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A Court’s Contempt Powers

In Child Custody, Child Support, Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

When you obtain a favorable court order, there is natural a level of vindication that a court has agreed with what you asked for. In addition, there is a sense of security that this set of papers give you: that the issue is resolved and the other person has to follow the order. Unfortunately, as we have seen many times in our decades of practice, people don’t always follow court orders. There is often a frustrating reality that if a person fails to follow an order, it is difficult to get immediate relief. There is no special “order enforcement” team that courts send out to ensure compliance. And if you contact the police to enforce an order, you will find that law enforcement is generally unwilling to assist in enforcing …

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Divorce and Child Custody in the Social Media Era

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Texting, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Every year there seems to be some new social media medium to communicate with everyone you have ever met. It is hard to remember the days when you had to see someone in person, call them on a landline telephone, or write a letter to communicate. The point is that communication has changed in the digital era. When it comes to separations, divorces, and child custody battles, the digital age has become a real factor in the courtroom. How Social Media Has Changed Communication There are several factors that make digital and social media communication different. The first is the speed with which we communicate. If somebody says or does something that we do not like, we have the ability to instantly respond …

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Separating Emotion and the Legal Process

In Health, Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Separation. Divorce. Child custody disputes. All of these experiences are life altering. A relationship that was supposed to last forever has just ended and the emotions are new. Regardless of the circumstances that got you here, there is some combination of grief, betrayal, regret, anger, and fear that fills your mind and heart. Further, you are now picking up the pieces of your life and trying to figure out what is going to happen next. And when children are involved, the anxiety and pressure skyrocket. While adjusting to these sudden and dramatic changes, it is important to keep an eye on your future. The legal process of separation, divorce, and child custody determinations are about looking toward your future and your children’s future. That is why it is important to …

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Seeking Child Support for a Child with Medical Needs

In Child Support by Elizabeth Stephenson

Having a child with special medical needs can be incredibly challenging. You love your child with all of your heart, but the time and emotional energy you spend caring for the child can be draining. It is also confusing as there are times that you get angry about your circumstances, then feel guilty about feeling that way about your child. It is also incredibly expensive. Even with a great health insurance policy, co-pays and unforeseen medical expenses quickly add up. That is why it is incredibly important to account for these expenses when parents are separated. Agreed Support When parents are separated, it is extremely important for parents to continue to work together to ensure that the child’s medical needs are met. This can be accomplished by an agreement between …

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“Thirteen Reasons” to Openly Communicate with Your Teenager

In Parenting by Sarah Hink

If you have a teenager, you have probably heard of the Netflix television series 13 Reasons Why. Based on a book of the same name, this hit show chronicles the mystery surrounding the suicide of a teenager named Hannah. The narrative structure of the story plays out through thirteen audiocassettes that she left behind, each detailing a different person whose acts or omissions were responsible for her decision. The story unravels in an increasingly bleak manner and touches on themes of underage drinking, teenage friendships and relationships, social media, bullying, isolation, sexual assault, and suicide. Understandably, many parents and school districts have raised concerns and complaints about the series. Common amongst these are that the show glamorizes suicide, and that it may influence other teenagers to follow Hannah’s lead. Don’t …

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Separation with the Children in Mind

In Parenting, Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

The experience of a separation can be very lonely. If you are in the process of a separation, what you are going through is a unique tragedy to you, and no other person in the world is experiencing exactly what you are. But while you grieve, it is also important to acknowledge that your children are at risk of complete emotional compromise. At New Direction Family Law, we have worked for more than two decades assisting people seeking separations and divorces, and we understand that the end of a marriage creates trauma for the entire family, including children. When separating, we hope that the following ideas may help you and your children stay on a healthy track toward the future. Consider individual therapy and other forms of self-care. While it …

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Summer Fun with the Kids

In Lifestyle, Parenting by Sarah Hink

Summer is a great time for children. School is out, they spend more time with siblings and friends, and some get to change up their routines and attend summer camp. For parents, summer is a different experience. It can be a ridiculous struggle to get your child to put down their iPhone or PlayStation 4 controller. While every parent loves their children, summer takes a lot of planning and expense to find new ways to entertain and intellectually stimulate your children. As the summer winds down, it is time to take advantage of your remaining weeks before school resumes and have some summer fun. Bring your children to eat ice cream! Ice cream is the best, especially in these hot summer months. In fact, July was National Ice Cream Month. …

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Spousal Support 101

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Divorce can be an incredibly difficult and stressful process. For many people, money and financial stability are big parts of what makes the prospect of a divorce so uncertain. For example, some women know that their relationship is over or that they want out, however feel like they have no options because they are financially dependent on their spouse. If you are in this situation, please contact New Direction Family Law. North Carolina law provides you with options and we can help you figure out your steps forward. Regardless of whether only one spouse is employed, the law recognizes the contributions of both spouses. This includes the sacrifices that a wife or husband makes regarding their education and career when one stays home to maintain the household and raise the …

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Celebrating Your Independence

In Lifestyle by Sarah Hink

Divorce is a painful experience, signaling the end of a relationship that was once full of hope and promise. Even if it does not feel like it, things can get better. This is because a divorce is also a beginning, an opportunity to rediscover your own identity independent of your relationship. It is also a chance to celebrate and move forward on your own terms. We would like to offer some fun ideas. Take a much-deserved vacation. It is a long, exhausting road to get from the decision to separate to obtaining a divorce decree. That is why we suggest taking a vacation within your budget. In fact, residents of Australia may be on to something as website booking.com has stated that one in ten Australians booking trips are listing …

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The Essentials of a Separation Agreement

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Separating from a spouse is naturally an uncertain time. You are moving on from a person that you have built a life with, who you have a shared and significant history with, and who you once loved deeply. While painful, there are a lot of plans that need to be made to ensure that the separation proceeds smoothly. One of the mechanisms that couples can utilize to ease and clarify this process is a separation agreement. What is a Separation Agreement? In order for a married couple to obtain a divorce in North Carolina, they must be separated for a year and one day. To be considered separated, they must be living in separate residents for that entire time and it must be the intent of at least one spouse …