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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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Creating an Emergency Plan for Your Family

In Health, Lifestyle by Elizabeth Stephenson

While it is unpleasant to think about, we are sometimes faced with dangers that are out of our control, such as natural disasters, car accidents, medical emergencies, property damage, or crime. The entire idea of an emergency is that it occurs when we don’t expect it to. Nevertheless, there are affirmative steps that people can take to preemptively plan for emergencies should they arise. While it is possible to go overboard (i.e., building a fallout shelter) when emergency planning, these suggestions offer a more realistic and balanced approach. Develop a plan with your family so that everyone is on the same page. No matter the size of disaster, it is important to have a conversation that addresses what to do, where to go, where to meet, who to call, and …

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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 …

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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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Finding a Mental Health Provider

In Health, Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Coping with the stress, anxiety, loss, sadness, and anger that come with the end of a marriage is a lot for anyone to handle. No matter how strong you are, or how you have faced prior adversity, there is no telling what emotional impact a divorce can have until you are actually staring it in the face. Mental health counselors exist for a reason. Contrary to outdated stigmas regarding therapy and psychological help, it is incredibly common for people to seek help when they need it. In fact, it takes strength to ask for help. This strength directly benefits you and your ability to find the tools to move forward. It helps your children, as they look to you for guidance and leadership. Therefore, we encourage you to seek a …

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Preparing Your Equitable Distribution Inventory

In Separation & Divorce, Wealth by Sarah Hink

When a couple ends their marriage, they must undergo the important process of dividing their property before they can move forward into their separate futures. In North Carolina, this process is conducted by equitable distribution, which involves the court dividing the fair market value of all marital property between the spouses. This process can be a legitimate tug-of-war with each spouse operating under a sincere belief that they are entitled to more property than the other. Because there is so much at stake, it is critical to seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney when it comes to equitable distribution. An attorney can help you with taking the necessary steps to preserve your legal rights, to properly classify property, and to use accepted methods to appraise property—all so …

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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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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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The Legal Impacts of Reconciliation

In Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

North Carolina is an absolute divorce state, which is a no-fault form of divorce. To obtain a divorce, a spouse needs to demonstrate that the couple has been separated for no less than one year. This means that a couple must live “separate and apart” from each other for one uninterrupted year before either spouse can file a petition seeking the dissolution of their marriage. A lot can happen in a year, especially when it comes to ending a marriage. The decision is a big deal and can be really confusing to process. Some people change their minds and try to work it out again or even rekindle their intimacy while still intending to divorce. It is therefore important to understand what constitutes reconciliation and how it can impact your …