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

Her name could be Ms. Finicky, but she is our new rescue kitty, and we love her. We adopted Lilly on January 11, 2022. She is six, and her last Mommy had to surrender her because the assisted living facility would not allow Lilly. On December 29, 2021, she was humanely surrendered to Red Dog Farm Animal Rescue Network in Stokesdale, North Carolina. Continue reading

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In Honor of Black History Month - by Carolyn J. Woodruff, JD, CPA, CVA

She was the girl from Stamps, Arkansas, long before she was from Winston Salem, North Carolina, where she died on May 28, 2014. Being featured on the first United States coin – a quarter – was in Maya’s future. The American Women Quarters Program is the program, and Maya is deservedly the first woman and the first black. This blog explores her early years that laid the foundation for her entrepreneurial spirit and the coin that reflects that entrepreneurial spirit.

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By Carolyn Woodruff, North Carolina Family Law Specialist

It is cause to pause for a sober moment over the apparent suicide death of fellow North Carolina lawyer Cheslie Kryst. She was the director of diversity for Poyner Spruill LLP law firm in Charlotte, North Carolina. At age 30, she had accomplished much. She had a Juris Doctor and MBA from Wake Forest University. She, of course, was Miss North Carolina USA and Miss USA in 2019. Her pro bono work for the incarcerated was notable.

While her apparent jump from the 29th floor of her apartment building in NYC needs to be investigated, her last Instagram post seemed to be a silent last cry for help and a resignation. She posted: “May this day bring you rest and peace,” followed by a red heart. She blogged at whitecollarglam, but she had not posted since August 18, 2021. Her merchandise is “sold out,” and everything new is is “sold out.”  Was this a sign of withdrawal? What caused her to go into such a deep depression that her glamourous life was not worth living? What was that last straw? Continue reading

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By Carolyn Woodruff, JD, CPA, CVA

Here are some tips based upon frequently asked questions. There are two types of Mediation: in-person and Zoom (or other remote protocol). With Covid, we have had the advent of Zoom, Teams, and WebEx. So here goes:

Dress.

Dress to be comfortable but professional. You make an impression on the mediator, and while that should not affect your case – impressions are subtle and subliminal. Business casual is the preferred dress. There is no reason to recreate the wheel on what business casual means.

Please click here for examples from Indeed.com. While this goes a bit further than required for Mediation, I enjoyed this website. For the video mediation, look at this website.

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

Creating a new family tradition can be a way to bring cheer to the holidays for both children and adults, especially when the family structure is changing due to divorce. One way to bond in a new family dynamic is to incorporate ‘matching outfits’, such as holiday themed pajamas or the famous ‘ugly Christmas sweater’.

According to The Suburban Mom blogger Jen Burg, whose blog has featured a variety of expert tips on navigating family life, matching pajamas can help kids feel cozy and relaxed during the holidays and provide an opportunity for fun family bonding activities. She also notes that the pajamas can make for some cute pictures!

The ugly Christmas sweater has earned its place in American lore and has become increasingly popular in recent years. It even has a special national day! The third Friday in December is known as National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. It is a day when people don their best, most hideous, sweaters to bring joy and laughter to all they meet.

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This week, we take a collective breath to honor the passing of a great American, Colin Powell. Some of us remember him best as a four-star General who led our military to a victory in the Gulf War era; some of us remember best his role as Secretary of State for our country. Continue reading

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

Greetings, Ask Carolyn readers. September is Hunger Awareness Month. Today’s blog explores the topic of single-parent poverty related to hunger issues and whether the American Rescue Plan will help reduce poverty. See the end of this blog for more information and links to resources.

Single parent poverty is a harsh reality that has a significant impact on families. Twenty-five percent of all families in America are single-parent households. Our country has more than three times the rate of single-parent households than others around the world. Looking deeper into the statistics shows that 80% of single-parent families are headed by the mother, with a poverty rate of 34%. (Chamie, 2021)

The United States Department of Agriculture surveys households annually to determine levels of food insecurity. In 2020, 10.5% of households experienced some food insecurity. When you factor in the rates for households headed by single parents, the rate is much higher at 27.7% for households headed by a single mom and 16.3% for households headed by a single dad. (USDA, n.d.)

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By: Carolyn J. Woodruff, JD, CPA, CVA, Domestic Violence Activist

Greetings Ask Carolyn readers, as we prepare for Domestic Violence Awareness next month, I write to express concern for violence against women and children remaining in Afghanistan. I have researched the topic, and I share my references at the end of this blog. So many of the themes of domestic violence are recurrent: poverty, education, and the effect of prolonged conflict on children. Continue reading

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

 

Self-care can make it to the bottom of the list some days, especially during a divorce. Between the demands of work and home and possibly caring for children, other family members, or even pets, it can be difficult to make time for yourself. Continue reading

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

When it comes to recognizing and remembering iconic women who have served in the Judicial branch, three names come to mind.

  • NC Supreme Court Justice Susie Marshall Sharp
  • Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor
  • And of course, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

This year in honor of Women’s History Month, Woodruff Family Law Group published three blogs on these trail blazing Justices whose work was transformative in North Carolina and in the nation. Continue reading

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