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North Carolina Family Law Blog

Child support dispute between Kelis and Nas

North Carolina fans of entertainers Kelis or Nas might be aware that they are involved in a dispute over child support. They have an 8-year-old son.

The child support dispute comes on the heels of a custody dispute that was settled in January. Nas had argued that Kelis was hostile and was concerned about his ability to see his son. He was given four full weekends in the first three months of the year to spend with the child.

A co-parenting plan can be important after divorce

It's no secret that North Carolina divorces can get pretty messy when children are involved. While both parents may care deeply about the best interests of their children, it can be very difficult for divorcing spouses to come to an agreement on a number of contentious issues. Most parents are dedicated to having the highest possible amount of time with their children. Absent of abuse, it's important to support a child's close relationships with both parents.

A parenting plan can be an important part of the co-parenting relationship following a divorce. When divorcing mothers and fathers work together to develop a plan, they can create a new relationship that is based on supporting their children. In this context, it can be helpful to consider one's spouse as something akin to a business partner. This places the relationship with the children as the new primary connection between former spouses.

Art work valuation is contentious in high-profile divorces

High-profile divorces across North Carolina and the rest of the country are encountering a growing area of conflict regarding asset valuation: art. Works of art have been skyrocketing in value in recent years. This has complicated property division in divorce cases given its somewhat subjective evaluation process.

The value of an enormous art collection is at the center of the courtroom battle between a Manhattan billionaire and his wife. Attorneys for both parties have battled over dueling valuations of the large collection that includes works by Picasso, Twombly, Giacometti, Rothko and Warhol. The parties also disagree on which parties had the most active role in acquiring the collection. Some estimates peg the value of their art collection at $1 billion.

Non-invasive testing allows quick answers to paternity questions

For far too long, North Carolina prospective fathers have been confused about their rights, status and obligations. Many situations, including infidelity, short-term relationships or other concerns, can lead to uncertainty about whether a potential father has paternity of a child and therefore child support obligations and child access and custody rights. Historically, paternity testing was only possible following the birth of the child.

In general, DNA testing is used to evaluate paternity. DNA is taken from both the man and the child and compared in a lab to determine whether the man is the father. The most common type of paternity testing is a postnatal test, which takes place after the birth and can involve comparing samples from both the child and the potential father.

All about alimony: Why do people have to pay it?

You might not want to pay alimony, and you might even feel it's unfair. However, as much as the people who pay alimony don't tend to like it, there's a reason why it continues to exist.

Alimony prevents people from being trapped in sad, toxic, abusive and unfortunate marriages due to financial concerns.

Child custody battle comes to an end for "Gotham" star

For parents ending their marriage in North Carolina, the key concern they have may be maintaining a close relationship with their children. Parenting arrangements, including child custody and visitation, can be extremely important in protecting the parent-child relationship as well as a source of contentious disputes during the divorce process. These concerns shared by millions of parents are not foreign to celebrities and other high-profile figures.

Morena Baccarin, the star of the TV show "Gotham" and multiple films, has settled a long-running child custody battle with her former spouse, Austin Chick, over two and a half years after Chick filed for divorce. In the agreement, Baccarin, 31, will pay her former husband $5,000 each month in spousal support until the end of 2018. Baccarin and Chick will also share the residual income from some of Baccarin's projects. In addition, Baccarin will pay $3,500 each month in child support to Chick for their son until his 18th birthday; the couple's son is currently 4 years old.

Shared parenting on the rise in child custody arrangements

Shared parenting may be one option for parents in North Carolina who are getting a divorce and who must negotiate a child custody agreement. These types of arrangements are becoming increasingly popular as fathers want to become more involved in their children's lives, and a number of state legislatures are considering bills that will make it the default arrangement. While it is is supported by fathers' rights groups, some legal organizations and women's rights groups are against it.

One of their objections is that making it a default could result in women losing protection from ex-spouses who are abusive. Another objection is that it could lead to a drop in child support, which opponents say is important in addressing income disparity between men and women. However, advocates say that shared parenting gives women more opportunities to pursue education and careers since they are no longer expected to shoulder the main burden of caring for children.

Selling a home can accompany divorce

For people in North Carolina and across the United States, divorce can lead to an array of financial stresses and major life changes. One of these changes can include the selling of the marital home in order to divide the value of the proceeds accurately among the divorcing spouses. Moving and selling a home can carry unique stresses when they accompany the end of a marriage.

Surveys have estimated that 61 percent of divorces result in the sale of the family home. Sometimes this is accomplished by one spouse buying out the other, but on many occasions, the home relies on both partners' incomes; selling it to start fresh can be the best choice for moving forward. Home sales during a divorce can be particularly emotionally fraught in ways that typical house sales are not. Because of this, it can be important to work with a real estate agent for a plan between both spouses in which the agent is aware of the divorce considerations.

How the new tax bill affects alimony

The Republican tax bill, which was signed into law in December 2017, will affect alimony payments for people in North Carolina and throughout the country who get divorced in 2019 or later. Under the old tax laws, the person who pays alimony does not pay tax on the amount; however, the ex who receives alimony does. The new law says alimony will not be tax-deductible for the payee, and the recipient will no longer have to pay taxes on it.

Some experts have expressed concern that the law will lead to lower overall alimony payments. Under the old arrangement, tax savings were split between the couple. The higher-earning spouse paying the alimony got a tax break that made the payments easier on the budget while the lower-earning spouse paid tax on the alimony at a lower rate. That deduction saves some people who pay thousands in alimony each year.

What to do about a narcissistic coparent

When a North Carolina parent of young children divorces a narcissistic spouse, co-parenting may be difficult. The ex-spouse may attempt to hurt the other parent using the children.

This was the case with one woman who received an email from her ex-spouse stating that the children were afraid to come to her house. Initially, she did not take it very seriously since he had done similar things in the past. Often, they were related to an upcoming court action, and she had just filed for the fifth time to enforce the existing child support order.

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