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Fayettville Family Law Blog

Financial considerations when getting a divorce

Divorce often has a negative financial effect on people, but this can be particularly true for a person in North Carolina who is a stay-at-home parent or for people who are divorcing late in life. For example, older individuals may want to revise powers of attorney that give a spouse medical and financial decision-making power in case of becoming incapacitated. They may also want to take steps to make sure the soon-to-be ex-spouse does not inherit property in case of death.

Unexpected disability or death can happen at any age, so younger people may also need to make backup plans. For example, if one person will pay spousal or child support to the other, the other person may want to take out a life insurance policy in case the support-paying spouse dies. Divorcing individuals of all ages should create a short-term budget. They may need to anticipate expenses such as getting a new vehicle and moving to a new home. This budget can be revised later for longer-term purposes.

Child support guidelines for military parents

Active military personnel and veterans who are non-married parents are required to provide child support for children still legally considered minors. The rules that apply to military personnel are not meant to override existing North Carolina child support guidelines. The purpose of these added regulations is to ensure financial obligations are met even if a legal agreement has not been worked out.

If a military service member and the child's other parent have a written support agreement in place, then the military parent is required to abide by the terms of this agreement. Military child support regulations become applicable when there is no formal support agreement in place. During this interim period, which lasts until legal details can be finalized, Child Support Services uses what's referred to as a voluntary support agreement.

Divorced parents still need to provide for their children

According to the American Psychological Association, up to 50% of couples throughout America will get divorced. Divorced couples who had children together will still need to provide for them both emotionally and financially. Therefore, it is important that North Carolina parents work together to create a financial plan that preserves a child's best interests. Fortunately, the framework for such a plan is generally included as part of a divorce decree.

Therefore, its terms can be used as a starting point for resolving any issues that may arise. Ideally, it will address who is responsible for paying for a child's medical, educational and extracurricular expenses. Even if divorced parents are on the same page regarding the financial obligation to their children, it can be a good idea to talk about it regularly. The parents themselves can choose whether to do so in person, over the phone or by email.

Protecting separate property in a North Carolina divorce

Millennial spouses are more likely to have separate bank accounts than couples from previous generations, according to a Bank of America survey. While some may think that separating finances will help protect property in case of a divorce, this is not always the case. Most assets earned after the wedding will be considered shared property.

A study by the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers found that millennials are also more likely to have a prenuptial agreement. Some analysts agree that this is better protection in divorce than separate accounts. In addition, when couples create a prenuptial agreement, it sparks a discussion of their finances and their values around money.

What actions can I take to maximize alimony?

When getting divorced, one of the primary concerns you may have is how you will cope financially with the loss of one household income. This can be particularly daunting for divorcing spouses who are homemakers or spend most of their time caring for the children of the household.

Alimony is a court order that is often given as part of a divorce settlement. The spouse who is ordered to pay alimony will be obligated to provide the other spouse with financial support after the marriage is over. In most cases, the alimony order is temporary, meaning that the payments may only last a number of months or years. Nevertheless, it gives the divorcee time to gain their own source of income so that they can eventually become financially independent.

Handling student loan debt in a divorce

Many people in North Carolina have significant amounts of student loan debt, even years after they graduated from college or graduate school. The costs of attending college have gone up dramatically, and student loan debt is a major issue for many people. When people decide to divorce, financial concerns can be thrown into sharp relief. After all, the financial changes caused by a divorce can linger on for a long time after the relationship issues were long since resolved. Some people may wonder about how their student loan obligations will be dealt with when their marriages end.

In most cases, people who already had student loan debt before they married will remain responsible for their own payments after they divorce as well. This type of premarital debt typically remains separate debt in a divorce. However, the question can be more complicated when the debt was acquired after the start of the marriage. In general, debt accumulated during the marriage is considered to be marital debt to be divided between the parties. Because North Carolina is an equitable distribution state, however, that does not mean that it needs to be divided equally.

Summertime can create problems with custody schedules

Most North Carolina parents view the approach of summer with mixed feelings. While there will soon be a break from the pressures of early morning wake-up, homework and other school-related obligations, summer means the kids will have a lot of free time on their hands. This can be especially difficult for children of divorce who are splitting time between two homes and will likely have a different custody arrangement for at least part of the summer break. It's important for parents to be aware of the issues and cooperate to minimize the potential conflicts that may result.

Family relationship experts can explain how good co-parenting skills should not cease when the divorce is final; these skills are in many ways more important when the kids are sharing time in two households. For whatever reason the marriage didn't work out, the children are not responsible and should experience as little stress as possible. The biggest things that the parents can do are to communicate with each other, be realistic about expectations and inform the kids of the game plan.

Factors to consider when determining to keep the home in divorce

When North Carolina couples decide to divorce, determining how their marital property will be divided can be a difficult process. In many cases, determining what to do with the family home can be one of the hardest decisions to make, especially if one person wants to keep the family home. Before any final decisions are made, there are some important factors that should be considered.

One of the most important factors that should be considered is how much equity the divorcing couple has in the home. Determining the amount of equity the former couple has in the family home is important as the person who wants to maintain ownership of the home will owe a certain percentage of the equity to the former spouse.

Insurance changes can come with divorce

When people in Florida decide to divorce, they can encounter a range of financial questions and challenges. While many people are aware of the effects of property division and other major issues, fewer may think about the consequences of divorce for their insurance situation. Divorce can lead to several significant changes in insurance coverage, especially when it comes to life and health insurance. Most of these changes should be handled promptly after the dissolution of the marriage is finalized.

In terms of health insurance, it is common for one spouse to receive coverage through a policy provided through the other spouse's employer. After the divorce, the spouse with this plan will need to report the change in status promptly to the insurance company, leaving the remaining spouse in need of coverage. Divorce is a qualifying life event that allows people to enroll in the coverage provided by their own employers or to seek out a new plan on the government marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act. COBRA allows a former spouse to remain on an insurance policy for three years after a divorce, but the associated premiums can be far more costly than the available alternatives.

Is it time to ask the courts to modify your alimony payments?

Divorce has a way of affecting your life for quite some time. Couples without children may hope for a clean break, but that isn't always possible. Even if you divorced several years ago, you could still have to deal with the financial consequences of that divorce. Ongoing spousal support, also called alimony, is sometimes the result of divorce proceedings.

If your spouse didn't work outside of the home and wasn't able to support themselves at the time of the divorce, the North Carolina family courts could order support as a way to help them make ends meet. They could do the same if your spouse has medical issues that prevent the development of a career.

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Hardin Law Firm PLLC

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

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