financial considerations have tax consequences that can affect the parties’ actual economic outcomes.

This session addresses some of the more common tax considerations in divorce cases.

  • When is alimony taxable and deductible?
  • Other tax benefits
  • Tax consequences of property transfers
  • How to read a tax return (personal and business)

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Speaker Information
Catherine Stoddard   [ view bio ]
Chapter 5 | Post-Trial Matters and Settlement Documents | 60 minutes

Session topics include:

  • Rules 58-65 and 70
  • Drafting orders and consent orders
  • Memorandums of settlement
  • Judgments versus orders

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Speaker Information
G Brentley Tanner  [ view bio ]
Chapter 6 | Contempt in Family Law: Civil and Criminal | 34 minutes

The concept of contempt, particularly as applied to domestic relations law, is one that has often provoked confusion among North Carolina lawyers and legal practitioners.

Much of the confusion is caused by an inadequate understanding of the crucial distinction between criminal contempt and civil contempt. But it is also critical to understand how and when a court—at either the trial or appellate level—can enforce a decree through contempt proceedings.

Session topics include:

  • Fundamentals of the law of contempt – the statutory framework
  • Civil contempt versus criminal contempt
  • Contempt in domestic relations cases – special distinctions
  • Contempt versus execution – choosing the most effective remedy

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Speaker Information
Judge K Edward Greene  [ view bio ]
Jessica B Heffner   [ view bio ]
Chapter 7 | Civil Procedure and Discovery in Family Law | 45 minutes

This session covers some broad aspects of civil procedure, discovery, depositions and courtroom procedure and is geared toward the practice of family law.

The session addresses a number of specific rules of civil procedure that the family law attorney should know and employ in his or her daily practice.

Additionally, this session covers specific ethical challenges that family lawyers face on a regular basis.

  • Service of process and jurisdictional requirements
  • Amendments to pleadings and intervention
  • Objections to discovery
  • Dismissals, default and offers of judgment
  • Service of subpoenas and out-of-state subpoenas

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Speaker Information
Katharine Y Barnes   [ view bio ]
Lee C Hawley   [ view bio ]
Chapter 8 | Alternative Dispute Resolution for Family Law | 47 minutes

Every lawyer should be familiar with the principle of "zealous advocacy."

The Revised Rules of Professional Conduct of the North Carolina State Bar (the "Rules") require attorneys to zealously advocate on behalf of their clients. However, what constitutes zealous and effective advocacy for one client may not be the same for another client, particularly in family law cases where the parties are commonly required to have contact with each other long after the case has ended. More and more attorneys (and courts) are turning to alternative dispute resolution as a means of achieving a satisfactory and efficient outcome.

Session topics include:

  • State requirements for custody and property claims
  • Mediation (custody versus private)
  • Arbitration and the Family Law Arbitration Act
  • Use of a referee
  • Collaborative practice

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Speaker Information
Katherine A Frye   [ view bio ]
Chapter 9 | Did You Know? Helpful Hints and Practical Pointers in Family Law | 62 minutes

This session addresses practical considerations for some of the more basic areas of the law that confront us as family law attorneys.

You are likely to face many of these issues as a new lawyer (absolute divorce, real estate issues, and depositions) and other issues that occasionally arise in the course of a family law practice such as bankruptcy and electronic evidence. Family law attorneys need to know enough about these topics to get pointed in the right direction when advising clients.

This session looks to address each of these items from a practical perspective so that you can begin to understand how to deal with these issues and when you may need to seek more experienced help.

  • Bankruptcy implications
  • Real estate items (deed transfers and free trade agreements)
  • Depositions (stipulations and objections)
  • Absolute divorce (clerk, summary judgment and live testimony)
  • Computer trespass and electronic evidence

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Speaker Information
Afi S Johnson-Parris  [ view bio ]
Chapter 10 | Preparing and Managing a PSS and Alimony Case | 45 minutes

Session topics include:

  • Entitlement, marital fault and manner of payment
  • Counsel fees
  • Modification/termination of PSS and alimony
  • Drafting PSS and alimony orders
  • Enforcement of orders

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Speaker Information
Susan Sullivan Simos   [ view bio ]
Chapter 11 | Preparing and Managing an Equitable Distribution Case | 61 minutes

This session provides an introduction to equitable distribution and provides forms to assist you.

  • Identification, classification and valuation issues
  • Use of a 50-20(i) motion and taking the motion to court
  • Distribution-in-kind versus. distributive awards
  • Wrapping up the case
  • Drafting equitable distribution orders/judgments

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Speaker Information
Elise M Whitley  [ view bio ]
Chapter 12 | Advocacy and Professionalism: Top 10 Things You Don't Do | 32 minutes

This session discusses relationships with the Court, colleagues, clients and yourself.

  • Ethical and practical guidance for working with the Court, your clients and your colleagues
  • Courtroom decorum (dress and calendar call)
  • Working with pro se parties
  • Rules of Professional Conduct of the North Carolina State Bar
  • Rules of Civil Procedure

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Speaker Information
Shelby Duffy Benton   [ view bio ]
Chapter 13 | Client Contact and Management in a Family Law Case | 47 minutes

Session topics include:

  • Client intake information
  • Identification and analysis of issues
  • Advising your client and managing expectations
  • Alternative dispute resolution options
  • Fee contracts
  • Avoiding a grievance

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Speaker Information
Robin J Stinson  [ view bio ]
Chapter 14 | Identification and Division of Retirement Benefits | 50 minutes

Session topics include:

  • Defined contribution versus defined benefit plans
  • ERISA plans
  • Federal retirement plans
  • NC retirement plans
  • Sample orders

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Speaker Information
Wesley P Gelb   [ view bio ]
Chapter 15 | Managing a Chapter 50B Domestic Violence Case | 47 minutes

Session topics include:

  • Interplay with Chapter 50 domestic cases
  • Meeting the two prongs of the claim
  • 50C cases
  • Attorney fees

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Speaker Information
Kristin Kelly Broyles   [ view bio ]
Chapter 16 | Settlement Agreements in Family Law | 48 minutes

Session topics include:

  • Validity
  • Premarital agreements
  • Construction and effects of separation agreements
  • Modification and enforcement
  • Effects of reconciliation on separation agreements
  • Forms

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Speaker Information
Kevin L Miller  [ view bio ]
Individual topic purchase: Selected
NC State Bar
Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) and Certified Paralegal Education (CPE) (Total): 12.50
Family Law Specialization : 12.50
General: 10.25
Ethics/Professional Responsibility: 1.25
Substance Abuse/Mental Health (SA/MH): 1.00
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