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A Car or Truck and Your Divorce

In Separation & Divorce by Carly Baker

When you separate, one of the issues that you have to resolve is how property is divided. This is a big deal because there can be a lot of property to sort out, and the outcome has big implications for your financial future. Further, tensions between the separating couple can make this task difficult, which can turn property claims into turf wars. A vehicle, like a car, truck, or motorcycle, is a valuable piece of property that can be a focal point when it comes to equitable distribution proceedings. This makes it a topic of great interest. There are several questions that must be answered in determining what should happen with it. These include: Is the Vehicle Marital Property? North Carolina is an equitable distribution state, which means that courts …

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The Effects of Domestic Violence on Your Children

In Child Custody, Domestic Violence by Carly Baker

Domestic violence in a relationship is dangerous and can be deadly. While victims suffer both emotional and physical trauma from an abusive relationship, the impact of the violence on children must also be considered. During these formative times in their development, children need stability, safety, and trust. Unfortunately, the presence of domestic violence—whether it is occurs in the child’s presence or not—can throw a giant monkey wrench into all of these critical childhood needs. If this topic is relevant to your current relationship, consider the following: Domestic violence can be incredibly dangerous to children. While you love your children, domestic violence situations involve heightened emotions and bad decisions. This means that an abuser is not acting in children’s best interest and is putting them at great risk of harm; further, …

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Divorce and Remaining Connected with Your Career

In Separation & Divorce by Carly Baker

When you are at the end of a relationship and have separated, life can feel incredibly unbalanced. You are dealing with the emotions of the break up, the change in your daily routines and living situation, and uncertainty for the future. There is no conceivable way that you are at your best. This is an unfortunate collateral effect that can impact the hard work and dedication you have put into building your career. Remain Connected with Your Career While taking care of your mental health is an essential part of moving forward, so is maintaining your career and your professional reputation. Therefore, even if you feel yourself just going through the motions, consider implementing the following ideas into your work life. When given the opportunity, make sure that you take …

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Temporary Orders Can Provide You Safety and Certainty

In Separation & Divorce by Carly Baker

When you separate with the intent of divorcing, you are required to wait a full year before you can obtain a divorce under North Carolina law. During this time, a lot can happen and you probably feel like you have a lot more questions than answers. Fortunately, if you speak with a family law attorney, there are proactive steps that can be taken to get some answers. If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement regarding the issues that accompany a separation and divorce, then it may be in your interest to pursue temporary orders to provide you safety and certainty. Temporary orders are exactly what their name implies: temporary. They are meant to fill the gaps until final orders are entered after parties either reach …

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Keeping Your Kids Active with Sports

In Lifestyle, Parenting by Carly Baker

The Center for Disease Control estimates that the obesity rate of children in America is at least three times higher than it was in the 1970’s. This is not hard to understand. The world has become scarier, in that parents no longer let kids leave the house alone on their bike, go on unknown adventures all day, and come back at night. In addition to having less outdoor time, children have a plethora of electronic devices to ensure a sedentary lifestyle that did not exist prior to the 1990’s. In addition, kids are eating more and sleeping less. As parents, it is important to understand the negative impact that obesity and an inactive lifestyle can have on children’s current and future physical and emotional health. While we cannot go back …

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Can a Man Obtain a Domestic Violence Protective Order?

In Domestic Violence by Carly Baker

Women are not the only victims of domestic violence. According to the latest statistics released by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, about 25% of the victims of domestic violence in North Carolina are male. Further, it is estimated that 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of domestic violence. Sadly, some male victims of domestic violence are hesitant to report their own abuse or to seek help. This may be due to embarrassment, a perception of “weakness” that runs contrary to “manliness,” or even a lack of awareness that help is available. In fact, men have the same legal rights to seek protective orders as women. Domestic Violence Protective Orders Domestic violence occurs when one or more of the following acts is committed by a person with a …

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Do Fathers Have a Right to Seek Child Support?

In Child Support by Carly Baker

There is a common misconception that fathers somehow have fewer legal rights across the board than mothers. This is simply untrue under the law, and it is likely based on anecdotal stories, outdated legal concepts, or just bad information. This is no gender difference when it comes to the issue of child support. Therefore, when we get a question from male clients about whether they are entitled to child support, the answer is exactly the same as when a female client asks the same question: We need to dig a little deeper. Child Support in North Carolina is Not Gender-Based North Carolina utilizes an “income shares” method of calculating child support obligations that is based on the theory that both parents have a legal duty to support their child or …

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Your Childhood Experiences Impact Your Parenting

In Parenting by Carly Baker

Being a parent is hard. Even the best parent finds themselves in situations where they have regrets. Or at the very least, they say or do something to their child and wonder: where on Earth did that come from? For the good and bad we bring into our roles as parents, a big part how we act and react is informed by our childhood experiences. Consider the following aspects of your childhood: Relationships. From the time we are children, we model our interpersonal interactions and relationships on what we see from our parents, from family, from parents of friends, and even on television. Therefore, what we saw can be incredibly powerful, even if we don’t realize it as adults. For example, if we see our parents treat each other with …

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Can My Parental Rights Be Terminated?

In Child Custody by Carly Baker

A lot of our lives revolve around our children. They represent our plans, our hopes, and the future of our families. In fact, parental rights are a fundamental right that have constitutional magnitude. Unfortunately, these rights are not absolute, and there are ways that a parent can fail a child to an extent that opens their parental rights to limitations and even termination of those rights. Termination of parental rights proceedings are very serious and can result in the permanent severance of the parent-child relationship. Therefore, termination is unusual, and courts treat it as an option of last resort. Who Can Seek Termination of Parental Rights? There are numerous people or entities that can seek termination of a parent’s right. Terminations most commonly occur in the context of child abuse …

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Suicide Prevention Awareness

In Health by Carly Baker

Suicide is not an issue that most people want to think about, much less talk about. Unfortunately, suicide is an ever-present and real problem that can impact nearly everyone—whether they are having suicidal thoughts or have loved ones who are having suicidal thoughts. At New Direction Family Law, we feel it is important to have access to the appropriate information and resources regarding this very serious topic. Suicide Rates Are Rising According to a research studies conducted by the University of California, Department of Sociology and the National Longitudinal Mortality Study, people who have experienced a separation or divorce are at a “much higher” risk of suicide—by nearly three times. This makes sense as the emotional trauma and turmoil that comes with the end of a significant relationship can be …