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By: Carolyn J. Woodruff, JD, CPA, CVA

Divorce is mostly negative energy. Why not have a Sage Smudging Divorce Party for you and your besties to get rid of the negative energy? So, you kept the marital residence: I did that, and I found the constant reminder of my ex dragging my sensuality to my retained home a drag. One of my closest friends was familiar with Sage Smudging suggested this sage ritual. And, it worked: we took a wrapped “stick” of sage, a feather, and moved throughout the corners of the retained marital residence ridding the house of its ghosts and bad vibes. You can do this with a group of friends and a special cocktail. Continue reading

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By: Carolyn Woodruff, JD, CPA, CVA

In the year 2020, creatures run rampant

Sounds of warfare without guns

Hands contagious

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I love chocolate, and COVID-19 has not changed my chocolate fetish. But, it has given me more time to cook, out of both necessity and a need for a creative outlet. Plus, no restaurants are open, so here I am in my kitchen. Being healthy is a goal, and I look for organic solutions without flour, which is not good for me. I also do not add salt to anything, and I recommend you not add salt either. I also do not add sugar, including stevia. My husband loves these brownies. Continue reading

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Venn Crawford

The Seven Nights of Santa traveled to Lithuania for the first time this July, thanks to our friend Andrew Mastecas’s excellent work in translating the book.

The Seven Nights of Santa
My husband Dwight Ensley and I first published The Seven Nights of Santa in 2013. In my work as a family law attorney, I see a lot of divorces involving children. Holidays such as Christmas are often difficult for such families – there are disagreements over how to celebrate or which house the kids open gifts in. Additionally, media images of “traditional” families don’t represent the experiences of children of divorce. These experiences are what inspired The Seven Nights of Santa, which shows how Christmas can be magical for families of all shapes and sizes.

We give away copies of the book to clients going through a divorce, but their children aren’t the only ones who need this message. That’s why we teamed up with Andrew Mastecas, a 9th grader from New York City, who translated the book into Lithuanian and donated the copies to orphanages in the country.

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Carolyn Woodruff

Dear Readers, today we have another Lolita story, and unfortunately, this kind of story is more common than you might think. The second question concerns an aging parent, who is perhaps incompetent.

Dear Carolyn,

I am in a book club with a group of women. One of the women in the book club has a 13-year-old daughter, and she asked me to write to you about this situation with her daughter. The daughter and mother do not live in Guilford County. The 13-year-old daughter has an uncle, the brother of the father of the 13-year-old. Unbeknownst to the mother, this uncle was apparently grooming the 13-year-old for a sexual relationship. There apparently were a couple of encounters of oral sex and breast fondling, as disgusting as that is.

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Carolyn Woodruff

Dear Carolyn,

I read an article about a man who took marijuana to the courtroom in Greensboro. My ex-spouse smokes marijuana, and we are getting ready for a custody trial over our three-year-old. After my ex moved out, I found some drug paraphernalia the ex left behind in my home. I found a ceramic pipe, and I know what my ex used this for. I have never used drugs, and this is one of the reasons we broke up. I want to use this as evidence in my custody trial, but now I am afraid to take the evidence to court to show the judge. What should I do? The judge needs to see the evidence I have. I do not have an attorney, at least not yet. I don’t want to end up like Mr. Hussain, in jail.

Concerned

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Carolyn Woodruff

Dear Carolyn,

I am a grandmother with an adorable sixteen-month-old grandson. He has recently started a preschool while his parents work. He is learning sign language, which I think is like deaf people learn and use. I don’t remember learning about this when my children were babies. What do you think about this?

– Interested in Sign Language

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Carolyn Woodruff

Dear Readers, two of you submitted very exciting questions in frequently misunderstood areas in the nuances of family law. Question one deals with custody as part of a Chapter 50B domestic violence protective order. The second question deals with cohabitation when you are the recipient of alimony under an order or agreement.

Dear Carolyn,

My 50B expired one year ago. It included custody of my then 2-year-old. After a period of time does that custody order become permanent if not contested by her father?

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