Author: Carolyn J. Woodruff

About Carolyn J. Woodruff

Here are my most recent posts

Ask Carolyn … Oct. 12, 2017

Dear Readers, Today’s Ask Carolyn addresses the third letter from a perplexed soul in the legal system, and I call on all the attorneys involved to get to the bottom of the writer’s problems. He is a faithful reader of Rhino Times and he deserves an end to his legal mess.   Dear Carolyn, Went to court today and was there four hours. My ex-wife did not show up. Her attorney came three hours late. My attorney Norman Smith and her attorney Lee Cecil talked to the judge, and Mr. Smith rushed out the door and told me to come back Nov. 6 at 10 a.m. I tried to ask about my quitclaim deed to my home, but he was in too much in a hurry to get out of there. How can I get her to sign the quitclaim? I gave Mr. Smith a copy of the Deed. Mr. Smith said my wife’s attorney was going to try to make her get a loan on her teacher retirement and pay the $15,000 she owes me. I am still confused and frustrated about the whole thing. I can sell my land for $50,000 if she would only sign the quitclaim deed. Carolyn Answers … The court system can be frustrating, and the court system frequently takes great patience. Also, attorneys often have tight time schedules, and if Mr. Smith...

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Ask Carolyn … Sept. 28, 2017

Ask Carolyn…     Dear Carolyn, I think I am about to be sued for alienation of affection. While I am not really sure exactly what this is, I am sure that I am not really doing this. Yes, I do have a paramour who is married. However, it is very clear to her and to me that the relationship with her husband was over when we started our affair. How can I possibly be sued when she had no marriage to speak of? I also heard a rumor that maybe alienation of affection is against the United States Constitution. Is there any movement for alienation of affection to be declared unconstitutional? Any help you can give me would ease my pain and my nervousness.   Carolyn Answers … Alienation of affection is a tort. A tort is a civil action stemming from an injury to another person. An example of a tort is an automobile accident. The person committing the tort of an automobile accident had no right to run into the injured party’s automobile. The person committing the automobile tort has to pay to fix the other person’s automobile. Compare the automobile accident tort to the tort of alienation of affection, which is essentially rear-ending someone else’s marriage and creating an injury to the marriage. The person rear-ending the marriage, creating the damage of a dissolution of...

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Ask Carolyn … Sept. 14, 2017

Ask Carolyn…       Dear Readers, This week Ask Carolyn further answers two male readers’ questions regarding alimony and ex-wife harassment. One of the letter writers has written Ask Carolyn again with some more specifics. See the August 31 Ask Carolyn for the original questions.     Dear Carolyn, This is the follow-up information you requested regarding my August 31 question concerning the equitable distribution (ED) settlement in my divorce. To recap, we’re trying to sell the house, which is underwater. My ex’s attorneys want $2,000 a month in alimony and my ex earns $40,000 per year. I want to find out if the courts will grant her alimony and attorney’s fees (now over $40,000), and if I can declare bankruptcy if they do and get it removed. Here is the additional information. My monthly take home after taxes and a small contribution to my 401K ($266.24) is $5,354 a month.  Revolving short term (credit card debt) is approximately $1,425 per month (these are minimum only payments with a 20 to 30 year payoff period).  This leaves me approximately $3,900 per month. Currently, the mortgages are $2,200 per month, with miscellaneous expenses – home insurance, real estate taxes, car insurance, repairs (no car payment, but the car has 175,000 miles), utilities, food, dry cleaning, etc. – running approximately another $2,200 per month.  This does not include dining out,...

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Ask Carolyn…8/31/17

Ask Carolyn … Straight Talk for the Dancing Divorce Attorney Carolyn Woodruff Ask Carolyn… Dear Readers, This week Ask Carolyn answers two male readers’ questions regarding alimony and ex-wife harassment. These questions will also be addressed in future versions of Ask Carolyn also because of the complexity of the questions. Stay tuned. Dear Carolyn, After over a year of frustration and $12,000, I terminated my attorney.  My wife moved out of the marital residence 19 months ago, while I was out of state on a business trip. There was no cheating on either side. I was able to get the divorce and a settlement on the equitable distribution (ED) through the courts.  Currently, I am still living in the home (I don’t want to).   The house will be under water by approximately $15,000 when it sells.  The ED calls for a 50/50 split on the home, whether there is a profit or loss, and it stipulates no alimony request can be presented to the courts until the home is sold. The large amount of debt was split 50/50 in the ED, but the ex’s share of it is coming out of her half of my retirement account from work. The ex’s attorneys are still bucking for a monthly alimony of almost $2,000, and her attorney fees are now more than $40k and are being paid by her parents.  She is employed and makes approximately $40,000 per year.  With the...

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Ask Carolyn…8/17/17

Ask Carolyn… Dear Readers, Today’s Ask Carolyn is a three-part response to a lengthy letter from “Desperately Seeking, A Concerned Mother and Grandmother.” I have broken the letter down into three parts, as I see at least three points in time where more intervention was needed. What I do not want to have to write is Part IV, where someone is dead. Escalating domestic abuse and children do not mix. Part I of Concerned Grandmother: First Time Daughter Moves Out (Pregnant) Dear Carolyn, My daughter dated the father of her child for two years (2014-2016) and during this time they lived together.  Due to emotional abuse, she left him and came back home when she was seven months pregnant.  She didn’t remove all of her belongings because her intentions (I believe) were to go back once the baby was born.  Her main goal at the time was to not be so stressed. Should she go back when the baby is born? Carolyn Answers … She should get the remainder of her belongings and run. Your daughter should get help for herself and learn why she finds it acceptable to allow the abuse. She should start counseling immediately with a counselor, or an agency such as Family Service of the Piedmont. Remember, the baby is an innocent party and does not need to be exposed. Part II of Concerned Grandmother:...

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Ask Carolyn … July 20, 2017

Ask Carolyn…   Dear Readers, Today’s first Ask Carolyn is on disability and just wants what the court awarded. The second is from The Sound of the Beep involving an inspector who filed a property lien. Fifteen Rhino readers seek a solution!     Dear Carolyn, I got a settlement from my ex-wife in Superior Court in January 2017 after she ran away with $80,000 of our money. I was awarded $15,000, and it was to be paid to me in May of this year. My ex-wife’s attorney was disbarred, and she now has a new attorney. My attorney that helped me with my settlement is dragging his feet after almost two years and numerous visits to his office. I still can’t get my settlement. Should I send my ex-wife a bill? She has the money in her retirement account. I can’t afford another attorney at $225 an hour. My income is about $1,000 a month Social Security disability check, and I have a house payment of $800 a month plus all the other bills that go with living day by day. What is my course of action on the pending issue? Can you help me?   Carolyn Answers … I am a little perplexed by the facts of your letter stating Superior Court. Property divisions in divorce are handled in District Court. Since the clerk of Superior Court...

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Ask Carolyn … July 6, 2017

Ask Carolyn…   Dear Readers, Today’s first Ask Carolyn concerns disturbed teens, a growing problem, with a brief discussion of the Carter conviction of involuntary manslaughter for text messages. The second concerns what happens to that engagement ring if the wedding is called off.     Dear Carolyn, I am concerned about my 15-year-old daughter and her relationship with one other teen who is 16 and has access to a car to drive. My daughter lives primarily with her mother, my ex-wife, and visits with me. It seems there is more and more distance between my daughter and me, particularly when I try to talk to her about this other teen, who I consider a bad influence. I’ll call my daughter, Susie—but this is not her real name. Susie has several good friends, but I am skeptical of the teen who can drive, I’ll call Erica. I have seen some texts (on my daughter’s phone) from Erica suggesting fast cars, sketchy drugs and laughing about teen suicide. One text suggests that Susie and Erica are swapping medications. Susie is on an anti-depressant. There is concern about bipolar disorder with Susie. I would prefer that Susie never be alone with Erica, but even if she and Erica are not alone, there is all the social media Susie’s mother allows without supervision. What should I do?   Carolyn Answers … I...

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