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Dividing Luxury Goods When You Divorce

In Separation & Divorce, Wealth by Christopher R. Hicks

You have probably seen some recent headlines about the massive divorce settlement of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos after they split due to allegations of his infidelity. Beyond the sad end of a long marriage and the sordid tabloid headlines, the financial markets held their collective breaths to see what would happen to one of the world’s most powerful companies. Why was this an issue? Because Amazon was founded during the course of their long marriage, there was no thought to create a prenuptial agreement, and MacKenzie played an instrumental role in the creation and initial success of the company. This meant that their stake in Amazon was marital property, which each spouse shares a claim upon their divorce. Therefore, as the couple owned a controlling interest in …

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How Visitation Works When Parents Live in Different States

In Child Custody, Parenting by Christopher R. Hicks

Children need stability and a healthy relationship with their parents. North Carolina law presumes that it is in children’s best interest to have ample and continued contact with both of their parents. So when parents share custody of children and one moves to another state, this is a significant change in a family’s circumstances and the parents must find a way to make adjustments so that the children continue to have contact with both parents. This must be accomplished in the form of a formal agreement or a court order. If No Formal Agreement or Order Exists… In the absence of an enforceable parenting agreement or custody order, there really is nothing that protects either parent’s rights when it comes to visitation and access to the children. Even if parents …

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Living a Greener Lifestyle

In Health, Lifestyle by Christopher R. Hicks

There should be no question that adults have a duty to strive for their children to have better lives and more opportunities than the preceding generation. This generally means that adults work hard to give their children the chance to thrive in their relationships, educations, and careers. This dream should also include leaving children with a better Earth—one where they don’t lose the ability to enjoy nature. It can be pretty easy to make some simply adjustments to your life to leave the world a little better for your children. They Make Hybrid Everything Now Living a greener lifestyle does not mean you have to give up your car and start riding a bicycle everywhere. There are actually hybrid versions of many of the country’s most popular cars, SUV’s, and …

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Identifying and Proving That a Spouse is Cheating

In Separation & Divorce by Christopher R. Hicks

  When you feel in your gut that your spouse has cheated on you, you may have a natural inclination to seek out justice, such as putting them on blast in court. Before you speak with a family law attorney, it is worth your while to know that there are limited circumstances in which infidelity actually arises as a legal issue when a marriage ends. North Carolina is an absolute divorce state, which is a no-fault type of divorce that requires a court to enter a divorce order if they have been separated for at least 12 consecutive months. A no-fault divorce means that the reasons behind the divorce (like infidelity) are completely irrelevant to the court. Instead, “illicit sexual behavior” is a consideration when it comes to alimony. In …

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Do Alimony Payments Ever End?

In Separation & Divorce, Wealth by Christopher R. Hicks

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is a mandatory payment that a dependent spouse receives from a supporting spouse when a couple separates. It can be a significant obligation for many supporting spouses, and they have a natural financial interest in understanding if these alimony payments will ever end. Fairness and Justice Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Courts have the authority to determine whether alimony should be paid for a specific term or for an indefinite term. The amounts and terms depend on a variety of factors that family courts can consider. For example, the North Carolina General Statutes allow a court to consider evidence of: Marital misconduct, Each spouse’s earnings, income, assets, and debt, The age and conditions of each spouse, The duration of the …

How to Make the Most of an Attorney Client Relationship

In Separation & Divorce by Christopher R. Hicks

Beyond the emotions that fill your mind when your marriage ends, there are complex legal issues that have to be resolved regarding property, support, and child custody. This is why an attorney can be your best ally in the world during this period of your life. Armed with experience and knowledge, an attorney can navigate you through these issues toward a clearer day. Even with the best attorney, the attorney client relationship is just that—a relationship. Relationships go both ways, and there are ways that you as a client can help make the most of your attorney client relationship. Preparation Come prepared. Coming to meetings with requested documents and questions help with the flow and efficiency of your case. Cases involving litigation are generally paperwork heavy, and keeping your documents …

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Keeping Your Faith When Facing Adversity

In Separation & Divorce, Uncategorized by Christopher R. Hicks

The end of a marriage can push the strongest person in the world to their emotional limit. Divorce shatters peoples’ long-term plans, their routines, and their sense of stability—it can feel like a trap door has instantly opened beneath them. While facing this intense level of adversity, it is easy to get angry and to make decisions that are out of line with your character. But no matter how far you feel that you have fallen, always remember that you are not alone. There are friends, family, mental health professionals, and your faith to turn to. Keeping (Or Finding) Your Faith Through Adversity While religion will not necessarily give you your answers, it can offer you comfort. Beyond speaking to friends, family, or professionals, it can also be comforting to …

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Helpful Tips in Preparing Your Post-Divorce Tax Return

In Separation & Divorce, Wealth by Christopher R. Hicks

When you get divorced, one of the absolute last things you want to think about is your taxes. Nevertheless, you know that you are legally required to file a tax return, and many people rely on a tax refund as additional financial cushion each year. Unfortunately, many Americans have been shocked this year by far lower tax refunds than they are accustomed to. This is due to significant changes in tax laws that have taken effect for 2018 tax returns and moving forward. If you have recently divorced or are going to finalize your divorce this year, there are big changes that you should be aware of for preparing your post-divorce tax return. Alimony Tax Implications Have Changed In the past, one of the more palatable features of paying alimony …