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North Carolina Family Law Blog

David Hasselhoff wants to stop paying spousal support

North Carolina residents who are paying or receiving spousal support might be interested in actor David Hasselhoff's alimony case. The actor, who has been paying support to his ex-wife, has filed a petition in the court to stop paying it altogether.

According to media sources, the actor paid $21,000 monthly or over $2.5 million in alimony payments to his ex-wife for 10 years before successfully arguing to have that amount reduced to $10,000. The actor argued that had only had $4,000 in liquid assets although he was reportedly worth $1.79 million at that moment, and that he had had to withdraw funds from this retirement plan account to be able to pay for living expenses. He has also complained that at 63, he should not have to continue working to support his ex-wife of 16 years and that instead he should be focused on planning his retirement.

Keeping parenting disputes out of court

After a divorce, North Carolina families must face the daunting challenge of living in separate households. Children must deal with the emotional strain of two separate homes and the breaking of their once secure family. Parents have a responsibility during this time to make this transition as easy as possible for children. Parents often feel the urge to take their parenting issues and disagreements back to court, but this doesn't always work the way they envision. Instead, parents should seek other means to provide the support and consistency their children need to adapt to post-divorce life.

A parenting class can be a great source of important information and support for both parents. Many family law courts offer such classes, and these classes are specifically tailored to the challenges faced by parents and children during and after a divorce. Even skilled parents may not know the best ways to handle post-divorce situations, and parenting classes provide unbiased support designed to help both the custodial and non-custodial parent.

Shared parenting can benefit family relationships after divorce

Child custody can be a difficult challenge for divorcing parents in North Carolina. Some of the difficulties can be attributed to the current U.S. family court system, which often tends to default to giving the mother sole or primary physical custody.

Family courts still give custody to the mother in over 80 percent of the child custody cases they oversee. This percentage drops dramatically when fathers proactively petition for custody. However, this default assumption can help keep women in poverty, men separated from their children and kids deprived of a close relationship with both of their parents.

Co-parenting and paying for back-to-school items

Some divorced parents in North Carolina will have occasional disputes relating to raising their children. One of these issues may involve the financial responsibility for paying for their children's back-to-school costs. If parents are careful to anticipate these types of potential issues during their divorces, they may be able to create better parenting plans.

Back-to-school expenses can be a huge cost every year. Children may need new clothing, shoes and school supplies, and the costs can quickly mount. Divorced parents may argue about who should be responsible for paying these expenses. If there is not an agreement in place covering these types of costs, parents might want to decide based on their particular type of parenting and custody arrangements.

Car insurance after a divorce

North Carolina couples who are getting a divorce will likely have to untangle many joint assets. If a couple has a shared car insurance policy, this is one more thing to be separated.

Car insurance is usually one of the last things handled in a divorce, and one person cannot be removed from a policy without this party's consent. A couple normally has separate living addresses and vehicles when separating car insurance. Insurance companies want whoever is ensuring a vehicle to be on the title. When ready to separate insurance, it is easiest to have a vehicle with only one person on the title.

7 ways to organize joint physical custody

As a parent going through divorce, you may be advocating for a joint, 50-50 custody split. If you choose a joint physical custody parenting plan, it means that your child will spend half of the time living with you and the other half living with your spouse.

North Carolina parents have a lot of options available to them when creating a 50-50 custody plan. Depending on you and your spouse's work schedules -- and the best interests of your child -- perhaps one of the following parenting schedules will be a good match for you and your family's requirements.

DNA plays a role in parentage confirmation and child support

When a child is born to unmarried North Carolina partners, the man is not automatically compelled to list his name as the father on the birth certificate. He might be referred to as the alleged father until completing a DNA paternity test. He might undergo the test voluntarily to confirm his relationship to the child, or do so to comply with a court order related to the determination of child support obligations.

A positive paternity result from the test obliges the man to pay child support if a court is reviewing a petition for support. Confirmed paternity could also grant him legal rights to visitation and custody. A negative result, however, excuses him from any legal requirement to pay for the child's expenses because he does not have a biological connection.

Blac Chyna could end up paying Rob Kardashian child support

North Carolina celebrity watchers may be aware of the quick courtship, engagement and breakup of stars Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna in 2016. Their relationship produced a daughter who is now at the center of a custody dispute. Though neither parent has requested child support payments at this point, Kardashian is believed to be the one most likely to make the request.

Nine-month-old Dream Kardashian lives most of the time with her father, who reportedly makes less money than Dream's mother. According to sources, the couple is close to coming to a custody agreement, but whether or not Kardashian winds up with primary custody, he is likely to be in a position to request child support.

Child support calculators should be used with caution

North Carolina parents who are going through a divorce might have used child support calculators to estimate the amount that will be ordered by the court. But child support calculators are only capable of giving a rough estimate of what child support amounts will actually be. Without understanding that, a parent could be in for a surprise when the actual amount of child support is decided by a judge.

Every state offers some method of estimating child support payments, with worksheets or online calculators being the most common. A person must provide certain information and answer questions to get an estimate. But when the actual amount of child support payments is determined by a judge, the amount could be very different than the estimate because calculators don't consider many factors that a judge might.

Dealing with the family home when a couple gets divorced

One of the first questions many North Carolina residents have when they start the divorce process is about what will happen to the marital home. In some cases, a person may want to retain ownership of the home, especially if there are kids involved and this can help keep the home life stable for them. On the other hand, a person may want his or her share of the equitable distribution of other assets so that a new home can be purchased quickly.

It is important for those who want to keep the marital home to make sure they are making decisions based on their financial circumstances and not for purely emotional reasons. For example, it does them no good if they retain ownership of the home in the divorce but cannot afford to refinance the home or make the existing mortgage payments.

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