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North Carolina Family Law Blog

Penalties and taxes in dividing a retirement account

Some North Carolina couples who are getting a divorce may have a retirement account that needs to be divided. This might require a document called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. Dividing a retirement account may incur taxes and fees, and people may consult a certified divorce financial analyst at this stage. Working with a financial analyst may help ensure a more efficient transfer of funds with minimal costs.

A financial analyst might be able to point out that some plans for property division involving a retirement account may not be as financially sound as they appear. For example, one couple might agree that one spouse will keep the home while the other spouse will keep the 401(k). If the house has been paid for and is worth $200,000 and the 401(k) is worth $225,000, it might seem that the spouse with the retirement account got the better deal. However, the value of the 401(k) is tempered by the fact that if the spouse takes distributions prior to reaching the age of 59 1/2, there could be penalties.

Alimony and taxes: Can I deduct my alimony payments?

If you're paying a significant amount of alimony to your ex-spouse each month, you're probably wondering what tax benefits you might be able to receive. After all, the income that you're sending to your spouse is not income that you're directly benefiting from. Shouldn't your ex be responsible for paying income taxes on the money and not you?

The answer to this question is, "yes." You can deduct your alimony payments from your taxes, and it's your ex who must pay taxes on this income.

An overview of child support collection

If a North Carolina parent is entitled to child support, a state disbursement unit may be of assistance in collecting it for and distributing it to that parent. It is also the job of the SDU to accurately identify payments as well as provide payment records to a parent or to a court. It is important to note that the SDU must work on behalf of parents who receive Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.

If a parent is receiving TANF, the state may be able to use some of the child support money it receives to reimburse itself or the federal government. However, the state may also choose to pass on some or all of the support that it collects for a parent receiving such benefits. When parents receive TANF assistance, they are required to assign their child support rights to the state.

Alcohol and drug use and child custody

North Carolina parents who have gone through a divorce and who are worried if their ex's substance abuse issue can compromise the safety of their child may have recourse in family court. However, they should be aware of exactly at what point the courts should become involved and what actions parents can take to ensure that their children are protected and still be in compliance with a child custody order.

Judges can address a parent's substance abuse during a child custody hearing. They may also respond to the issues if reports about the substance abuse have been submitted to the local child protective services agency.

Planning ahead for vacations when divorced

North Carolina parents who are separated often have conflicts about custody and visitation, and the summertime may be an especially contentious time because of vacation planning. There are several ways that parents can help to avoid having custody disputes during these breaks so that they and their children can enjoy the time off.

Custody orders normally outline how the parents will divide vacation time and time with their children. When a parent is wanting to plan a vacation, it is important that he or she does so as early as possible. The plans should be communicated in writing to the other parent long in advance. If the planned vacations will interfere with the court's custody orders, it is very important that the communication about them is in writing so that records exist of the discussions.

Woman sues Flo Rida for back child support payments

North Carolina music fans may be interested to learn that a woman is suing rapper Flo Rida for allegedly failing to pay child support for his infant son, according to multiple news reports. The woman lives in New York.

In court documents, the plaintiff claims that she dated Flo Rida between December 2015 and January 2016, during which time she became pregnant with the rapper's child. She gave birth to a baby boy in September. Unfortunately, the 7-month-old has hydrocephalus, which is the abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid on the brain. Apparently, the plaintiff is having difficulty paying for his medical treatments, which prompted her to sue Flo Rida for back child support payments.

Video: FAQ: Do you need a separation agreement? | Hardin Law Firm PLLC

Although you may no longer want to live with your soon-to-be former spouse, communication is still needed. In fact, couples that can reach agreement without the court's involvement will be able to save themselves both time and money.

A separation agreement is one affordable option. This is a legally binding contract, signed by both spouses, that resolves many of the issues that must be formally addressed in a divorce. The issues may include property division, debt and many child-related matters.

Can you go to jail for not paying child support?

Are you waiting to receive child support payments from the other parent of your child? Maybe the other parent is telling you that the money is coming soon, or that it's not his or her fault. Regardless, the reasons and excuses, if you're struggling financially due to unpaid child support, the law is on your side.

The state of North Carolina takes child support orders seriously. According to our legal system, a non-custodial parent has a legal obligation to help pay for the financial needs of his or her children. Failing to meet one's court-ordered legal obligations will put a non-custodial parent in contempt of court, and this could result in an arrest.

When child support ends before a child is 18

Parents are legally obligated to support their children whether or not they live with them. While child support generally stops in North Carolina when a child reaches the age of 18, there are circumstances in which a noncustodial parent's child support obligations may end before then. If the child becomes legally emancipated due to marriage or joining the military, the parent may no longer be required to pay child support. A child may also become emancipated by becoming economically independent or by abandoning the family home.

If a child has special needs, child support obligations might continue after the child is 18. A parent might also be required to pay child support to a minor child who has divorced.

Getting retroactive child support

When newly-divorced North Carolina parents are seeking a child support order, they might want to request retroactive support as well. However, they may need a number of documents in order to do so. They may have to provide a list of expenses as well as proof that they have not received support. Furthermore, they might have to show attempts to collect the support. Finally, if the party who will be asked to pay support is the father, it may be necessary for the custodial parent to prove he was aware of the child.

Noncustodial parents can respond to the claim. If they have receipts demonstrating that they paid support, they should show them. However, if they have not paid support but have helped in other ways, such as with the purchase of necessities, they should try to provide proof of this. If there are no receipts, the parent may be able to show communication that proves support.

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