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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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Helping Your Teen Through Dating Violence

In Domestic Violence, Parenting by Sarah Hink

Domestic violence isn’t just a problem that affects adult relationships, it also exists in teen relationships and is considered by the Center for Disease Control to be widespread. This is a difficult situation for parents, since it comes at a time when kids want their privacy, communicate less, and may try to hide things from you. Violence in early relationships is something that is far beyond children’s maturity levels, and it takes strong and vigilant adults to notice what is happening and to intervene. Helping Your Teen Through Dating Violence Address violence in your own relationships through counseling, classes, or legal intervention. Domestic violence is “cyclical”, which means that children who are exposed to domestic violence have a higher likelihood to be in violent relationships themselves. This is because violence …

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How Child Emancipation Works

In Child Custody, Parenting by Elizabeth Stephenson

While all parents take pride in supporting their children and fulfilling their parental duties, sometimes circumstances dictate that the these roles end earlier than we expect. While the age of adulthood is traditionally 18 years old, it is possible for a child to legally become an adult before then. Emancipation is the legally recognized mechanism in which a sixteen or seventeen year old minor can become an adult in the eyes of the law. In order to be emancipated and treated like an adult, a minor must demonstrate the ability to provide for himself like an adult, particularly in terms of financial independence. To qualify, a child must be 16 or 17 years old and have resided in North Carolina for at least six months prior to filing their petition …

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Understanding Stepparent Adoption

In Child Custody, Parenting by Sarah Hink

When a parent who has primary custody of a child remarries, that stepparent becomes a significant part of that child’s life. For some children, that stepparent becomes that child’s caretaker, provider, stability, and emotional support. Legally though, that stepparent is not the child’s parent. This means that the stepparent lacks significant decision-making ability regarding that child and does not have custody of the child. This is where stepparent adoption comes into play. In the increasingly common circumstance of a stepparent who has taken on a true parental role of a child in his or her home, the North Carolina General Statutes allows for such stepparent to legally adopt a child, if specific conditions exist. The Stepparent Must Be Married to a Biological Parent For a stepparent to seek adoption of …

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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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Co-Parenting with Class

In Child Custody, Parenting by Elizabeth Stephenson

If you keep up with celebrity gossip—like many of us secretly do—then you may have recently read that Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck finalized their divorce after several years of separation. While celebrity divorces are nothing new, their path to divorce is notable because of the remarkable amount of cooperation that Garner and Affleck displayed when it came to putting their children first. This is in stark contrast to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who have aired many of their parenting grievances against each other through the media. For Garner and Affleck, their path to divorce began with Affleck’s infidelity. Despite this, both were able to live their separate lives in the public eye without uttering a single negative word about one another. Additionally, when Garner saw that Affleck was …

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Guiding Children Through Political Turbulence

In Parenting by Sarah Hink

It isn’t controversial to say that we are living in an era of extraordinary political divisiveness. Communities, friendships, relationships, and even families are being tested as neither side of the political spectrum seem willing to find common ground on virtually any issue. Unfortunately, with politics being served to us in real time via social media and through a non-stop news cycle, it is increasingly difficult to shelter our children from an incredibly negative time in our country. Children hear the news when the television is on, they hear it on the radio, they witness incredibly negative campaign ads, and they hear it from friends. And if you think about it, you have probably had numerous conversations about your political views within earshot of your children. While it simply isn’t possible, …

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Can a Child’s Name Be Changed

In Child Custody, Parenting by Elizabeth Stephenson

When a family experiences major life circumstances changes, there comes a need to move in a different direction. In the context of a divorce, a woman may choose to change her legal name back to a prior name. Sometimes, a custodial parent wants to change a child’s legal name to reflect their new circumstances. In order to accomplish this, there are certain conditions that the parent must meet. First: Petition for Name Change The state of North Carolina has a procedure that allows for a parent to pursue a minor child’s legal name change from a court. The first step is for the parent to file a Petition for Name Change, which is a legal document that must be signed and notarized. In addition, the parent must bring identification, the …

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Celebrate With a Season of Sharing

In Community, Lifestyle, Parenting by Carly Baker

We live in a culture of shopping and consumption. This is especially true during the holiday season. If you think about it, November through the end of December have become one endless sales event, designed to separate you from as much money as possible. Where Black Friday was the big shopping event before the holidays, there is now Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday Preview Sales, Cyber Monday, “12 Days of Doorbusters”, and countless other “can’t miss” online and in-store shopping opportunities. Oh yes, don’t forget after-Christmas clearance sales or using all of those gift cards you received. Unfortunately, the culture of gift giving has changed with the times. What was once special—the act of going to a store and thoughtfully choosing a gift—has become replaced with wish lists and no-question …