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Understanding STEM Learning for Young Children

In Child Custody, Parenting by Carly Baker

You adore your children and so does their other parent. Unfortunately, when the two of you are no longer a couple, there can be a great big divide between what you both believe is best for the children. Whether you split up a week ago or years ago, your children love both their parents and are doing their best to cope. They need you at your best and to be kept out of the middle of your custody dispute. Keeping Your Children Out of the Middle Take responsibility for how you choose to interact with your former partner. Regardless of why your relationship ended and how your spouse chooses to behave, you have control over your own conduct and your reactions. Your children will always remember this time period of …

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False Promises Can Damage Your Parent-Child Relationship

In Child Custody, Parenting by Carly Baker

If you are paying child support, you understand the pain of knowing that your paycheck is significantly less every month than before your child support order existed. But you can tolerate this pain, knowing that you are doing right by your child and providing financial support. Nevertheless, it is natural to wonder how that money is being spent. In fact, the thought has probably occurred to you that maybe it isn’t all going directly toward the benefit of your children. Therefore, you might wonder if you have any control over how child support is spent. Unfortunately, the answer is that you have little to no say about how the parent receiving the support spends it. Simply put, court dockets are already stressed and overwhelmed, and the last thing the courts …

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Libraries Are a Parent’s Best Friend

In Child Custody, Lifestyle, Parenting by Carly Baker

When you are a parent, you realize that the added expenses of a child really add up in a significant way. You therefore look for ways that you can save money. Libraries are an amazing community resource that can serve this purpose for you. For some, a library may seem like a long-forgotten relic of the past. Your memories may be of looking for old magazine articles on microfilm, or trying to find a book using the card catalog system. A visit to your local central library will quickly dispel these notions. First, libraries are taxpayer funded, and offer countless new and old books, television shows, and movies for free to borrow. Look online at your local library’s website and you will find an easily searchable database of their catalog …

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Is Trial Worth It?

In Child Custody, Separation & Divorce by Carly Baker

Contrary to what many people believe, divorcing couples rarely end up going to trial to resolve their legal issues. In fact, in the vast majority of cases, issues like child custody, child support, equitable distribution, and alimony are settled between divorcing spouses in the conference room of an attorney or mediator’s office rather than in a courtroom. This is because despite the intense emotions that arise around these issues, attorneys will give their clients a realistic answer to the question: Is trial worth it? If the primary reason that a client wants to take his or her case to court is angerjustice, or vengeance, then the answer is no, trial is not worth it. This is true for a multitude of reasons, including: Going to court is expensive. In addition …

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A New Year Doesn’t Require Big Changes

In Health, Lifestyle by Carly Baker

Have you ever noticed that whenever a new year rolls around, there are non-stop television, radio, and internet ads for gym memberships? Or that your physical and email mailboxes are filled with “exciting limited offers” on expensive trend diets and meal plans? The fact is companies try to capitalize on people’s New Year resolutions of diet and exercise during the early months of a new year. To avoid the traps and quick ends to resolutions that we often suffer, consider a more maintainable approach such as this: Choose goals that are sustainable. Treat your healthier life as a marathon and not a sprint. You are unlikely to find long-term success if you haven’t regularly exercised in years, then set a sudden goal of working out 5 hours every single day. …

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Raising a Defense Against False Allegations

In Child Custody, Separation & Divorce by Carly Baker

Divorce and child custody disputes are among the most passion-inducing legal issues that civil attorneys face. Sometimes, in the heat of the situation and with a desire to win at all costs, we see people make bad decisions. One of those decisions is to make false allegations against the other party. Whether these allegations involve domestic violence, infidelity, fraud, or child abuse, it can all be incredibly damaging. While North Carolina is an absolute divorce state—which is a no-fault method of divorce—there are several areas in which misconduct can still play a role in the court’s decision-making process: Protective order—a spouse can get a domestic violence protective order against the other spouse, which can restrain the allegedly violent spouse from the home and the children. Divorce from Bed and Board—a …

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Avoiding Costly Mistakes When You Divorce

In Separation & Divorce by Carly Baker

The end of a marriage is a major life event that can completely rattle the strongest people. It is therefore natural that people in the midst of a separation may make decisions and say things they normally wouldn’t say. Anger and sadness are incredibly powerful emotions that can overtake the frontal lobe of our brains, leading to poor and impulsive choices. To put it mildly, these bad decisions can be costly when it comes to a divorce. If you are considering separating from your spouse, or if you are already separated and headed for divorce, these are some of the critical mistakes to avoid. Engaging in harassment, stalking, or domestic violence against your spouse. These actions can result in arrests, protective orders, criminal charges, and criminal convictions—which comes at the …

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When is an Alimony Claim Barred?

In Separation & Divorce by Carly Baker

Alimony. One simple word can ignite passions rarely seen in other areas of the law. This can be attributed to the fact that North Carolina is an “absolute divorce” state, which does not consider the element of fault when legally severing a marriage. As a result, a couple’s opportunity to have their “day in court” and establish who misbehaved during the marriage generally comes in the context of a lawsuit for alimony. Like any great drama, alimony can encompass issues like infidelity, marital misconduct, a couple’s standard of living, and money. However, before a court can hear any of this evidence, parties will provide evidence as to the threshold questions of whether the spouse requesting alimony is entitled to it, or whether that spouse is barred from receiving alimony payments. …

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Budgeting for Your Children’s College

In Parenting, Wealth by Carly Baker

The dream of many parents is to put their children in a position to succeed—to reach even greater career heights than their parents. The first step toward attaining this goal is for children to obtain a higher education by going to college. Unfortunately, college is expensive. Really expensive, as you have to pay for tuition, textbooks, supplies, clothes, phone plan, housing, utilities, food, and a little spending money. Unsurprisingly, the rate at which college costs have increased has far outpaced the rate at which most parents’ salaries have increased. More than ever, it is crucial to approach your child’s college education with a plan. As the idea is for your child to one day become a self-sufficient adult, this college plan should be part of a coordinated team effort between …

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How Do I Enforce a Separation Agreement?

In Separation & Divorce by Carly Baker

Separation agreements are legal contracts that many North Carolina couples create when they separate with the intention of divorcing. Because it takes a full year before a couple can seek a divorce from a North Carolina family court, these agreements provide stability and predictability for critical issues like: Who gets to stay in the marital home? Where are the children going to live? Who is going to pay child support, and how much? How are parents going to divide their time with the children? Is a dependent spouse going to receive monthly post-separation support? How is property and debt going to be divided? How are the bills and expenses going to be paid? These agreements are common and popular because they keep most divorcing couples out of a courtroom until …