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Judica County Radio Family Law Q&A

Outlaw Lawyer / Josh Whitaker & Joe Hamer
The Truth Network Radio
December 16, 2023 2:00 pm

Judica County Radio Family Law Q&A

Outlaw Lawyer / Josh Whitaker & Joe Hamer

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December 16, 2023 2:00 pm

Coming up on this episode of Judica County Radio, Attorney's Josh Whitaker & Joe Hamer dive deep on Family Law. Question and answer with a number of family law questions. Attorney Taylor Scruggs-Smith that handles Family Law cases among many areas for Whitaker & Hamer will be a guest on today's show. 

If you have any questions about your own legal situation

call Whitaker & Hamer 800-659-1186.

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Coming up on Judica County Radio, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer. Managing partners Whitaker and Hamer Law Farm, your hosts for this show. They're going to get into family law.

That's all coming up next on Judica County Radio. Managing partners Whitaker and Hamer Law Firm. Practicing attorneys here in the great state of North Carolina. Again, offices conveniently located in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay-Varina, Gastonia, and Moorhead City. Your law firm for life.

That is Whitaker and Hamer. We get into the topics each and every week. It's always legalese. You may have a situation that you're facing and you need answers to those questions. You can always call the firm. 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186.

And then leave your contact information briefly what that call is about. An attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. And you can also email your questions to the show.

That's info at And we'll answer those questions on a future broadcast. But you heard the tease. Josh, let's bring you in. We are going to get into family law questions today on Q&A. Yeah, yeah, we've got listener questions out the wazoo.

And me and Joseph, the past couple of weeks, we've been trying to do our best to get through these. Sometimes we call them mystery questions. Sometimes we call them listener questions. But questions just from the general public. I try to answer, you know, put a legal spin as if you're new to the show, me and Joseph. We are attorneys licensed to practice in North Carolina and North Carolina only. And we do this show every week to try to bring some legal knowledge to the to the radio to the podcast area.

And we answer a bunch of questions to the best of our ability. One of the we get a ton of family law questions as a family. How would you describe family law, Joseph? A bundle of fun and joy, man, right? Yeah, family law is a term that we use that encompasses like a lot of different things, right? Yeah, you're talking divorce, separation, post separation, support, custody, child custody.

I mean, you could throw in adoption. Sure. Yeah, absolutely heading. And yeah, like you said, man, out the what we've been filling our wazoo up with some listener questions, and we've got a pretty full wazoo today, my brother. Yeah, we spent some time the past couple of weeks, a lot of estate plan, we get a lot of estate planning questions, we get like a lot of traffic ticket, you know, driver's license type questions, a lot of real property deeds, what happens to your property when you die state administration. So we've been handling a lot of those questions. I've had some family law questions I've been holding back because me and Joseph, we try to be knowledgeable of a lot of different areas, every attorney has their own areas where they feel super comfortable.

And some some areas where you maybe don't feel as comfortable. And so family law is one that me and Joe don't spend a lot of time living in that realm from our day to day practice, we have a lot of attorneys at the firm, who spend time doing that. And so we're gonna have a we're gonna have a couple guest spots from one of our attorneys who's going to answer some family law questions for us. But it's, it's another grab bag day. And we're, we're at Shady's again, right? So we're in downtown Garner me and Joseph in our in our homemade, our homemade whole made you to cook count.

It looks good to counter radio studio. Yeah. And we're taping today. So we'll have some clips on YouTube. So we're actually doing a little bit of tape today. So we we wore real shirts and, you know, nice clothes.

And that's always nice. I didn't even I didn't even wear nice clothes because I ran out of I ran out of crappy hobo clothes to wear. So yeah, I've only got nice clothes. That's all you got. We don't have a green room at Whittaker and Hamer where you know all the guests go and they get all spiffied up before they go on camera.

Don't have that. No, this is the thing, man. Like a nice shirt on but sweat pants. You can't you can only see my shirt sweat pants with holes in them. Well, at least you're wearing pants.

I'm not wearing pants. So yeah. Yes, the Yes. But we were Did you go? So you know, Joseph, you live down there in Clayton way, right? That is where that's where I live. You did docs me on the radio.

Tell everyone where I live, man. Do you did prey tree lighting isn't this your at your physical home address? No, man, I've done it before, you know, our office, our clean office is like right there. And so I've done it many years before I did not do it this year. I feel like I had a conflict a scheduling conflict.

Yeah, our Garner offices is close to downtown Garner. And so we were down here and I had missed the parade for a couple years in a row. But they did it all at the same day, you know, the parade the tree lighting and that was nice. I missed it by accident. You probably missed it because you're you're Scrooge incarnate.

No, I was here. Yeah, yeah, the the parade hasn't happened yet. Clayton parades coming up.

I think it's this weekend. But that's nice in a small town, man. Yeah, you know, it was I enjoyed it. And the kids, you know, the kids saw Santa there at the end Santa Claus. Yeah. Yeah. So it was good. Pretty sweet.

It was good stuff. The word on the street is Santa Claus is coming to my sister's house later. The kids are gonna go see. Yeah. Do you guys do Santa Claus or Santa Claus? Santa Claus or Santa Claus helper? What do you mean? Like when when you're in a place where there is a Santa Claus?

Yeah, no, I know what you're presenting. This guy's the real deal, man. This guy's real enough to where you can. Yeah, it's it's so you get the real Santa Claus. You don't get a Santa Claus.

Yeah, we're not getting a helper, dude. This is the real. This is there.

I understand that there's helpers out there. This guy's the real thing, man. Okay. He's as real as they come. When I when I'm out and about with my youngest, we have to be real careful.

Yeah, real Santa Claus or is this is this a helper Santa Claus? Yeah. What is the age when you have that kind of conversation? I mean, we may have possibly some younger, younger kids listening while their parents are listening to the show. We need to be careful. But I mean, is there an age when you have that conversation? I think you just let it ride, man.

You just let it ride. They're gonna find out through school, right? They're friends. They never bring it up, right?

I never brought them up. You just let it ride. There's always there's always a kid with an older brother, right? There's always that one kid. There's that one kid.

There's that one kid who who who brings you along, gives you the when you want to Santa Claus's helpers to come strong arm that the street street wisdom gives you the street wisdom. Yeah. But no, Morgan is it's just like every other show. Now we're just going to answer questions and and do our best to answer them. But it's a it's a family law centric day for the show. Well, it's an opportunity to get more information. It's gonna be family law based today. And again, question and answer.

You may have had some of these questions come up in your own life and you really haven't been able to find answers to it. The opportunity to get information from Whitaker and Hamer. It's ongoing during the course of this show. You can call at any time. 800-659-1186.

That's 800-659-1186. And you leave your contact information with us. Briefly what that calls about, and an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch with you and you can go over those questions. And if you want your question answered on a future broadcast, you can always email the question. It will be anonymous.

Just info at and we'll answer those on a future program. But looking forward to diving into family law and the questions that are coming. And I do understand that a fellow attorney with Whitaker and Hamer, Taylor Scruggs-Smith, is going to be your interviewee at some point a couple of times during the show this week. So we're looking forward to having Taylor on the program with her expertise. All right. So guys, we'll take a short break.

We'll be back on the other side. More Judica County radio coming up right here. Welcome back into Judica County radio. Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer managing partners. Whitaker and Hamer Law Firm are your hosts. Again, Whitaker and Hamer, your law firm for life office is located conveniently for you in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay-Varina, Gastonia, and in Moorhead City.

I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate. If you've got any legal situation that you're facing, you've got some questions you need answers to, you can always call Whitaker and Hamer 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186.

Leave your contact information briefly what the call is about and an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. And you can email your questions to the show. That's info at

That's info at And we'll answer those questions on a future broadcast, but we are diving in on family law. And here we go. Josh, take it away. Yeah.

So we get a ton, you know, before I get there, Joseph, I'm gonna put you on the spot. Yeah. Yeah. Do it.

I love that. It's Christmas time. All right. Chris Christmas time. Yeah, it is. I got two questions for you.

One question. Favorite all time Christmas special. Christmas special? You mean like a movie? TV movie. Like a movie.

Cartoon. You talking about like a movie or like a specifically a special. Like that was like a one off for Christmas. Cause there's a, I can tell you that my favorite Christmas movie all day, every day. That's very easy.

And I don't have a favorite anything. That's right. You don't. Yeah. What is it?

It's Home Alone, man. Come on. Really? Yeah. That's the quintessential. You just said you didn't have a favorite anything and you just picked a favorite.

Legalese. There's, there's the right answer. What about just general cartoon special? Yeah. I don't know, man. I don't have one of those. All right, Josh, you obviously have one.

What do you got? I'm a Christmas vacation guy. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

I'm from that. Yeah. I put that on last night. That is good. It is good. It's good. Yeah. It's it's the classics, man.

But you don't have like a Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer or the playmation or the peanuts. I like a preference. I mean, I like the ranking and bass stuff.

I'm fine with it. You know, it's all to me, man. It's all just, it's just like evoking that feeling. Right. And uh, I think everybody's favorite Christmas movie isn't necessarily like the best movie. It's just whatever is the most, the most nostalgic that pulls on those heartstrings, man. I'm going to tell you, I'm going to tell you something that feeling.

Yeah. I'm going to tell you something that might not surprise you. I've never watched Home Alone all the way through. Really? I've seen many parts of it. I'm sure I've seen it all at some point in different.

I didn't know what happened. The kids love when, when, when they're getting destroyed at the end. They love that. Yeah.

They love it, man. You know, what movie was not good. Did you watch, you know, a Christmas story, you know, that movie. Yeah. Did you watch when they came out with Christmas story too?

No, I didn't. Cause I'm not a big Christmas story. One guy, man. Like I'm not even one that I don't even think I've seen that. Oh, Christmas story.

One's a classic to know. Yeah. It's all right. I can understand why it is, but like it wasn't for me, man. Yeah.

Like I said, it's all about like what you, what resonates with you. And it's usually something you saw as a kid. Well, you don't want to see, you don't want to see Christmas story too. I won't. Don't worry.

You're in no danger. Like that's like you watching any other movie. I ain't watching Christmas. It's very sad. I had out of hopes for it, but you know, they kill off everybody. It's not all people are just dying in the movie.

Well, the dad, the dad, the dad's dead. Well, obviously. Right.

And yeah, it's not, I wouldn't recommend it. That's all I'm saying. Okay. All right. All right. You've sold me on not watching the movie.

You are, you weren't going to watch. Yeah. All right.

Jingle all the way is a good one. That's an Arnold Schwarzenegger class. Yeah. I haven't, I've never seen that. It's always on Arnold. It's got Sinbad. Sinbad's good. It's got a Phil Hartman. Phil Hartman's classic. Yeah.

You honestly, man, it's not a great movie. It's got the big show. Yeah.

Yeah. See, Phil Hartman's good. He's really good in it, man. He's like the smarmy neighbor.

That's like hitting on Arnold's wife, subtly. It's good, man. It's good. So we, we, we get a lot of listener questions, a lot of our family law. And our first segment today, we're going to take a question on, we had a lot of questions on child custody in general, right?

How does that, how does that work? Child custody. You've got to separate your family. You've got a separation. You've got, maybe you've gotten further along and you're in the divorce conversation, but, but usually you're separating from your spouse and you all have kids and custody is a, is obviously a big deal.

That's usually what people, I mean, you're worried about paying the bills. You're worried about what your new life's going to be like and how you, you know, there's a lot of things to think about, but everybody's usually thinking about their children and child custody is on the forefront of your mind. And so we went to our in-house family law attorney. We sat down with, uh, Taylor Scruggs Smith and she couldn't be with us today on the podcast, but I wanted to get her answer to our first question.

And when I do, I boiled down a lot of different listed listener questions that were basically intro questions on how does child custody in North Carolina work? And so that's what me and Taylor talked about. And so we've got this answer for you. All right, Taylor, I have questions for you. Do you have answers for me?

I hope so. All right. All right. Taylor at our law firm, Taylor is our family law attorney. Taylor, the first question I have for you today, me and Joe have been doing listener questions on the show. Our listener question today is a very simple one.

We boiled it down to the basics. How does child custody work? So that's our question, our broad framework. But to get us started in North Carolina, how does child custody work?

All right. So the big thing when it comes to child custody is the standard that the court pays attention to that the judges rule by. And that's best interest of the child.

The reason that's so important is because especially if you're going through a divorce, obviously there's emotions high because of the marriage and the relationship ending. But the judge doesn't really care why your marriage came to an end unless you can directly correlate that to how it affects the child. So everything is in the framework of what's in the best interest of the child. How does this affect the child?

Is this a positive impact or negative impact? It's all in about how the child would fare based off of the circumstances. So when you're filing in court, that's always how you have to phrase the issues. North Carolina does make you go to mediation first for child custody. That is a court ordered mediation. Attorneys are not allowed to be in the room. Sometimes you can end up with a temporary hearing before you go to mediation, but you're required to go to mediation.

Is there, you know, when we're on the show, I think I tell people, you know, what practice areas I'm familiar with and what I'm not familiar with. Child custody is not what I spend a lot of time in personally at my time at the firm. Is there is there like a default, like it's 50-50 between the parents in a normal situation where you've got two responsible parents?

Is that like a normal thing or what's is there a normal? So there's not necessarily a normal, but we do see the judges and courts try to lean towards 50-50 custody. But 50-50 custody can look like several different things. So, for instance, 50-50 could be that you're on what we call a two to three schedule, which means the kids going back and forth every two or three days and you're alternating weekends. It could be a week on, week off schedule.

And some of that's determinative. Has the child, how close the school is, things like that. OK. And parents can always agree or I guess this is a question I was about to make a statement. Can parents agree to a child custody schedule without going before a judge if they're able to?

Yes, you can agree in two different ways. One way is you can include it in your overall separation agreement. Like when you're negotiating property, you can have child custody in that same agreement or you can just do what's called a parenting agreement that says this is how we're going to handle the child. This is how we're going to do exchanges.

This is how we're going to do holidays. So you can do it in an agreement just between yourselves. The court retains jurisdiction. So if a problem comes up, you can always go back to the court. Right. The. OK. You know, you always see on TV, you always see on TV, you have a spouse threatening to leave and they're like, hey, you'll never see your kids again.

You know, that kind of thing. How often do you see a parent who wants custody, some type of custody, not not get it? That makes sense.

It does make sense. And essentially what you're asking is kind of how often do we see somebody just not granted visitation rates at all? And I'll say that I see is pretty rare. Even in extreme situations, a judge will try to grant supervised visitation leading up to more visitation if certain criteria is met. But there's usually not an automatic.

You just can't see ever see your kid again unless there's like an extreme case of abuse, sexual misconduct, things like that. Sure. Sure. OK. Well, I think that's a good job. I think that's that answers our question. How does child custody work in North Carolina?

So, Taylor, I appreciate it. So child custody is again, Taylor did us that favor there and give us some general information on on child custody. And it's you know, it can be extremely complicated or it can it can be pretty simple. You know, it's it's just like anything else. You can strike an arrangement between the two parents. That works for everybody. And a court will give that its blessing. And then you got a you got a court order or it can be something that's litigated and you can really get the court and, you know, social services involved.

So it can be as easy, as hard as you want to make it. But that was a good child custody in a nutshell. All right. Judica County radio.

We are going to take a short break. Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer are your hosts of this program, the managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer law firm. They're practicing attorneys here in North Carolina.

They have offices conveniently located for you in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Farina, Gastonia and in Morehead City. If you have a legal situation you're facing and you need questions answered, you can always call the firm. Eight hundred six five nine one one eight six.

That's eight hundred six five nine eleven eighty six. Leave your contact information briefly what that calls about. And an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch.

And you can always email your questions to the show or answer them on a future broadcast. That's info at Judica County dot com info at Judica County dot com. We've got more Judica County coming up on the other side with more family law.

Question and answer. Welcome back in to Judica County radio. Your hosts are Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer managing partners. Whitaker and Hamer law firm. Again, offices conveniently located for you in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Farina, Gastonia and in Morehead City. Again, Whitaker and Hamer, your law firm for life.

I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate. If you have a legal situation you're facing, you got questions you need answers to, you can always call Whitaker and Hamer. The numbers eight hundred six five nine one one eight six.

That's eight hundred six five nine eleven eighty six. Leave your contact info briefly what the calls about and an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. And again, we always say this and we mean it. We want your emails. You can email your questions to the show info at Judica County dot com.

And we are focusing in on family law questions this show. So, Josh, Joe, take it away during the break. I did some thinking, some soul searching. I did. I was indeed thought I was thinking about I could see it in your face. I don't want to interrupt you at the Christmas special. You know, I went with Christmas vacation and we were talking about favorite Christmas movie slash special slash anything on video. Yeah.

Yeah. And I went Christmas vacation. But I regret that because I don't think I think far and away the best Christmas movie slash special slash cartoon is the Muppet.

It's Christmas carol. The Muppets. Yeah. Muppets are good. That's good.

I like Charlie Brown's Christmas. I like that. Yeah. Yeah.

Peanuts are good. You get Michael Michael Caine's performance. He gave us like a grade A performance with the Muppets. Yeah. Yeah. I got a problem with the Muppets, man. I'm not going to sit here and tell you I've got an issue with the Muppets. That's good. But I'm not going to sit here and tell you that's the best thing I've ever seen.

Christmas related. But you've seen it. Yeah. But again, it's not my thing in it. I've seen it, but it's not like it stuck with me, man.

Like I saw it and then I kept on living my life. I felt like Michael Caine gave like a Oscar worthy Scrooge performance. Michael Caine's Michael Caine. Like, yeah, and it's Michael Caine. And Scrooge is good, too.

Scrooge is way up there. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Especially for the years to make it the adults out there. They love that movie.

I love them. And that usually comes like later for some reason. That's not like, you know, you think I elf running like nine times a day.

Scrooge usually shows up like 10 days till Christmas. Yeah. Yeah. I'm with you on that, man. So as attorneys, where do you where do you fall on Die Hard? A lot of people feel like Die Hard's a Christmas movie. It's not a Christmas movie, man. Not really. I've never seen it. But what? You haven't seen Die Hard?

No, we'll come back to that. You never seen any Die Hards? You ever seen Under Siege? I've seen the Under Siege. Yeah, I've seen Under Siege. You're a Steven Seagal guy.

I see it. Die Hard to me, I've tried to watch it at Christmas time and like make it a Christmas movie. And it just doesn't do it for me. And it's because I think you can enjoy that movie at any time, man. Any time of the year, it's going to be just as enjoyable to you as opposed to like if to me, if I watch a Christmas movie like at the wrong time of the year, man, it's like it's weird.

It gives me the but Die Hard I could watch in like March and it's fine, man. Yeah, you can say Yippie-ki-yay and feel good about it. Yeah. Yeah, for sure.

For sure. It's well, anyway, family law. That's what we've been talking about.

We've been talking about family law. You haven't seen Die Hard, man. I've never seen Die Hard. I've seen a lot of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and that's. Yeah, they reference it a lot. Yeah, they reference it a lot. And I don't like Bruce Willis.

And I saw that Bob's Burgers where they reenact it and do like a kid's play. So I feel like I got the gist of it. You don't like, you don't like Bruce Willis that much? Not a Bruce Willis guy? Well, I'm trying to think. I don't think I've just seen a lot of, I don't think I've seen a lot of Bruce Willis movies, really.

I'm trying to think of something else that I could ask you about. Bruce Willis-wise, because obviously he's been in a ton of movies. I was in the Dead People one. Yeah, he's in 6th Sense. I saw that one. That was a good movie. The Dead People one. Very different than his role in Die Hard, obviously.

A lot different. Fifth Element, you've seen that one? No. OK. Never mind, man. Never mind.

So Die Hard, that's nuts. So Family Law. Last segment we had Taylor, one of the attorneys at our firm, join us to talk about child custody in North Carolina in general and just how that kind of works. Kind of give us an overarching answer to a lot of questions that we get. And we get a ton of questions on post-separation support, alimony, and child support. Those are all three different things that happen at three different times for three different reasons. So it causes a lot of questions.

I think there's some confusion out there in the general public about when child support's awarded, what they look at, versus what they look at for post-separation support, which is the time you're separated before you can get a divorce in North Carolina. And obviously after divorce, there's alimony conversations. So three different things. We get a lot of questions. And again, we went back to Taylor to ask her about this and then get some explanation on how those are calculated.

Just, again, a good general knowledge base to start maybe asking more complex questions. But here's what Taylor told us. All right, Taylor, I had another one for you. All right. All right. Another listener question based in family law.

And again, I'm taking a listener question and I'm kind of boiling it down to a general question that might be more helpful for folks who might be listening. But the general question I have for you, we all have heard in the movies, you hear alimony, right? You hear about alimony after a divorce. In North Carolina, of course, you have to be separated for a year and a day to get a divorce. And during that time, you're separated. In theory, you're living apart from your spouse. You've made a decision to separate.

You guys are living separate and you have a year and a day of that separation period. And so in North Carolina, we have something called post-separation support. And so our question today is what is post-separation support? How does that work? That's the gist of the question.

All right. Well, post-separation support is essentially money given by a supporting spouse to a dependent spouse during that year-long separation. It's money that's kind of given for immediate access, immediate resources to make sure somebody's not left destitute during the separation period. And post-separation support terminates once alimony is decided. So whether it's alimony is denied or alimony is granted, either way, once alimony is decided, post-separation support ends.

Follow-up question then. How is post-separation support determined? So post-separation support is determined kind of similar to alimony. You have to have one spouse that is the supporting spouse, which typically is the one that was the primary breadwinner during the marriage. You have the other spouse who was dependent upon them, which means they relied on that person's income for their livelihood. And the supporting spouse has to have the ability to pay. So that's the one you see attacked the most, is whether or not the supporting spouse actually has the ability to pay. Sure. But that's kind of the framework of how post-separation support is determined and how you can even make a claim.

You've got to have at least those three things. And then it's a matter of how much you're actually entitled to based off of how much the supporting spouse makes. How is that, without going into a lot of detail, let's assume the judge is able to determine the breadwinning spouse, the dependent spouse.

Let's say it's determined that the breadwinning spouse has the ability to pay. Is there like a spreadsheet or an equation? How do you figure out what that amount of money will be?

So there's not an exact equation. There is an exact calculator for child support, but not for post-separation support and alimony. So what the court has everybody do is what's called a financial affidavit. And it kind of is a breakdown of what the expenses were during the marriage and what your expenses are now. And it's a way for the court to figure out, okay, if you need this money, how much in the red are you? Like, how much are you behind every month? And how much of a surplus does the supporting spouse have that can help contribute to you being in the red?

So it's not an exact calculation, but that's essentially how we try to figure it out, is based off of your financial affidavits and how much the bills are. And I think this is important, too, because you were telling me this earlier, but we're talking about a lot of different things. So it's important to remember that post-separation support, any money for child support, and then alimony once divorced, those are all three separate things that get determined at separate times.

Correct. So post-separation support, alimony you kind of see go hand in hand because once alimony is decided, post-separation support ends, it kind of merges into alimony. But child support is completely separate. And usually child support is deducted first. You want to make sure the kids get the money they need first.

So if child support has decided to be a certain amount and after that amount you have no money left for alimony, well, then you might not be required to pay alimony anymore. But those are three separate claims. And I think for our listeners we just want to make sure that's clear because sometimes they do merge in your mind because it's money coming out of your paycheck, but they're three separate claims. Well, Taylor, I think that's a good answer. I appreciate it. No problem.

All right. So Taylor did a good job laying that down for us, the difference between child support, post-separation support, and alimony, all three different things. It's just like anything else, too. You and your spouse or your soon-to-be ex-spouse can agree. Just like me and Joseph, we can agree on anything we want to agree on, and that's always the best. You're not always getting along. Obviously you're in the middle of separating or divorce, so you're not always getting along.

You're maybe not always dealing with the most people at their most reasonable. But you leave it to a judge, you're going to get what the judge wants you to get according to guidelines in North Carolina. Or you can negotiate and try to come to a separation agreement.

All these things can be agreed to when you say Joseph. We always talk about trying to keep – the way I always look at it is trying to keep the government out of my personal affairs to the extent that you're able to. Sometimes it's not your call. Yeah, keep them off your lawn, man, if you can. We talk about that in estate planning.

Really? Every aspect of life, like the less governmental interference you have, is generally going to be better. As an attorney, when we represent anybody in any area, we're trying to make everything easy for you, especially if we're doing planning. We're trying to get you out of having – anytime you have to go in front of a judge, even though there's guidelines, you don't know exactly what that judge is going to do. If you agree to things ahead of time, you'll know what to expect.

You know what you're working with. And like I said, going to court is no fun, right? Family court is just like any other type of court. It's not – it's a last resort in my opinion. It's there, and it's necessary sometimes. There's nothing you can do if the other side is unreasonable. But we try to – knowing it's a necessary evil is the thing that has to happen, but trying to plan around it and avoid it is always going to be a good attorney's – part of a good attorney's advice, I think.

It's a tough subject. And I remember back when we were engaged, before we got married, we had meetings with Catholic priests. We talked about percentages of divorce, how many marriages ended up in divorce, having those types of conversations. And you hear it all the time.

I mean, it's a 55 – I mean, I don't know what the exact number is right now. You guys probably might know the number, but it's over 50 percent of marriages end in divorce at some point. So it's – family law is a big, big deal. I know that listeners out there are going to be like, wow, wow, family law, really?

I go, yeah, yeah, it's very, very important. If you've got questions in and around family law and you've got – and you need some answers, you can always call Whitaker and Hamer. The number is 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186.

Leave your contact information, briefly what the call is about. Again, any legalese, and they'll have an attorney return that call and give you some answers to those questions. You can also email your questions to the show, info at, and we'll answer them on a future broadcast. All right, so Judica County Radio, we'll take a short break.

We're back on the other side. Welcome back in to Judica County Radio. Your hosts are Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer Law Firm, practicing attorneys here in North Carolina, and offices conveniently located in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuclave Arena, Gastonia, and down at the coast, Morehead City. If you've got a legal situation you're facing and you need answers to those questions, you can always call the firm, 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186.

Leave your contact information, briefly what the call is about. And again, an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. And you can email your questions to the show, info at That's info at And we will answer those questions on a future program.

It will be anonymous, but you will get your information that way. All right, our hosts are Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer. I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate. I chuckle because we are now, you know, in the course of our recording, we're doing video too. You're not seeing that on the radio, but I am seeing what looks like Gandalf with a red toboggan on. Nice, nice, nice look. Young Santa Claus.

Look how I'm going for it. So that is, yeah, Joseph has taken a, I don't know what you call them, but they go on the back of seats. They give the seat like a Christmasy look, but he is taking that and converted it to a large hat.

Yeah, you got to have a big head to pull this off, man. Luckily, I've got a jacket. It looks good.

It's almost like a Jawa from Star Wars. It's warm too, man. It's very warm.

Like, I feel like my brain is heating up, and I've got so much power to answer these listener questions. Very, very, very festive. Yes, I'm the only one festive.

You guys have nothing Christmas on, man. You know, you strike me, Joshua, as the type of person whose favorite holiday is like St. Patrick's Day or something like that, man. You know, I do like St. Patrick's Day. It is quite a fun day.

Now that you mention it. I think I have to revert back to Thanksgiving. I think Thanksgiving is probably my favorite.

Because it lets you know Christmas is right around the corner? Well, I don't mind helping. I'm not going to say I do all the cooking by any means or even like half the cooking, but I enjoy cooking, right?

And then family gets together. It's one day. No one's really usually, at least around my way, traveling too much, and I like getting right back to work, man.

I don't like a lot of work. What about number two then, man? Number two Christmas? No. Yes.

It would have to be. Like, what's left? Halloween. You got Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day. St. Patty's Day. New Year's Eve.

You know those? New Year's Eve. New Year's Eve. Christmas is definitely a close second to Thanksgiving, I would think. So, Thanksgiving, huh? Thanksgiving's good, man. It's like one era for me, man. They're inseparable. It starts with Thanksgiving, and it ends with Christmas.

And there's a dark period of depression. I do think Thanksgiving and Christmas should be spread out. So, like, Thanksgiving is like maybe like right before the summertime, right? Yeah, they are too close.

Way too close. It's too much time off, too many people completely. Like, I don't have that ability. I can't just check out like that or, you know, things would go to crap. But some people really do, man.

They just save up their vacation, completely check out. That's what we should do, man. Just check out.

Let the robots run the show, man. And we just go off somewhere. But it's, you know, I just saw it behind you. So, the way we're set up, I can see out of – I can see into downtown Garner, and there's train tracks right there.

And a train just went by, but it didn't have – The Polar Express. No, I wish. I wish. Another good movie. Another good movie, by the way. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It creeped me out a little bit.

Tom Hanks playing, like, every role, basically. They were carrying – it was carrying tanks. Oh. So, instead of cars, it was carrying tanks, which I'm assuming is a normal thing. Christmas tanks. On their way to Fort Liberty, no doubt. Santa, I would like an actual tank for Christmas. For real, legitimate. Please give me a tank.

That's what I'm going to pull up to the studio in next week. All right. Well, we've been focusing on family law listener questions today, and our next listener question, I got to pull it up. Hey, what did you cook for Thanksgiving? I'm sorry, man. I didn't mean to derail you.

We did – You know, I don't want a we. I want what did you specifically cook. Brisket. Yes, that sounds delicious, man. Brisket, yeah.

The good thing about smoking stuff the day before is you can wrap it up. Yep. And you let it rest.

Yeah. And then if something – like, I like – we had an oven mishap, like, 15 years ago, right? And our oven, the little filament burned out, and you couldn't replace it. We were, like, halfway through a turkey. And then what do you do, man? You lose a turkey.

Yeah, it's tough. It's like you can go get another turkey at that point. Right.

And you're not going to fix your oven. So I get real paranoid now. If we're going to host an event, we usually smoke something the day before. Yeah, good idea. And if we're doing turkey or ham the day of, you know, if something goes wrong, hey, man, I'm still sitting on this brisket. Yeah, yeah. That's a veteran move, man. We've given a lot of, like – we don't give a veteran move after a catastrophe. We got to have a backup plan. Yeah, that's a great plan.

Like, you had to go through some hard times to learn that, and you're giving us that knowledge now so we don't have to have the same suffering. That's great. And if you have too much food, like, you know, you've just got brisket and turkey. You've got brisket? Yeah. Oh, God, I've got all this brisket.

What am I going to do? Yeah. How about you guys? I cooked a lot of stuff, man. I cooked some mac and cheese, some cookies, some delicious. I made iced oatmeal cookies like the kind you would buy from the store where they were homemade.

Unbelievable, man. It's the best thing – maybe the best thing I've ever made. And what else did I make, man?

I made more than that. Sweet potato casserole, smoked a turkey, just a lot of stuff, man. You know, I'm eating a lot.

I'm trying to get my mass up. You've told me that. Yeah, you've told me that. And, man, I jump-started it on Thanksgiving.

Like, I easily took six to seven years off of my life in one day. I was down – was I in Clayton? I can't remember where I was, but I ran into somebody, and I guess they had called me. They're like, have you seen how gigantic Joe is?

We need to do an intervention. He asked me how you're – he asked me if you were still doing ice baths. I guess he had heard that. Really? Yeah. And I guess I was like, you know, I don't think Joseph's on the ice bath.

No, man. This body's not fitting in an ice bath. He's on the ice cream bath. Yeah, ice cream.

Ice cream is so good. Look, man, I'm telling you, I don't use – I don't use a scale. I don't ever weigh myself. You just go by feel? I go by feel. You put on your party dress, and if it fits, great, right?

I think that's awesome. And my clothes were getting pretty snug. It was about to be a problem. I don't know, man. People may like that.

People may enjoy seeing more of you busted out of the seams. And I cut out – I was doing too much lunch, man. It was lunch that was getting me.

So I cut out lunch, and I've been doing that for a couple of weeks, and that seems to be helpful. They got these things, man. I don't know if you've heard of them.

They're called cinnamon rolls. Have you heard of those? Yeah. Is that your thing?

I've been trying those. Everything's my thing, man. It's a slippery slope for me.

I have like one bite of a cinnamon roll, and then it's like, well, might as well dye them on the whole tray. I'll eat everything. Anything and everything, man.

How about you, Morgan? You do a lot of cooking at Thanksgiving. Is that your role, or do you get to step by? No, it's a little bit of a different setup, because my better half is vegetarian, and I also spend Thanksgiving with my folks. They're up in the mountains. So I run up the hill and spend the day with my parents, and usually that includes stopping off at the Daniel Boone Inn in Boone, and they do Thanksgiving to go.

So there's less hassle. My folks just let them relax and enjoy some good old country cooking for Thanksgiving, and hats off to the Daniel Boone Inn, man. They're open all the time. They do a ton of business. Isn't that place haunted? Yeah, it's one of the haunted places in Boone. There's several, but I shouldn't say several. There are probably hundreds. Shout out Daniel Boone Inn, man.

It's just good food. Have you guys seen any more of the... Child ghosts? Yeah, in the Clayton office?

No, man. I thought I heard them this morning. I walked in pretty early, but it was just somebody dumping trash outside. I can't remember. So our Clayton office is, I always called it the yellow house in Clayton, but that's our Clayton office. That's where we...

It is yellow. Is it a documented ghost or are you guys... Is it a documented ghost in this office? Yeah, we've talked about it on the radio show.

That's documented, right? So we didn't bring the ghost hunters or anything out to do an EKG or whatever they do to figure out if there's a ghost there. But yeah, it's definitely haunted. You seem like you got lost in thought there thinking about our ghost, man. Because you're just jealous your office doesn't have a ghost. No, no. Our office is... Let's see, the Garner office was built in, what, 01 and the Raleigh office was built in the 90s.

Yeah, that's definitely not old enough. You got to have some kind of tragedy. Now, we're in Shady's today and Shady's was built in 1908. This place is definitely... And it was a prison too.

Yeah, it was a courthouse and it had two of the bathrooms were the holding cells, right? This place is... You spend some nights here in the dark and it's going to get a little iffy, man, a little bit iffy. So... We have a question, didn't we? Yeah, we were just saying, Morgan, we didn't make it to our question, so we'll have to do it next segment. We'll do that.

All right. Judica County Radio, we'll take a short break and we'll wrap up the show on the other side. Listen, if you have a legal situation that you are facing and you need answers to those questions, you can always call Whitaker and Hamer, 800-659-1186.

That's 800-659-1186. Leave your contact info briefly what the call is about and an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. And you can email your questions to the show, info at and we will answer those questions on a future broadcast. All right, we're going to take that short break here and we'll be back on the other side with more Judica County.

Welcome back into Judica County Radio. Your host, Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer, managing partners at Whitaker and Hamer Law Firm, practicing attorneys here in North Carolina. Again, Whitaker and Hamer, your law firm for life. Office is located in Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay-Varina, Gastonia, and in Moorhead City. I'm Morgan Patrick, consumer advocate. If you've got a legal situation you're facing, you need some answers to your questions, you can always call Whitaker and Hamer, 800-659-1186. That's 800-659-1186. You can also email your questions to the show, info at

That's info at We'll answer those questions on a future broadcast. We're back to wrap it up. We said we were going to get to a question. We did not get to a question. Now we're going to actually get to that question as we wrap up the show.

Josh? I got to look it back up. I had one.

I had one queued up. We were doing so good in the first two segments and it went sideways on us. Sideways in a good way. Yeah, man, we need to stay side.

We need to keep going until we're fully horizontal, my brother. The Christmas holidays got me all messed up. Yeah, man. That's great.

That is great. You've got a Santa Claus vibe yourself, like looking at you. It's a young Santa Claus. Santa Claus in training. It's the handsome face. I've always thought Santa Claus was so handsome.

It's the gray beard that inspires that. I went home. I went home yesterday and one of my youngest was watching one. I've never seen any of the Santa Claus movies with.

I got a lot of those. He was watching one of the more recent ones. I think there's another one coming up. No, there's a TV show.

There's a Disney Plus series. Is that Tim Allen? Who is? Tim Allen. It's still Tim Allen, man.

He looks like weird man, like he ended in the new series because he's older and he's got all this prosthetic on. But, yeah, my kids are super into every Christmas thing, movie wise, so they keep me up to date, man. I got to stay on my toes because they'll keep me on my toes and they'll shame me if I don't know. Hey, you know, we're going to go watch Nice Night Christmas, but it came out at Christmas. You see the Godzilla, the new Godzilla?

Yeah, I heard. It's fantastic. Yeah, we want to go. We usually go watch a movie when we get close to Christmas and the kids are out of school. We don't go watch a lot of movies. Yeah, movie theater.

Yeah. We're going to watch that one. Well, it was interesting that that movie came up with my son.

He's in his mid-twenties. He's like, we got to go see that movie. And it's subtitles, correct?

I think it is a subtitle. Yeah, but it's getting great reviews. One of my kids texted me from school like they know we see a movie in December. He's like, when are we going to see it? And I was like, it's you're in school right now.

What are you supposed to do? Oh, man, I'm trying to find my question. Nobody needs that question, man. Talk more about Godzilla. Godzilla.

I bet you there's a Godzilla Christmas special. No way. I mean, I can do this. I can absolutely crush Napoleon. Do not go see it.

Don't even watch it when it streams. I mean, absolutely just I mean, I said, you know what? If it's Ridley Scott and it's Joaquin, I mean, they were together in Gladiator.

Gladiator wasn't historically accurate, but man, was it entertaining. This thing. Holy cow. I mean, what a waste of time.

Three hours. I'm like, I'm not going to lie to you, Morgan. I didn't mean that looked bad. That movie looked like it wasn't going to be.

Yeah, I was just I was holding out hope that maybe something was going to come out of that, Morgan. It's Ridley Scott, man. That probably means nothing to you, person who's not that hard to understand who Ridley Scott is.

Do you know Ridley Scott? Aliens. Alien.

Alien. Aliens is James Cameron. Yeah, I don't like James Cameron.

We established that. Really? At all? Well, you don't like Titanic, right? You don't like Terminator two. Oh, no, I did like Terminator two.

Cameron. OK. All right. You didn't you didn't like Avatar. Yeah, I didn't watch True Lies. Come on. True Lies is awesome.

You got to watch True Lies. Come on. I'm not going to do it. I mean, do it. I'm going to do it. I'm going to catch up on the Godzillas. You know, watch True Lies. Take your wife.

Take some tango lessons. You'll understand if you watch the movie and have fun. Yeah. Yeah, man.

You remind me of Arnold Schwarzenegger, you know, the release in that movie about the Von Erich's. If you're if you're. I want to see that. Yeah. Yeah. That'll be good.

That'll be good. You see? Yeah. Yeah. Yes.

Yes. But I didn't go watch talking about Napoleon like I didn't go watch. Did you go watch Oppenheimer? I did. I watched it at home. I did. Was it terrible?

No. I thought it was OK. I mean, I didn't think it was great. I thought it was good.

I watched it late, though, man. And it's like a three three hour plus. It's like a long one. And it had moments where it's really chugging, man. And it's like well paced. And then it was there was times where if I'd have seen it during the day, like on coffee, I think it would it would it would have resonated more when it was not bad. Don't get me wrong. I thought they did a nice job with it. I mean, it's it's a heavy point in our history, and I thought they did a nice job with it. I guess those movies because you're never going to watch that again.

Right. I mean, I know I won't watch that. It's like you're going to buy the DVD and I had to buy it to watch it at home. So if you want to watch it, you can you can.

But yeah, it's unlikely I'll watch. I have a long list of movies. I have a long list of movies that I know at a time like I will I could live another 100 years somehow. And those movies will never get watched. Yeah.

Oppenheimer and Napoleon are on that list. You got to have you really like all you're doing is appreciate at that point. You got to really appreciate like the individual acting performances. And you're like watching it to like take those in and the film make, you know, all that stuff. And that's not stuff that that you're going to really appreciate. No, no, not one bit.

Yeah. But there is this movie called Die Hard. Way to bring it back to your kids are old enough to man, your kids are old enough to watch that.

I think my kids have seen I think like my oldest two have seen. And they're better for it, man. Maybe they're going to pass you as people until you see it.

That's every dad's wish. Right. That's every time for them to pass you. Yeah. You're going to be better at everything than you were. Yeah. I was playing basketball with my son the other day and I've got this. I'm never going to like I'm never going to let him beat me. Right. So even if he gets really good, I'll just foul him.

You sound like a great dad. Yeah. Well, he's going to learn a lot. He's never going to beat me. I'm going to love him. Yeah.

I'm going to love him before and after the game. Get that out of here. Whack. But you're not the dad that gives him the confidence to be like, oh, you really got me there, son. You surprised me. No, because because he's not got me and he's going to have false confidence.

He's going to go on to the world and he's going to fit. So this guy, one of my dad's friends taught me that man and he had no mercy on me. And I was really angry at the time.

And this is the thing he did. He got old. He got old. And he's never let me get my get back on him because now he's like too old. He's like, I can't do it now.

I was like, well, I was too young then, you know, and you're backing me down onto the ground and dunking on me. And I want to do that to you. So one of these days, maybe he's going to be in a wheelchair. I'm going to have him roll them out. And I'm going to teach her a valuable lesson, too.

But I don't know where I was going with that. Joe's no longer in the will. He's gone. No, this guy's my dad's friend.

He wasn't even me. OK. OK. Yeah. All right, guys.

Well, we are going to wrap up this week's program. Judica County radio is in the books. Josh Whitaker, Joe Hamer, managing partners, Whitaker and Hamer law firm, practicing attorneys here in North Carolina.

Family law was our focus and also movies today. Your law firm for life. That's Whitaker and Hamer offices located Raleigh, Garner, Clayton, Goldsboro, Fuquay, Verina, Gastonia and in Moorhead City. If you have a legal situation you're facing, you need answers to your questions. You can always call the firm Whitaker and Hamer, eight hundred six five nine one one eight six.

That's eight hundred six five nine eleven eighty six. Leave your contact info briefly what the call is about and an attorney with Whitaker and Hamer will be in touch. And as always, you can email your questions to the show will answer them on a future broadcast info at judica county dot com. That's info at judica county dot com for Josh Whitaker and Joe Hamer.

I'm Morgan Patrick. We'll see on the radio next week. Judica County is hosted by attorneys licensed to practice law in North Carolina. Some of the guests appearing on this podcast may be licensed North Carolina attorneys. Discussion on this podcast is meant to be general in nature and in no way should the discussion be interpreted as legal advice. Legal advice can only be rendered once an attorney licensed in the state in which you live has the opportunity to discuss the facts of your case with you. The attorneys appearing on this podcast are speaking in generalities about the law in North Carolina and how these laws affect the average North Carolinian. If you have any questions about the content of this show, you can direct such inquiry to Joshua Whitaker at JMW at
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-16 16:34:27 / 2023-12-16 16:59:09 / 25

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