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Fayettville Family Law Blog

Finding help to settle a military divorce

Trying to balance military service and the end of a marriage may be difficult for those who are based in North Carolina. Generally speaking, the first step in the divorce process is to find the right legal representation. Those who are on active duty are offered a variety of protections through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. The act typically relieves an individual of the duty to respond to civil or other matters while actively serving.

Individuals who are married to someone in the military may have access to free legal advice through the legal assistance offices. While these attorneys don't represent individuals in court or draft documents, they can offer insight into how to go about ending a marriage.

How to avoid common financial errors in a divorce

Knowing about common financial errors during a divorce may help some estranged North Carolina couples avoid making them. One common assumption is that a divorce must end up in court. However, many couples are able to reach an agreement through mediation or collaborative divorce instead of going to litigation, which may be more expensive.

Some assumptions can be costly. People may think that creditors will only pursue an ex-spouse who has agreed to pay a debt, but if it is a joint account, both may be liable. Even if there is no debt associated with a joint account, these should still be closed so that financial ties are severed after the divorce.

Financial reasons to reconsider ending a marriage

For most North Carolina couples, the decision to end a marriage isn't made lightly. While statistics show that approximately half of all first marriages end in divorce, it's usually a combination of factors that lead to the decision to split. As long as instances of spousal abuse or other serious matters aren't involved, spouses contemplating untying the knot may benefit from taking a step back to consider the possible financial ramifications.

The marital home is often sought by one spouse during the divorce process. However, keeping 100 percent of a home with 50 percent of the income can be a big financial challenge for newly single individuals. In some situations, the burden of monthly bills plus household expenses for groceries and other necessities results in the need to take out a loan or add to personal debt obligations. There's also the possibility of losing a house during bankruptcy proceedings if obligations become overwhelming.

Using parenting provisions to manage coparenting relationships

Once you have finalized your divorce settlement and child custody plan, you and the other parent must adhere to the terms of the settlement and child custody plan or face the threat of legal trouble later down the road. However, you could also have legal problems if your child custody plan is too strict or too loose.

It's easy for parents to misinterpret a poorly organized child custody plan and find themselves in a court dispute. Therefore, parents should make a concerted effort to pin down the right kinds of details. This can be achieved with well-thought-out parenting provisions.

Prenuptial agreements can help many couples

Lots of North Carolina couples think of prenuptial agreements as a matter only for the extremely wealthy or very famous. However, there are many other reasons why people considering marriage may want to create a prenup before tying the knot. Prenuptial agreements are becoming more common for many different types of couples. In one survey, 60 percent of matrimonial lawyers said that they had seen a notable increase in the number of people asking about prenups in the past three years. A prenuptial agreement could be used to protect family inheritances or property passed down through generations, but it can also be used to benefit entrepreneurs with promising businesses.

As people now tend to marry at older ages than in the past, many newlyweds have already developed successful careers. An entrepreneur may want to develop a prenup before they marry in order to specify clearly how the business will be handled in case of a divorce. Even when the bride or groom is certain that divorce is not in the future, business partners or equity investors may have a different opinion. They may require partners to secure a prenup regarding the business before financing the company.

Joint custody is often best for children of all ages

Many fathers are reluctant to fight for joint custody of young children when divorcing out of a well-intentioned, but mistaken, assumption that kids need to be with their mothers in order to thrive. However, recent studies have shown that it is best for children, even infants and toddlers, to maintain a relationship with both parents. Fathers who are divorcing in North Carolina may want to keep this in mind when fighting for custody.

Children who are raised in joint custodial arrangements statistically perform better in school, have less physical and emotional problems and have less behavioral issues than children who are placed in their mother's sole custody. While many people assume that young children most need a relationship with their mother, the findings of these studies show that fathers play a vital role as well.

Tips for getting children through the holidays after divorce

The holiday season can be particularly stressful for North Carolina families that are being separated by divorce. Among the emotions common to both parents and children at this time are fear, anger, sadness and loss. However, a child's anxiety can be mitigated if the parents put a clear plan in place for the holidays and maintain a positive attitude.

Because the holidays can be so stressful, parents may need some help managing their emotions. A therapist or counselor may help a parent work through feelings that make it difficult for them to co-parent with the ex-spouse. In some cases, simply venting to family or friends is sufficient. For the holidays, the main priority is that those feelings do not cause the parent to try to stop the children from visiting the other side of the family. Each parent should encourage the children to have fun with the other parent.

Birdnesting may be the answer to child custody woes

Divorce in North Carolina can be mentally and emotionally taxing, but for couples with children, the experience comes with a whole new set of challenges. Research has shown that children face a host of difficulties after divorce, especially when it comes to living arrangements. The need to share custody often leads to children spending time in separate residences week to week, and this can make children of divorced parents feel conflicted as to loyalties and security.

To combat these concerns, some divorced parents are opting to allow children to live full-time at one residence while sharing custody. This arrangement is often referred to as 'birdnesting" and involves divorced individuals rotating living arrangements so that their children can stay in one residence. NBC News interviewed an attorney working with a matrimonial law firm who said that this arrangement may involve one parent living in an attached studio apartment at the children's main residence.

Understanding how military service affects child support

If you are a parent and a member of the military, it is likely that you are aware of the challenges of raising children while serving for your country. If you are no longer in a relationship with the parent of your child, your ex may have requested that child support payments be made to help with the costs of raising a child.

You may be wondering how child support payments are calculated for military members, and whether there are any severe implications for missing child support payments. As a member of the military, it is important that you take an active stance when it comes to learning about your legal obligations.

Making a financial plan for the divorce process

When people in North Carolina get a divorce, they might make some financial missteps that result in the process being more difficult and expensive. For example, some people go out and spend a lot of money. This feels good in the short term, but the bills will eventually be due.

Paying those bills or other bills by selling assets could also be a mistake if the sale will result in taxes. People should also be careful about taxes associated with a distribution from a 401(k). If there must be a distribution because the account has to be split as part of the divorce settlement, the couple will need a document called a qualified domestic relations order, and the distribution will need to be rolled into an IRA. These steps will prevent taxes and penalties.

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Hardin Law Firm PLLC

Hardin Law Firm PLLC
1314 Raeford Road, Suite D
Fayetteville, NC 28305

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